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Broken Hearts & Revenge #1

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

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Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh—to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already.

Filled with summer sun, boys, and friendships gone sour, Katie Finn's first novel in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series sizzles and delights.

339 pages, Hardcover

First published February 14, 2014

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About the author

Katie Finn

9 books511 followers
Katie Finn grew up in Connecticut, in a town that looks an awful lot like Putnam. During high school, she was a total theater devotee (like Madison) and never dreamed she’d be a writer. But lots of Katie’s high school misadventures have made it into her books…which just goes to show that you never know!

She currently lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house she wishes was a lot closer to the beach.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 615 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica.
257 reviews3,580 followers
April 6, 2016
So far all 3 of Morgan Matson's books I've read have been 5/5 stars. She is definitely one of my new favorite ya contemporary authors! I highly recommend her books! This book made me SO ready for summertime! I NEED book two though.. Ugh. I was so anxious while reading this book. I did guess a few things going on in this book.. But was definitely still thrown by that ending. I'm so dang invested in these characters and I can't wait to see what happens!
Profile Image for Grace (LovingDemBooks) Z..
189 reviews1,418 followers
June 28, 2015
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3 of 5 stars (Please read my rating system further below). As a huge fan of Morgan Matson's books, I knew that I had to read her books as Katie Finn, and I knew that I had to read them fast. Because of my love for Morgan Matson, I think I went into Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend with too high of expecations. My expectations were definitely let down, and I was disappointed that I didn't love Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend as much as I loved Morgan Matson's other books. That being said, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend is not a bad book at all. It was cute and kept you at the edge of your seat. I was entertained almost the entire time. I guess I didn't love it because I'm used to expecting and loving such stellar books and writing from Morgan Matson. Because of the huge cliffhanger at the end of the book, I will definitely be reading the next book. I need to know what happens to Gema and Hallie!

My rating system: (I do use half stars.)
5 - I do not use the 5 star. Not because a book might not be worthy, but because a book is never perfect.
4 - I loved it! There weren't too many flaws, and I had no trouble getting through it. (A 4 star rating is the highest rating I've ever given a book.)
3 - I enjoyed the book, but there we're flaws that made me enjoy it less.
2 - I finished the book, but there were too many flaws for me to enjoy it.
1 - I could not finish the book, and I probably did not finish it....
Profile Image for Nanna.
246 reviews131 followers
June 4, 2015
3.5 stars!

I swear I felt like I was watching an episode of Revenge & Gossip Girl! LOL it was fun, juicy, and perfect for summer!

Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,520 reviews33.8k followers
July 26, 2016
This started out so well, with such an engaging, funny, and sympathetic narrative voice. But it quickly devolved into predictable, melodramatic soap opera scheming and awful, unforgivable behavior, which seemed completely at odds with the fun, breezy tone of the opening set-up. And the sudden, haphazardly pieced together "explanation" chapter detailing Gemma's past wrongs is one of the most awkward, show-not-tell outpourings I've ever read, lacking in any kind of subtlety or believability. Such a disappointment after the promise of the first 50 pages.

DNF around 135 pages, though I skimmed the end. The twist is pretty obvious, imo, and the cliffie just makes me roll my eyes. Interesting how this is a planned series. Oh, and probably closer to 1.5 stars as well.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
Profile Image for Selene.
572 reviews133 followers
September 2, 2017
Katie Finn is Morgan Matsons pen name. Although I haven't read a Morgan Matson book I really enjoy this trilogy and want to get into her other books.
Profile Image for Maureen.
484 reviews4,218 followers
January 6, 2015
3.5/5 stars

Not sure how I feel about this book, but it was enjoyable!
Profile Image for Sarah Louise.
726 reviews289 followers
October 8, 2015
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, the beginning of a contemporary series, is an incredibly cute, comedic story revolving around friendship and reflecting on past mistakes.

After being unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend, Gemma catches a train to the Hamptons where she will spend her summer vacation with her father. Josh, a cute boy on the train, sends Gemma’s world into mayhem when she discovers he is the brother of Hallie Bridges, a former friend whose life Gemma intentionally destroyed five years ago. With tangled emotions, Gemma fakes her identity to Hallie and Josh in order to begin mending the mistakes she caused in her past.

Although there were a lot of aspects I enjoyed with Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, I couldn’t get past my frustration with the main character, Gemma. The entire plot is based upon a lie that Gemma merely creates to avoid confrontation with Hallie. The situation could have been dealt with from the beginning if Gemma was truthful about who she was. But then we wouldn’t have a book. So …

Just when you start to believe there is hope for Gemma and Hallie’s friendship, another lie works its way in. It was a spiraling disaster waiting to happen. The thought process of Gemma felt a little petty and dramatic at times. Gemma finds herself in a lot of unfortunate situations that somehow convinces her to tell more and more lies. When is enough, enough? It was a little unrealistic to expect someone to go through THAT much trouble.

Although the plot is focused heavily on the ticking time-bomb friendship, the developing side romance had moments to shine. The romance was sweet, innocent, and enough to make my heart flutter. You know it's a great romance when the mention of hands touching is enough to make you smile.

Based on the premise of the story, I found the plot to be relatively predictable. When a story is based on lies, it’s obvious where the lies will take you in the end. I think, however, I was so focused on the reveal of Gemma’s lies that I completely missed the foreshadowing for one of the twists. The big reveal definitely shocked me.

The ending was an excellent send off for the second book, Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold. With the third book, Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross, set to publish in 2016, I cannot fathom the amount of trouble Gemma has in store to require a trilogy.
Profile Image for Completely Melanie.
579 reviews373 followers
September 27, 2018
I would give this a 3.75. I really enjoyed this story. There were a few aspects that keep me from giving it a 4 though. One being that I figured out way too early what was actually going on, and two is that there were parts that I felt were totally unrealistic. That being said, I do intend on reading the rest of the series because I thought it was still a really cute story. Gemma at 11 caused so much havoc in the Hamptons that she planned on never returning. Now being forced back 5 years later she has to face up to some of the things she did in her past, but when she arrives, there is a case of mistaken identity. She thinks it may be best to just go with it for now and try to get these people to change their mind about her before she reveals who she truly is, but nothing goes the way she plans.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
70 reviews202 followers
May 30, 2016
Full review on my blog!

3.5/5 stars

Overall, I definitely did enjoy this book. It put a smile on my face when I finished it. It didn’t blow my mind or anything, but I did enjoy it. I was in the mood for a light contemporary when I started to read it and it fulfilled my craving well. This is a series, and I’m not sure how long this plot can stretch out, but I definitely look forward to continue reading the series (I am waiting for the sequel to come in the mail any day now).
Profile Image for Sandy.
480 reviews328 followers
April 11, 2015
Wow, I don't know what to say at the moment because I'm a bit fazed by the way this book ended. The situation with Hallie kinda reminded me of Second Chance Summer. I don't like the idea of secrets and sabotage - and that's sort of the problem I had because this book revolves around one big secret. Aside from that, I still enjoyed the story. It was pretty fun to read. I read this book in less than a day.
Profile Image for Lola.
146 reviews14 followers
February 24, 2014
Soooooooooooooooo good. I almost walked into some scaffolding as I was finishing the last pages walking to work. :)
Profile Image for Estelle.
852 reviews81 followers
May 23, 2014
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

My own truths about Broken Hearts, etc.:

1. I guessed the outcome of the book before the halfway mark.
2. I did not connect with any of the characters or their relationships.
3. I still read until the end of the book.

I started Broken Hearts with certain expectations because Katie Finn is Morgan Matson’s pen name and she has been nothing but a total delight in my reading life. But I found myself muttering something very surprising as I read this: I don’t think I’m the right audience for this book. I rarely feel “old” when I read young adult because there are so many feelings that parallel how I feel in my life today and also remind me of some of the brighter and tougher moments from my childhood. (I’m not the kind of person who doesn’t want to remember things so this is a positive.)

But I had to suspend a lot of reality to believe an 11-year old Gemma could be so vindictive without consequences or without an utter breakdown on her part. I know that young kids can get themselves into messes but unlike an adult who engages in this kind of behavior, I think it’s more likely for a child of that age to give in and fall apart because things are so out of control. But instead, she gets away with the awful things she does even though she still feels guilty years and years later. (Not guilty enough to fess up, even as she “matured.”)

I found myself thinking a lot about movies I like where characters take on another identity in a situation that affects a lot of people. Two that popped in my head were Ladybugs (Jonathon Brandis pretends to be a girl for a soccer team season) and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (The babysitter dies, everyone is scared to do anything about it, so Christina Applegate’s character lies on her resume and gets a fashion job for the summer to take care of her siblings while her mom is away on vacation). These are both highly entertaining films where I still feel for the characters in these impossible and improbable situations, and that’s what was missing for me in Broken Hearts. The characters and the relationships were not funny or genuine enough; the scenes, instead, felt like they were moving full-steam ahead (into more and more dubious situations) and losing all those important details along the way.

