When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A “touching father-daughter story” (Kirkus Reviews) from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.
Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.
Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?
Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?
Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.
The summer before college, Jude Hernandez is taking care of her father, who is rapidly deteriorating from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Hoping for a miracle, she hires a young, local mechanic to fix up her Papi's beloved Harley. Emilio Vargas is good at his job and kind to her father, and Jude realizes he has "taken better care of my heart than anyone I'd ever known." But Jude swore years ago to avoid all Vargas men after two of Emilio's brothers stomped on the hearts of her older sisters; she even signed her promise in their homemade Book of Broken Hearts. The severity of the family feud is somewhat contrived, but Ockler's (Bittersweet) portrait of Jude's father's illness is tragic and true. Lyrical writing helps readers understand Jude's complicated emotions, including whether to trust Emilio with the "fragile, eggshell words" that describe Papi's condition and why she is so attached to the summer motorcycle project. Teens will swiftly understand that it is Papi who is most likely to break Jude's heart, and Emilio may be the key to healing it. Ages 14 up.