A few of you guys may know that I am a big fan of Micalea Smeltzer‘s novels. Her stories are fun and light, but can be dark here and there. The characters she creates are great and lovable, and I am always excited to read new things from her.
This year, Micalea had to deal with some serious health issues that set her back from doing what she loves: writing. I really admire her bravery and self-confidence for dealing with this kind of thing. I’m also proud of her for finding the strength and energy to start and finish Broken Hearts. This novel is the 5th and final installment in the ‘Light in the Dark’ series and follows, again, Jace & Nova. Fans of the ‘Light in the Dark’ series know that Jace and Nova have been a permanent fixture since book 1. They finally got their own story with Dark Hearts, the 3rd book in the series. But in typical Micalea style, their story shouldn’t end there. There was still much to tell about this couple that she decided to write a second and final novel for them.
Jace & Nova have been through a lot and after all the obstacles they had to face and overcome, they are finally happy. But life has other plans and throws them one curveball after another. It’s their biggest challenge yet, and if they don’t rely on each other, they will not only lose themselves but the other in the process.
Ever since Dark Hearts, Nova and Jace have become my favorite couple in this series, alongside Rae & Cade from Rae of Sunshine (Light in the Dark #1) of course. I was excited to read more about their life and their upcoming journey. Unfortunately, that journey was not as exciting as I hoped. Up until 52%, the storyline was almost identical to the storyline of When Constellations Form (Light in the Dark #4), and that was far from exciting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like Jace & Nova. However, having to read almost the same storyline in a row, in the same series, only with a different couple is boring.
But Micalea is not Micalea, when she didn’t add a huge plot twist to the story and that plot twist came after the 52% mark. I wasn’t utterly shocked because I predicted something like this or similar would happen. As much as this plot twist was cruel and unfair, it was way over the top. It seems like Micalea wanted to end this book and this series with this huge dramatic bang but it felt too forced and fell flat for me.
Besides Jace & Nova, the reader catches up with Cade & Rae and Thea & Xander. It was nice to find out what they have been up to. The scenes with Thea, however, had me groan and roll my eyes. In my opinion, Thea is the most annoying, loud, selfish, mean and childish character there is. She’s way over the top and knows no boundaries, and I cannot deal with her character and her behavior. The scenes with her made me cringe and I don’t understand why the other characters never intervene and tell her how rude and annoying she actually is. She may think that her behavior is cute, but it is just dumb.
Another thing that bugged me was the constant repetitiveness of sentences like “It’s going to be a wild ride, but what’s life without some craziness” or “This is the biggest adventure we’re ever going to go on, and I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else” or “But I like our crazy. It makes life interesting” or “I know it’s going to be a wild but exciting ride, and there’s no one else I’d rather go through this journey with“. Those sentences and others are repeated over and over again in a similar way throughout the entire book. I know it’s supposed to sound caring and loving, but not when you read it for the tenth time, then it gets annoying. It was the same issue I had with When Constellations Form.
I was also a little disappointed with several editing errors, including typos.
As much as I love standalones, I really love reading books in a series too, especially a series that follows different kinds of couples. It’s great to see two people facing and overcoming obstacles and getting together in the end. I also love duets, because who doesn’t love a good and shocking cliffhanger at the end of the first book in a duet.
Jace & Nova and also Xander & Thea had their HEA at the end of “their” book. In my opinion, Dark Hearts and When Stars Collide (Light in the Dark #2) should have been the final and happy ending for the above mentioned couples, just like Cade & Rae’s story was done and final with Rae of Sunshine. As exciting as it sounds, writing follow ups with the same characters doesn’t always go the right way – unless your name is J. K. Rowling and your story is about a wizard named Harry Potter. The stories oftentimes drag and are artificially prolonged by the author, and this is exactly what happened with Broken Hearts and When Constellations Form, in my opinion. As much as I want to read another book with my favorite characters, I would rather imagine their life after their HEA for myself. It’s probably difficult for an author to let go of their beloved characters but it oftentimes is the smartest way to go.
Broken Hearts was definitely a disappointment for me. I really wanted to love the final book in this series, but couldn’t. I have read many positive reviews for this book on Goodreads already, so please don’t let this review discourage you from picking it up. Perhaps this follow-up is right up your alley.
Also, please make sure to read Dark Hearts before picking up Broken Hearts.