Even if the book is meant to be breezy and fun, I still want to connect with the characters. That’s the bottom line.

Another nudging feeling that I couldn’t shake during Broken Hearts was how other books I’ve read conquered this kind of premise better. Here are two:

- Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian: While I wasn’t fully invested in this series until book 2, it balanced deception and fully developed side plots (friendship, relationships, fears, etc.) in a way that even made me care for the “bad guy”. The potential for this happening in Broken Hearts was there (Josh, Gemma’s relationship with her dad) but never fully realized.
- Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin: an authentic Hamptons-in-the-summer book. I don’t understand the choice to use a real locale if you aren’t going to work to get the tiny details correct. (Maggie at Just a Couple More touches upon that in her review.)

All in all, Broken Hearts wasn’t my cup of (iced) tea and I won’t be continuing the series. As a reader, you just can’t love them all.
Profile Image for Audrey.
47 reviews4 followers
November 27, 2015
I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I mean, I feel like I say that for every book (so maybe I’m just horrifically clueless), but I really didn’t.
Morgan Matson is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so I knew that since I was caught up on all of her published books I should probably start picking up some of her Katie Finn works. (Surprise! Katie Finn is Morgan Matson) I had heard that they weren’t as good, but I was expecting that. It’s pretty hard to top contemporaries like Amy and Roger’s and Second Chance Summer.
So, this definitely wasn’t my favorite contemporary I’ve ever read. I had the “big reveal” at the end of the book figured out within the first hundred pages, and the main characters made such poor decisions that sometimes I had to put the book down because they were stressing me out so much.
But – and I’ve said it before – I read books for entertainment. And this book was so entertaining. It kind of reminded me of when you’re watching horrible reality television or when you see an accident on the side of the road and you want to look away but you just can’t.
I read this book in one sitting. There really isn’t a way not to – it’s so fast paced and you just want to know how everything will work out. So many things go wrong and hardly any go right… if there’s anything you take away from this book (or even just this review): don’t lie. It will provide you with enough disasters to fill up a 342 page book.
For the most part, as far as characters go, I liked them. The main character was a little crazy, what with all of her disasters and heartbreaks and clinginess, but it wasn’t frustrating to read from her perspective. If anything, I thought it was funny – after I figured out what was going to happen – to see how oblivious she was to everything.
So yes, the book was pretty predictable, at least in my opinion, but it didn’t make me like it any less. If anything, it added to the excitement – knowing that something disastrous was about to happen any second and not know when. Also, I don’t think that everyone would be able to guess the ending for this one. I mainly just had a suspicion and once I did I found things to confirm it around every corner.
The ending frustrated me a little bit. I knew that this book had sequels but I hadn’t realized how necessary it would be the read the sequels or how much I would want to read the sequel immediately after I finished this one. The book also changed tones incredibly fast. That ending was the definition of 0 to 100 real quick.

Overall, I think this one was worth the read. It kept me entertained for an entire car ride and was good enough for me to immediately buy the sequel on BookOutlet after finishing it. It kind of read as more of a tween book than young adult, but I still enjoyed it. The third book isn’t even out yet, and you never know how Katie Finn’s writing and characters will improve throughout these three books.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,430 reviews899 followers
September 12, 2016
Huh. I'm finished with this and still confused about what I just read.

I started out feeling really sorry for Gemma after she got dumped by her boyfriend and then -- totally out of nowhere -- she tells this horrible story about how, when she was eleven, she coldly and systematically destroyed someone's life. What? Then Gemma coincidentally (??) runs into that person's kids -- who, through a convoluted series of events, think she's someone else. Haven't you made this poor family suffer enough, Gemma??

I like dark-and-twisty revenge stories, but I'm feeling like the cute-and-breezy tone of the cover, the title and the opening few chapters is completely odds with what transpires. Yeah. I'm confused :(

On the plus side, this book did improve for me by the end. I think my main issues were two:

Expectations vs reality:
The cover and title and synopsis suggest a fun beach read about a girl who had a bad breakup and decides to pretend to be someone else for a lark. Not so much... This book is full of lying and deceit. Yes, there's romance, but it's all built on lies.

