Published by HarperTeen on October 8, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing, implied sex
Reviewed by: Kate
A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.
Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.
The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.
I’ll be honest- half of the reason I chose to review THE BROKENHEARTED was that I was under the impression it took place in Chicago. (I had to search long and hard before I found a copy of the original description I read). After being burned by the last book about ballerinas I read, I had pretty low expectations. Luckily, THE BROKENHEARTED surpassed my expectations and more-what I got was a gritty superhero novel that read as vividly as if it were a graphic novel, with scenes I could picture in my mind.
THE BROKENHEARTED was a total surprise. There was a little bit of ridiculousness- to me, Bedlam City came across as a thinly veiled Chicago, complete with a Lake Morass, and Museum Mile, Bankers Alley, and Lakeside neighborhoods (very similar sounding to the existing Lake Michigan, Magnificent Mile, Financial District, and Lakeview, respectively). And yes, at one point the South Side of Bedlam City was even referred to as the murder capital of the country. It was at times distracting, but also a bit fascinating. To take a location that could be so familiar for some readers, and turn it into something darker and more sinister is a risky move, and once I got past the similarities (and stopped seeking them out), Bedlam City was a perfect setting for this story.
Luckily, despite those little bits of ridiculous, THE BROKENHEARTED has some awesome characters, spectacular writing, and great plot twists- both predictable and not. Anthem is a reluctant heroine, given powers she didn’t ask for, thrust into a position she doesn’t want, and on top of that, people begin to ascribe greater meaning to her relatively selfish (vigilante) actions. THE BROKENHEARTED is a bit of a dark book for young adult in my opinion- Anthem definitely doesn’t shy away from defending herself, and sometimes that leads to lethal consequences for those attacking her, which becomes something else Anthem has to learn to live with. Plus, she gets blackmailed into a slightly abusive relationship, something that, despite all of her newfound powers, she can’t get herself out of easily. Over the course of THE BROKENHEARTED, as she learns more about the world around her, you can see her start to question everything she has believed in her life thus far, and the way she steps into the new role she involuntary gains and doesn't just shy away from the evil around her shows great strength- this is a female character I can get behind.
Like I mentioned, there is a relatively predictable plot twist about midway through. While it didn’t play out until the end of the book, it was an easy guess based on the events. But then, at nearly the very last page, the reader is hit with a twist that I did not see coming, something so much bigger than the small potatoes con perpetrated against Anthem. As a reader, we’re left thinking “what comes next?” and “how does Anthem react to the news she just learned?” Hopefully, those questions will be answered in the second book of the series. I personally hope that Anthem continues to dig deeper past the “picture perfect” life she lived and that she continues to grow and take a stand. I'll be impatiently waiting in the meantime.Series Titles:
- The Brokenhearted
- Karma Girl (Bigtime #1) by Jennifer Estep - 4/5
- Vicious by Victoria Schwab