Review: The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
by: Amelia Kahaney
Publication Date: Oct. 8, 2013
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 336 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 2/5 stars
When I first read the synopsis to this and saw the "Dark Knight meets Cinder" line, I was all like, 'Oh, yeah. I've GOT to read this one!' Unfortunately, as exciting as the blurb makes this book sound, it really fell flat for me and didn't do the blurb justice. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it really didn't deliver with its execution.
Kahaney does a good job of setting up her futuristic, crime-laden world- and I was really intrigued in the beginning. However, I found it wasn't very consistent. I needed more world-building- I wanted to know so much more about how Bedlam City became what it was. How did there come to be a Crime Line that divided the rich and powerful from the South Side, full of criminals and people less fortunate? How did The Hope (a famous vigilante) come to be? We are introduced to a lot of ideas but never received any kind of resolution for them. The biggest issue I had was the end. It was pretty predictable as to who 'The Boss' was, but how that all worked out is a mystery. There are no details as to how its possible for this person to be 'The Boss' and it was really a 'it is what it is' moment and you have to move on. I wanted details! Tell me how this came to be! I also felt there was more to Regina's story (her dead sister) than was given to us. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but the way she was alluded to made me think that before her death she was part of something big (a potential rebellion?)
Anthem Fleet, is our main character, and I felt no real attachment to her. She is the daughter of Harris and Helene Fleet, and lives in Fleet Tower. They attend charity balls and care about appearances. They believe Anthem and her boyfriend Will are the perfect match (probably because Will's dad is the D.A.) and are focused on their daughter being the epitome of perfection. Anthem feigns illness and gets out of attending a social gala, opting to head to a party with her wild friend Zahra instead. It is here she meets Gavin, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. I honestly didn't expect this story to take such a turn in the romance department, but it did. Gavin and Anthem's relationship is very West Side Story and even though Anthem knows she shouldn't be playing with this kind of fire, she can't help herself. She falls for Gavin WAY too fast and the night she gives herself to him, he ends up being kidnapped by the deadly Syndicate- a well known criminal organization. I couldn't really get on board with Anthem and Gavin's relationship. It was underdeveloped and short-lived and after only knowing this boy for a short amount of time- the lengths she will go to in order to save him seemed really extreme. I get that she feels responsible since his kidnappers demanded ransom before they would release him, but still.
The book takes a sudden turn when Anthem ends up falling to her 'death'. However, she doesn't die- instead she receives a bionic heart and discovers she is faster than ever, has sharper hearing, and has all of these abilities she can do. I don't know- I suppose this was a cool twist? It seemed a bit strange is all. We go from seeing the rich, prima ballerina to a girl with a bionic heart who is determined to get Gavin back. She enlists the help of Ford, the man she was running from when she ended up falling into the river, but who also saved her life by getting her help. Ford is a former boxer, who got tangled up with the higher ups in the Syndicate. I never expected Kahaney to take Ford's character where she did. It seemed kind of sudden and I didn't see the development of the situation coming at all. Ford ends up becoming Anthem's go-to person (aside from Serge, their family's driver). He is the one who convinces her to keep going, even though Anthem's world has fallen apart around her. He is also the person whose help Anthem enlists to train her how to use her newfound gifts. Her goal is to find Rosie, the lead woman who took Gavin, and make her pay for what she's done.
Anthem makes such a transformation in this book. We watch her go from the rich, prima ballerina girl with the 'perfect' boyfriend, to a girl who, after getting tangled up with a boy from the South Side, ends up becoming a machine bent on taking down the people who destroyed Gavin. She becomes relentless, exposing Syndicate thugs working for Rosie and 'The Boss', earning her vigilante status.
Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me due to the inconsistencies and endless questions I still had. I also feel this kind of novel needed more world building behind it to make it more believable.