Gemma: I felt for her, then was completely horrified by her, and then began to feel a sort of detached curiosity about her. She starts out seeming like a normal, relatable person, then makes this awful revelation that I had a hard time getting past, then claims to want to make things right, then proceeds to ... nope, not make things right:


She lies and lies and then lies some more. Again, I think I could have taken this in stride if I'd known from the outset that Gemma was not supposed to be a sympathetic character.

The Twists: I guessed the ones that were revealed by the end and I'm predicting another obvious one for the next book.

So, long story short, I'm still sorting out my feelings for this one. I think I will now go read Morgan Matson's other new book and hope that I get the kind of story I expect :)
Profile Image for Jessica (Goldenfurpro).
879 reviews251 followers
January 21, 2016
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

I admit it. The main reason why I picked up this book is because Katie Finn and Morgan Matson are the same person. As Morgan Matson is one of my all-time favorite authors, I just had to read a book by her alter-ego!

This book is about Gemma, who was planning on doing charity work over the summer with her boyfriend of two years. The boyfriend who decides to dump her right before the trip. Gemma's mom and stepdad were planning on going to Scotland over the summer and Gemma can't go with them. The plan: Gemma can stay with her dad in the Hamptons. The problem: Last time she was there, Gemma ruined a girl's life. When Gemma gets to the Hamptons, she runs into Hallie, the girl she was cruel to. But with her new makeover and a cup of coffee with the name Sophie on it (her best friend), Gemma is a completely different person. Gemma decides to take up being 'Sophie' while trying to make up for what she did to Hallie, but karma is out to get her and she just keeps running into trouble.

This is a fun read, but not a fun read. The synopsis describes it perfectly "Filled with summer sun, boys, and friendships gone sour". This book has many fun, light-hearted aspect, but with Gemma's past at the Hamptons, her mishaps, and her lies, it brings out the sourness to the story! But I did greatly enjoy reading it, even if it was predictable at times.

Gemma is a great main character and she does have her flaws, which I actually appreciate in a character. She regrets what she did to Hallie and, while what she did was horrible, I can see why a kid would do that considering her circumstances. She really wants to make things up with Hallie and even when things hit the fan, she still tries and I really appreciate that. I don't exactly like how she lied though. I can see why she did, but it was just a disaster waiting to happen.

I did have issues with the ending. The last 20 something pages are the climax and a lot of interesting stuff happens in those pages. There was no cliffhanger, but I felt like the book ended right at the end of the climax.

This was a really great read! It was enjoyable and fun, but also very drama-filled. It was predictable at times, but it didn't take away from the book. This is a great start to a new series and I can't wait to read the sequel!
Profile Image for McKenna.
80 reviews35 followers
January 12, 2016
I liked this book. It's set in the Hamptons. It features beach boys and bonfires and revenge. It was a perfect read for me, as I just finished Winter by Marissa Meyer (HUGE book hangover, by the way) and I simply wasn't in the mood to deeply connect or fall in love with any new characters. It was light and made me miss the beach, but I found it a bit predictable. I love, love, love Morgan Matson (AKA Katie Finn) so I'll be picking up the sequel sometime soon, I'm sure.

Rating: solid 3 stars.

February 16, 2016
**1.5 stars**

It hurts to say this but Morgan Matson really let me down with this one.

I have read one other book by this author and thoroughly enjoyed it but this story of Gemma Tucker and her drama filled summer in the Hamptons did not impress me. It was extremely predictable, boring and it greatly lacked individuality. For me, there was absolutely nothing that made the characters stand out in my mind or that encouraged me to root for them. For example, the main character Gemma spends her entire summer building a fake persona and lying to everyone around her in order to avoid being recognised and taking responsibility for mistakes she had made years previous. I’m not really sure what the author was going for this time around because there is nothing that motivates me to support a character who is incapable of honesty and selflessness. It takes a special skill to write a truly remarkable contemporary novel and sadly, I felt that Katie Finn did not achieve that same level of excellence she has in her other books. It was just blah.

With Broken Hearts did end with a bit of a cliffhanger, I do not plan on read the other books in this series.
Profile Image for Caryn - iam.caryn.
714 reviews85 followers
June 18, 2019
This was a wacky and wild ride!

If this were a CW show, it would be a hit!

That ending though! So grateful I have the next book sitting right beside me to start immediately!

