The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak


The Heartbreakers (Heartbreaker Chronicles #1)

by Ali Novak

Expected Publication: August 4, 2015

Bang Bang Rating: bomb

I received the ARC from Sourcebooks


Stella, Cara, and Drew are triplets and Cara has cancer. Stella decides to defer college to stay home with Cara but when the chance to be a photographer for one the most popular boy band, The Heartbreakers, arise she must make a decision to stay home with Cara or tour with he band.

The Good

  • The cover

The Bad

  • Stella is Unlikable. You know it’s going to be a tough read when you don’t like the protagonist. Stella starts off as this kind girl who decides to put her college plans on hold to be with her sister.  She and Drew drive over night to Chicago to stand in line to see a band she HATES so she can get it signed for her sister. This girl seems lovely.  Then all of a sudden, she turns into a hateful biotch. Of course she finds herself in the same hotel as The Heartbreakers and also in the elevator.  She then proceeds to say to their face, “You think I’m a fan?… Not a chance,” and “The only thing that’s crazy is that people actually listen to your music,” and “I was at the signing today-which was torture, considering I was forced to listen to same CD until my ears bled-for one reason only, to get my sister an autograph. And if she weren’t my sister, I’d probably disown her for listening to crap,” and “You guys suck.”  I don’t care if you did stand in line for hours to only not get your CD signed or there’s no AC in your hotel room; what kind of psycho speaks to another human being this way?  This girl is a photographer. She has no business criticizing someone else’s art.  And she met the band leader the day before at a Starbucks and flirted with him and liked him just to be nasty to his face?
    • Through out the novel, she doesn’t have these bitchy outbursts anymore which makes no sense.  If you are nice, be nice throughout. If you are mean, be mean through most of the novel and then grow.
  • Immature. You don’t know anyone’s age initially.  Cara is reading a rag mag and gushing over The Heartbreakers like a 12 year old.  We finally learn they are 17.  Most 17 year olds would never admit they like a boy band.  The Heartbreakers are One Direction equivalent.  How many high school graduates squeal over One Direction? Maybe in private but not among the living.
    • The Heartbreakers are constantly pulling pranks on each other.  These are older teen boys.  A prank every once in a while is funny but damn. They are too old for that crap and it was through out the novel.
  • No Whit. The author tries to write witty banter but none of it lands.
  • Storytelling. There were events that happened in the novel that didn’t move along the plot. There’s a party where she wakes up hungover in Oliver’s bed. Oliver is the love interest. But nothing comes of it.  Stella and JJ, a band member, have a ketchup eating contest. Once again, what the hell was the point? The novel continued to point out that a band member had food allergies but he never had an allergy attack.
    • There are pages dedicated to those pointless pranks and the food they are eating but no mention of her parents questioning her going on tour with a band. She has to sign a contract but nothing about a parent reading it or making sure she’s ready to jet all over the country.
    • If The Heartbreakers are One Direction equivalent, why in the HELL would they hire an unexperienced 17 year old to be their tour photographer?  She has no credentials just a couple of pictures she took while they hung out in Chicago.  I’d believe she’d be an intern to the real photographer but the full time photographer? I don’t think so.
    • There was a missed opportunity to talk about boy band and dissension among the group. She could have talked about the isolation and the loneliness or not being liked for who you are but what you are.  We got none of that.
    • The sister with cancer is a huge fan but Stella doesn’t even have them call her or Skype her or something to lift her spirits.  Oliver has to steal her phone and call Cara. All Cara got was some shitty CD and T-Shirt and Stella who hates their music gets to make out and tour with them. WHAT THE HELL?!
    • The love story was predictable and basic. She only wants to be friends because of an obvious misunderstanding and they break up over some bullshit.  The love story should be front and center yet they don’t get together until page 225/330.  It’s just building the romance, you say.  Nope, they barely talk.


Teens these days read sophisticated romance with witty and beautiful dialogue.  Finding inspirational, lovely quotes is part of the read.  This book is a YA starter book for a 5th or 6th grader who has just transitioned from middle grade to YA but there is a lot of profanity so I wouldn’t give this to a starter YA reader.  I can’t give this to my avid readers who devour John Green and Rainbow Rowell and Andrew Smith.  Who am I supposed to give this to?

This was a missed opportunity to talk about the boy band/music artist culture that most of us don’t know about.  If could have been about a beautiful romance between a non-listener and the band leader. It could have been about great music and romance in American cities.  What a shame.


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