DISCLAIMER: I received Break My Heart 1,000 Times as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Break My Heart 1,000 Times was one of the best books I’ve read all year. Keep in mind that I am on book 80 of 2012.
The main character, Veronica isn’t your typical Sci-fi protagonist teenager. She’s pretty (and knows it), flirty (and proud of it), and extremely moody.
In short: she’s not perfect.
Her love interest, Kirk is nerdy and cute, but nothing compared to his tall, muscular friend, James.
Lets start with the love triangle in this novel. Because, of course, a YA novel needs to have a love triangle.
This love triangle is perfect and creepy. You think it’s going to be between Veronica, Kirk, and James, but in reality, you’ll soon find that James is not even a runner. Brian is Veronica’s other love interest. And Brian is a ghost.
Maybe I should have started by mentioning that this book has ghosts. Oh well.
Brian is one of the super rare ghosts who is coherent. He cannot speak to Veronica, but he can look at her. He can think, and he tries his best to protect her. Veronica has never spoken to him or seen him do more than brush his hair in the mirror, but she has this pull towards him that she doesn’t understand.
Throughout the novel, I was rooting for Kirk because logically, he is the only one actually alive. Brian couldn’t interact with Veronica, and we find out from delving into his mind that he is madly in love with the deceased, Mary.
Veronica’s father is a ghost. He sits every morning at the kitchen table reading the paper and drinking coffee. Then he looks up, smiles, and disappears.
I love the ghosts in this novel. They are everywhere, images of their past selves and hauntingly beautiful. The ghosts in Veronica’s world have no purpose. They are what they are and no one knows why they’re there.
My favorite part of the novel, I think, was the detective work that Kirk and his professor did. They classify certain ghosts by why their images show up at a certain place or time. It’s interesting to hear about the different types of this mystery. This book is a puzzle that never fully gets solved.
Why was one ghost able to grab someone’s hand?
Why was one ghost able to point at her murderer?
Why was one ghost able to make a phone call?
It’s all a mystery, because we don’t know any more than the characters in the novel.
A large focus in the novel is on Mr. Bittner, Veronica’s History teacher. He is a murderer (no, this is not a spoiler).
One of the reasons this book interested me so was because we knew the entire time who the murderer was. Because of this, we were able to understand his complete thinking. We were able to see his reasoning.
This novel, at times, had me yelling out “No! Don’t do it! The voices aren’t real!”. Everyone at the office gave me weird looks.
Daniel Waters’ writing in this novel is poetic and beautiful. The way he can jump from one character to another without losing their personalities was breathtaking. It is not easy to write a multi-view novel without all of the characters sort of merging into one giant protagonist, trust me, I’ve tried.
The book was mysterious. We aren’t just told things, we are shown them. We don’t find out Veronica’s father is a ghost until he just happens to disappear. We naturally assumed he was just her dad, sitting at the table before going to work. Then poof, he’s gone.
Oh, the Event. A term used by many a novel as we are thrust into their post-apocalyptic world.
We are told a few things about the Event, but not what actually happened. It’s a mystery in itself that is never fully explained.
All in all, I rate this book 5 stars. Everything was impeccable. It has earned a place on my ‘Favorites’ shelf. I am completely impressed, and upset that it is not the first in a series.
Alas, it is what it is.