This was a very fun and surprisingly addictive book about revenge, vengeance, avenging.... it’s hard to explain without spoiling too much.

But if you want a wicked fast read to read this summer, that will make you not want to put the book down, pick this series up!

On to book 2!!!
Profile Image for Helena.
144 reviews114 followers
August 17, 2020
Well, more like 3,5 but I rounded it up because it was EXACTLY what I needed right now... A light, fun, summer read that flowed very easily! I really recommend it if you are on vacation! Otherwise, not so much 😜
Profile Image for Brittany.
72 reviews32 followers
July 10, 2016
This was really predictable, but cute, fun and addicting!!
Profile Image for Maggie.
730 reviews66 followers
April 11, 2014
First, let’s talk about why I read Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend a few months before its pub date. This book takes place in “the Hamptons,” an area I know well, I grew up there and I’m back living there before I start grad school. I had such an amazing experience reading Rules of Summer, another YA book that takes place in “the Hamptons,” I hoped I could read this one and do some kind of teaser post with a tour of Hamptons’ spots from the book. Pretty much from the moment I started reading I realized that was not going to be the case. I tried to keep my negative feelings about this to a minimum because I realize that anyone not from here will be happily oblivious to these things, but this book provides a terribly inaccurate description of “the Hamptons.” (I was originally going to type all my points about that here, but it got kind of long so I’ve moved it to the end of the review so it’s easier to skip over my rambling.)

When the book first started I actually had really high hopes for it. Gemma, the main character, had a great voice, I liked the writing, and I was frequently laughing out loud. Gemma gets dumped by her do-gooder boyfriend (in a Target, it was really funny) and, because she was supposed to build houses in Central America with him during the summer, she now has to find alternate plans. Enter “the Hamptons,” where her dad, who normally lives in Los Angeles, will be spending the summer working on a screenplay with his producer. Gemma spent the summer there once before, but is hesitant to go back because of something terrible that happened there with someone she used to be friends with.

This whole storyline was my first inkling that I might not be blown away by this story. For those who doesn’t know Katie Finn is a pen name for Morgan Matson, author of Second Chance Summer. In that book a girl returns to somewhere she used to spend her summer vacation and is nervous about seeing former friends she feels she wronged. If this storyline came up in any other author’s book I probably never would have thought twice about it being similar to Second Chance Summer, it’s not like it’s a totally unique thing, but in books by the same author? It seems strange to me.

Sadly, my positive feelings towards Gemma quickly dissolved when I learned about the terrible thing that ruined her friendship with Hallie, her former friend. (I’m not going to spoil it, but I’m going to give some background.) The summer that Gemma was 11-years-old she also went to the Hamptons with her dad during her parents’ initial separation. Gemma is positive her parents will get back together so she doesn’t think anything of it when her dad starts spending time with a woman, she’s actually happy because the woman has a daughter, Hallie, who’s Gemma’s age. Gemma eventually finds out that her dad is dating this woman and she becomes determined to break them up and she decides the best way to do that is to make her friend Hallie’s life a living hell so that Hallie makes her mom leave early. Maybe I’m taking this too seriously, but oh my god I was horrified by this. Like mouth hanging open, horrified. I guess because Gemma regrets what she did that means she’s not a sociopath, but really, the things she did and the deliberate, premeditated manner in which she did them, were insane and just beyond anything I would imagine an 11-year-old, who isn’t going to grow up to be the Unabomber, doing.

On the train to “the Hamptons” Gemma meets this cute boy, Josh, and when they get off the train she discovers that Josh is Hallie’s brother. Even worse Hallie is at the train station to pick Josh up. Thinking on her feet (like the little sociopath she is) Gemma lies and says she’s Sophie Curtis (her best friend back in CT) and then decides this is actually a good thing because by lying to Hallie she can become her friend and be nice to her, thereby showing Hallie what a good person she is and making Hallie forgive her. Seriously? I get why someone who’s not fully matured might think this, but wow, and she continues to think it for the rest of the book. At one point she even says how she better tell Hallie the truth soon because otherwise it might turn into her lying (I’m paraphrasing). Turn into lying? I’m pretty sure it was lying from the moment she gave someone else’s name.

