Published by HarperTeen on October 8, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steam-Punk, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ Takes place in Bedlam City, which brings to mind Gotham City, which I think is the author’s intent since this book is a major genre mash-up. We have super hero fiction, steam punk, science fiction, dystopian with a bit of romance thrown in.
~ There were many cool elements to this book, and I loved the atmosphere and the potential, but the book fell a bit flat for me. The coolest part of the book for me was that it reminded me of Repo! The Genetic Opera. Even though I didn’t love this book, I am interested in Kahaney’s future books because I think she has potential.
~ Anthem as a heroine was a bit annoying at times. We’re told how cautious she is in the beginning, how dutiful a daughter she tries to be, but almost from the beginning she’s acting contrary to all the things we’re told about her (skipping out on her date with Will, going to the wrong side of the river for a party, and blowing off her ballet classes the second a hottie makes an appearance). However, she does end up kicking some major ass, and she’s a teenager. Teens often make selfish and rash decisions, blow of their friends, family and duties once they get a boyfriend, so there is that.
~ I don’t get the science in this book. I will flat out tell you that I am bad at science, so maybe it’s just that, but it felt like Anthem’s mechanical heart (which is not a bomb, although the blurb and prologue kind of leads you to believe that it is a bomb) was more magic than scientific. Because it’s based on the hummingbird’s heart, there’s concern that Anthem will die if she rests too long. I thought that was cool, that she’d turn into some kind of shark girl, constantly in motion so that she doesn’t die… but a chapter later she’s sleeping 15 or 18 hours, no chest explosion. And somehow this heart has given her super strength, hearing, beauty and a metabolism that I would kill for. I don’t have a problem with Anthem developing super powers, but I needed something more than a hummingbird hybrid heart to explain them… like a radioactive spider bite or toxic waste from outer space…
~ Gavin is kind of hot in a bad boy who paints murals on destroyed bridges kind of way, but I knew immediately that his story line would go the way it did. Of course, I’m an adult and I’m not sure if tween me would have figured it out.
~ One of the things that made me like this book were two supporting characters- Serge the bodyguard is my man, and I really enjoyed Will’s step-mom, even though she only has a small part in the book, it was one of my favorite scenes.
~ I liked the beginning and end, but the book lost me in the middle. Partly because I knew where it was going and just wanted to get there already and partly because I was not connecting with Anthem. I’m glad I stuck it out, and I’m not opposed to re-reading this book someday with a different perspective.
~ I liked Ford, just because he really was different than the usual YA love interest. And although there’s two boys, The Broken Hearted manages to steer clear from a typical love triangle. Well, technically there’s three boys… 😉
~ Just when I thought I was going to lose interest in the book, Will came to the rescue with his swarminess! I actually really enjoyed how Anthem had to deal with him, and it was my favorite sub-plot, which I actually enjoyed more than the actual plot.
~ Revenge is a theme in this book, which I enjoyed, especially when it’s handled well. More books should feature revenge!
~ I have mixed feelings about this book. In it’s best moments it’s like a great graphic novel, think V is for Vendetta, Kick-Ass or The Crow. But in it’s worse moments it’s drowning in cliches and Mary-Sueness. In the end, the fact that I could picture so clearly the world Kahaney was bringing to life is what kept me reading.
~ I don’t think this book is part of a series, but I would be open to reading another book with Anthem as the main character, although I dig that the ending works as a standalone as well.
Anthem Fleet- broken hearted, wealthy, and she is done taking shiz from people. 😉
Harris Fleet- Anthem’s daddy, rich and oblivious.
Helen Fleet- Anthem’s mommy, rich and oblivious.
Regina Fleet- the dead sister that spare baby Anthem is desperately trying to fill the shoe’s of.
Will Hensen- Anthem’s parent approved boyfriend. A bit of a tool.
Zahra- Anthem’s bff. I think she was cool, but since Anthem spent most of the book neglecting her friend, it was hard to tell.
Lily- cook for the Fleets, another side character that I liked.
The Syndicate- they run all the illegal stuff in Bedlam.
Gaven Sharp-super hot manboy who Anthem meets at a party in the wrong zip code.
The Hope- a slain crusader who fought for peace and allegedly nearly succeeded before his murder.
Serge- the most awesome body guard ever.
Ford- nice boy who tries to help Anthem out, but scared her into falling into the river.
Jax- she’s a bit of a mad scientist, really.
Rufus Mitz- adorable street urchin whom I fully expected to break out in “Little People” from Les Mis, but he didn’t.
Rosie- a not so nice woman who causes much pain in the assness for Anthem.
Again, it was not the main plot, but I loved, loved, loved when Anthem went to Will’s house and spoke to his father and step-mother.
Stop The Clock:
I don’t know that I can recommend this book to everyone, but I think if you’re interested in the plot then it’s definitely worth the read because I’m sure the CW could make some kind of cool teen show out of this and probably have already secured the rights.
Amelia Kahaney — Website |Amelia Kahaney
The Broken Hearted gets a Midnight Book Rating of: