Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn: Clean, Sweet Romance for Middle-Grade Girls, but an Overall Disappointing Read

broken hearts, fences and other things to mend cover by katie finn arc review

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma’s plan is working (she’s finding it hard to resist Josh), but she’s finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Descriptions of the book used here were taken from

I can honestly see people enjoying this book.

The romance is sweet and the pacing is a little bit slow but overall it’s a quick read. It’s cute and funny, but it definitely wasn’t my type of read. There was no real depth to it overall and no real heartbreaking/heartwarming moments to it even. Despite that fact though, there was one major, much more simple reason why I couldn’t find myself enjoying BROKEN HEARTS FENCES AND OTHER THINGS TO MEND.

Let’s see. The whole reason why Gemma betrayed her best friend was because her parents got divorced and she was upset that her dad was dating someone else. She then sabotaged the relationship, not only hurting her dad, but two other guaranteed and maybe a few other people. This is difficult for me because I can’t necessarily fully blame Gemma for being a selfish brat. I mean–I get it. That kind of thing is painful. It hurts. But at the same time, that in no way excuses Gemma for being, well, a selfish brat.

It gets even better than that. When Gemma comes back and Josh introduced her as Sophie, she goes along with the idea in the hopes that she can make it up to Sophie. It isn’t long though before it becomes apparent that someone is out to get Gemma. I really could not stand her obliviousness and lack of ability to see social cues. Frankly, it’s not anything other than annoying.

The reality for me was that Gemma was an incredibly hard character to root for. Basically what she means by befriending Hallie is saying sorry–without owning up to what she did. Which makes her a coward. She doesn’t even really think about apologizing. That was one of my major problems, because I had genuinely hoped that both Gemma and Hallie could move past what Gemma did in a clean way. The end was really disappointing for me because of that hope, and to me–this story really meant nothing more than one mean, scheming, selfish girl getting back at another mean, scheming, selfish girl because of both of their mistakes.

While it would be good for a quiet, neutral beach read for lovers of contemporary–I couldn’t find myself enjoying BROKEN HEARTS. The romance is really clean and great for middle-grade girls, so I would definitely recommend it there as well. Personally, I enjoyed the author’s other books much more. While I do believe that this will be a great read for it’s age range, this book wasn’t for me. 2 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 352

Series: Broken Hearts & Revenge


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