The second worst part about this book (first: what a sociopath Gemma is) is how much I had to suspend disbelief. First, that Gemma would meet Josh on the train (the imaginary train mind you, see my Hamptons ranting below). Second, that she could really carry off this whole “Sophie” thing (she’s not even a good liar, for someone who created such an elaborate plan at 11-years-old, she’s constantly almost slipping up and hasn’t really seemed to put any forethought into this plan (like change your friend’s name in your phone to something else so it doesn’t look like you’re always calling or texting yourself!)). Third, I wish I had counted the number of times people’s cell phones went off and interrupted an important moment; I would guess the number is somewhere between 30 and 50 in a 350ish page book, it was crazy. Fourth, where was Hallie and Josh’s mother? They build this enormous house in “the Hamptons” and then she’s never there? Although their mother is maybe the only reason I would read the sequel to this, I think she’s the author of the vampire erotica book that’s constantly referred to throughout the story and I’m curious to know if I’m right.

If I thought it couldn’t get any worse than all of that, somehow the end managed to do it. I had suspected part of what came out at the end, but definitely not all of it. Suddenly crazypants Gemma is turned into the victim and there’s this Mean Girls/horror film moment (I saw someone on Goodreads refer to it as Cruel Intentions-like) that left me shaking my head. Seriously, these people deserve each other.

Bottom Line: I can say, with almost 100% certainty, that is has to be one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. I feel like this is one of the most bizarre reviews I’ve ever written, but I just didn’t know what to say, the whole thing was dumbfounding. To recap: writing good and it had its funny moments (throughout, not just at the beginning), but the main character is a future serial killer and I had to suspend disbelief a lot.

I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley (thanks?). All opinions are my own.

Here are my thoughts on how the Hamptons are portrayed:

1. Gemma gets on a train in Connecticut and magically arrives in the Hamptons. What type of train is this? Why didn’t I know about this train when I was in college in Massachusetts? Gemma is from Putnam, Connecticut, which is in the northwest part of the state. She could, in theory, get on an Amtrak train, take that to Penn Station in NYC, and then transfer to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), but that’s not what happened here. Also, after reading more, Finn claims that Putnam is on the coast by the Long Island Sound. If you’re going to make up a town wouldn’t you want to pick a name that wasn’t already a town? If she did live in a coastal town she could still take Amtrak, but it would be more likely that she would take MetroNorth to Grand Central and then need to get to Penn Station to get on the LIRR.

2. I’m still on the train stuff, Gemma talks about how a family with lots of beach stuff gets on at the stop before the Hamptons stop. That is not how the LIRR to the Hamptons works. This is how it works: you get on a train in Penn Station, you get off that train to change at Jamaica (a train station in Queens) to get on a double-decker diesel train (only diesel trains run past about the middle of Long Island), in the process of switching trains, during the summer, you fight very large crowds of people to get a seat and not have to stand on the two (to the farthest west Hampton) to three hour (all the way to Montauk). No one gets on the train after Jamaica (ok, a small handful of people do, but not summer people).

3. (Yep, still trains), Gemma talks about how the train she took to the Hamptons has three seats across, nope, those don’t exist, seats are in pairs and the overhead racks are about six inches tall (seriously, it’s the worst design in train history).

4. Gemma is staying in a made up area (I Googled it just in case it was some super rich people area I’d never heard of, it doesn’t exist) and Finn builds a whole town around the area. The towns in the Hamptons are so interesting and special, why not use what already exists? Also, the movie producer, her dad’s boss, whose house she is staying in, refers to the area as “the next Montauk,” what does that mean? Montauk is nice, absolutely, but it’s not really hip or cool. It doesn’t have fancy bars or restaurants or shopping, I wouldn’t say it’s the blue collar town of the Hamptons, because it’s not, but it’s not fancy or the place to be seen.

5. Hallie and Josh’s mother has just built an enormous house on the water front in the Hamptons. That would never happen that quickly or maybe at all. The house is new, so let’s so it’s been built recently, at most there was six years to build it, between the summer Gemma was 11 and the summer she’s 17. Waterfront property in the Hamptons isn’t easy to come by, especially undeveloped land so she’d need to find that, but more importantly she’d need permits. Building permits, especially to build on the beach, are not easy to get here. There would be hearings and environmental impact studies and lots and lots of inspections, I would say, to build a house like the one that’s described in the book would take at least ten years, probably more, to get approved and then built. For example, my parents wanted to put a larger deck on their house, they submitted plans three times, using three different contractors and the plans were still never approved (and someone came a year later to make sure they hadn’t just built one anyway). Or the bakery down the street from my office, one of the biggest draws on Main Street, wanted to expand by adding onto the back of his building, which was just unused space behind Main Street. It took him 15 (FIFTEEN!) years to get his plans approved by the Village and Town.

