**This review may contain spoilers!**
I was so excited to read this book when I first heard of it on twitter, but of course, me being me, it took months before I ended up with a copy (as a gift for Christmas from my mom), and even another month before I actually started reading it.
Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations and the premise pretty quickly. First of all, the romance that is supposed to be the central plot for at least the first half of the book drove me insane. It was insta-love, and I felt like the two characters, Anthem and Gavin, had no real connection at all. They meet at a party, spend a week or two together, and then suddenly Anthem is jumping into bed with him. It was rushed and they barely had any actual scenes together. There was nothing shown of them really getting to know each other. I felt like I barely knew Gavin and it made me feel indifferent to their romance.
That wouldn’t have been a problem for me had their romance not been the focus of the book. Soon after they sleep together, Gavin is kidnapped for ransom and this sends Anthem scurrying to save him. She dies before she can even form a plan, and that’s when she meets Ford and Jax, and gets her new heart. Then she pretty much spends the rest of the book trying to avenge Gavin’s kidnapping (and murder- occurs a little after) because they were so in love.
I was annoyed with the romance for almost the entire book, up until the ending. Towards the end is a plot twist, one that had my mouth hanging open and my head reeling. Really! I physically had to put the book down and digest what had just happened, not because I hadn’t seen it coming, which I didn’t though I had thought of the possibility, in a lesser extent, but rather because I was just so angry and shocked. Anyway, after that plot twist, I could understand their romance a little more, but it still bothered me.
I felt like Anthem and Ford had a better connection than Anthem had with Gavin. You could actually see these two characters getting to know each other and falling in love. I totally shipped them! Honestly, their romance made the whole first part with Gavin almost worth it.
Another problem I had with this book was the world-building. I’ve noticed that a lot of other reviewers had the same issue with The Brokenhearted, too. I felt like Anthem and the characters lived in this bubble of a city, Bedlam City, and that no world existed outside of the city, which I didn’t like. Even with the descriptions given of Bedlam City, there still wasn’t explanation of why the city was so dark and full of crime. It was like a bad blend of a contemporary world and a dystopian world. It just feel like it could have been so much better.
I also felt like the drama with Will, Anthem’s ex-boyfriend, was unneeded. Irrelevant. It added nothing, it annoyed me, I hated Will, and I felt like he had no point in the book whatsoever.
One thing I loved about this book was Anthem’s friendship with her bestfriend Zahra. Their scenes together were probably the only ones that didn’t make me cringe, aside from when she was with Ford of course. I didn’t like how they suffered because of Will, though.
The action was pretty interesting and I was hooked and wanting to know how this book ended, so I guess it wasn’t a total waste, though it was greatly disappointing.