So basically the town/area portrayed in the book could be any beach town anywhere and bears no resemblance to the Hamptons whatsoever. If you want to read a remarkably accurate portrayal of the Hamptons give Rules of Summer a read.

This review first appeared on my blog.
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,683 reviews288 followers
May 14, 2015
I don't know if this book was supposed to be as predictable as it was, but...


I called everything. Even the "big twist" at the end. Now, this doesn't mean that I disliked the book because I didn't. It just means that either I have super sleuth powers when it comes to unearthing plots or the author wasn't as sly as she thought she was.

Gemma Hart is...well, she's kind of a horrible person and kind of dumb. When she was eleven, she was convinced that her parents separation was a passing thing and that by the end of summer they would be back to being one big happy family. Realizing this wasn't going to happen, she plots to to remove the one thing standing in her way: her fathers new girlfriend and her daughter. Now, five years later, Gemma is returning to the Hamptons to spend the summer with her father. She figures there's no way she'll run into Hallie (the daughter she hurt) and things even start looking up when she meets a cute boy on the train. But as fate would have it, the cute boy aka Josh is Hallie's older brother and she suddenly finds herself face to face with the friend she hurt. So what does she do? She lies. She pretends to be someone else. She figures that she'll get Hallie to like her again and then apologize, thus revealing who she really is.


I honestly don't understand how a girl this old doesn't get how wrong this is. You're going to lie to someone to get them to like you only to reveal your lie and hope for the best? Nope. That's not how life works. On top of that, what she did to Hallie's mom in the past was something that even an eleven year old would know was wrong. And how she didn't get caught, I'll never know.

Now, I know that it seems like I didn't like the book. And I did. It wasn't amazing, but it kept me reading - even if it was just to find out if I was correct about my suspicions. But honestly, I was interested in what would happen with Josh. Gemma didn't really have any interactions with him back in the day but I was sure that he knew everything that happened and once he found out who she was, shit was going to hit the fan. I felt for Josh. He was dealing with a break up and was having trust issues, and along comes Gemma who he clicks with instantly but she's lying to him and it's a pretty big lie. I spent the whole book just waiting for this to blow up in her face. And there were a lot of near misses, let me tell you.

Aside from the my issues with the story, I really enjoyed Finn's writing. It felt like I was watching a high school drama series and I just couldn't look away. The book definitely ends on a cliff hanger that sets up the next installment and color me curious, I want to know what happens. And I believe T Swift said it best:


Profile Image for Athena.
65 reviews7 followers
April 14, 2015
Broken Hearts and Other Things to Mend did not take the turn I was expecting.

First Impressions:
I had originally expected to find a happy, lighthearted, contemporary that delved into the ideas of true love, friendship, and forgiveness. I was incredibly wrong. What I received was a melodramatic drama about deception.


In the beginning of the book, Gemma is at a tremendous loss when her boyfriend Teddy dumps her in the aisle of Target. From there, our character is swamped in denial and grief. Teddy is her everything (Unfortunate.) he lead her life. Teddy’s opinions were Gemma’s opinions, his causes, were her causes. Following the situation, rather than growing independent Gemma develops emotions for the next boy she sees, throwing herself into his arms. Unbelievable.

I immediately lowered my respect for Gemma, and the wake up lies did not help her case. Every opportunity of choosing right and wrong, she had chosen wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Horribly wrong. There is ABSOLUTELY no character development. If anything, Gemma grew worse as it progressed.

Every romance has that cliché love interest, the sweet caring one who doesn’t ring true to their label as jock or bad boy. After endless recounts of cookie cut characters in YA romances, I found I could not connect or sympathize with Josh. As a sucker for family dynamics, not even the “protective big brother” appealed to me.

Let’s Draw a Conclusion:
From the constant slip-ups and foreshadowing, the plot itself was self had been predictable. Only at the last 20 pages did I feel the book attempt to redeem itself. I admire Katie Finn’s previous writing/works (Since You've Been Gone, Second Chance Summer, Amy and Rogers) and believe there is still some potential to improve the issues.
Profile Image for Kaitlin (Next Page Please!).
196 reviews74 followers
July 23, 2015
This was my first Katie Finn read and I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised. I have read all of Morgan's books but Katie Finn and Morgan Matson write very differently. I have to say though, I do prefer Morgan but I did enjoy this book. It was funny, so carefully planned, and I loved the characters. The only problem I had with this book was Gemma legit had no character. I was writing this review before and I had to stop writing because I could not come up with three words to describe Gemma. I could come up with three words to describe every other character but Gemma. Hopefully the next book I can get more character development.

I am going to struggle writing this part of my review. Like I said before, I could not think of three words to describe Gemma and that is already a red flag. When I first realized this fact I kept thinking "I'm pretty sure I just can't remember what's going on." I came up with the word kind and had to stop there. What else was she other than kind? Sarcastic? Sassy? Humble? I just couldn't figure out the words the describe her. But I didn't have any problems with Gemma and she was pretty tolerable which is good because if she wasn't that would have brought down my rating to this book.

The plot, however, is a different story. It was a fun read with the plot. I can't say much because I don't want to spoil but it just got better and better. By the ending I was just begging for another book because it was just so cliffhanger-y. There were tiny aspects that would come together and just drastically affect the plot and that's why I thought this book was very well planned. I really enjoyed reading the plot and how carefully planned this book was.

I gave this book 4 stars because I really enjoyed reading the plot but I didn't think the main character was developed very well.

Full review: http://next-page-please.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for Sue (Hollywood News Source).
781 reviews1,603 followers
March 15, 2015

Listen to my Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend fanmix on 8tracks.
Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

Broken Hearts, Fences and other things to Mend started on an engaging note but the middle part got me all wired up, in a bad way. It was so frustrating. I almost ditched this book. I nearly did but I’m so glad I still went through with it till the end. BECAUSE…that’s how you end a book, making the readers beg and writhe in pain for the sequel.

Broken Hearts, Fences and other things to Mend follows the story of Gemma who pretends to be her best-friend Sophie, after her former childhood friend mistook her for someone else. After that all of the mischief and mayhem ensues.

I had a hard time reading this book, mostly because I find the lying and I do not recognized you, a plain bogus melodramatic ploy annoying though I’ll give Katie Finn the doubt since everything in real life is not black and white. And I do love a book that challenges me as a person. There are some boring parts but it wasn’t all that bad. It eventually got better. Throughout the book I believed I had already figured out the main plot twist and yet in the end it turned out I was mistaken. The real twist was even better and darker.

There are a lot of moral ethics this book could offer. I’m dying to get my hands on Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold.
Profile Image for Danni Maxwell.
Author 3 books86 followers
March 15, 2015
I don't know why my phone does not post my reviews when I say I finish a book nor do I know why it won't post a status update saying that I finished the book on Twitter. Despite that I figured I should rewrite the review sort of thing that I wrote last night when I finish this book. I like this book I thought that it was a new adult for some reason I'd heard it was a new adult but reading it I realized it was YA and was a summary read like I expected it to be. It was kind of corny at times and a little bit predictable. I made a prediction for the very end of the book and I was pretty freaking close to it there was a little bit a difference between my prediction I would actually happen (honestly I think my prediction was better it would've been cooler). I didn't like where it ended and I felt that the main character was a bit childish at times and yes she was trying to do the right thing even after she did the wrong thing when she was 11 but the overall "plot twist" was something I predicted midway through the book. I wish the book had of ended on a lighter note rather than a sort of cliffhanger to get us to read the second book. Despite all the little things I had issues with I did like the book so I gave it 3.5/5 stars and I will be picking up the short story kind of novella thing about Hallie and will be picking up the second book when it comes out; I want to know what happens to the characters in the next book. I definitely like Amy and Rogers epic detour by Morgan Matson more, but I did really like this book. I can't wait to read second chance summer by Morgan Matson and I might even look at some of the other Katie Finn books.
Profile Image for Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms.
2,700 reviews331 followers
March 31, 2014
*I received a free ARC of Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

Yeah, this was not at all my kind of story. Gemma was acting so clueless, when she should have caught on to Hallie's shenanigans from the very start, and the way she tried to justify her actions all the time did not sit well with me.

Full review to come soon.

This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews
Profile Image for Allison Gardner.
160 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2016
This was not QUITE as good as I had hoped, but still excellent for being a fun, light contemporary read. I would recommend it and I'm definitely getting book two. In fact, I already ordered it and it'll be here in two days. :)
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