It’s no secret that I had been less than impressed with Bad Romeo, so I went into this book with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Broken Juliet starts off where Bad Romeo left off with Cassie on a cusp of deciding whether to give Ethan another chance or not. This was the third time that she was going to be giving Ethan, so I understood why she was hesitant. Although, it’s quite clear that she was still very much in love with Ethan, she also doesn’t trust him.
Like Bad Romeo, we get to revisit the past when Ethan and Cassie are both theater majors at the Grove in Westchester, New York. In Bad Romeo, we find out that Ethan left Cassie twice but we never got to find out why. In this book we did and it was just Ethan feeling he’s not good enough for Cassie believing that he’s too damage to be able to love her. They first time they broke up, Cassie was devastated but after a year, they started being sort of friends and started flirting until they gave in and hooked up with no promises or strings attached. That one hook up turned into two, three until they were fully hooking up in secret. Since things were never simple when it comes to their relationship, Cassie and Ethan, tried again during their senior year. They were truly happy but then old jealousies resurfaced and suddenly, Ethan pushed Cassie away for one last time.
So what did I like?
I really liked the present Ethan and Cassie. I see their growth. Ethan for one was different. I liked that Cassie didn’t immediately jump into a reconciliation with Ethan. She made him work for it. Ethan, for his part, had been very patient. He never pushed Cassie to forgive him.
I also liked the transition between past and present this time around. In the previous book, the transition was a bit jarring. This time, it flowed smoothly. Plus, Liesa Rayven’s writing really shined through. The dialogue was excellent and Cassie’s growth as a character was evident in the way he handled Ethan and her parents’ divorce broke my heart.
But the best part of the book for me was during what I refer to as Cassie and Ethan’s “hook-up” period. That part was hot as it was entertaining. Ethan was actually less annoying and less emo and it made a huge difference to me as a reader because I found myself smiling and rooting for them. But of course, someone had to ruin it.
*sigh I’m looking at you Ethan.
Seriously, this dude was whacked. I get that he is “troubled” whatever that means but I never sympathized with him. His issues were, I felt, shallow. Sure, he felt unloved but his reaction and the way he handled his pain was just annoying and cowardly. His issues weren’t totally discussed in the book either or maybe it was discussed but I never considered it as justification for the way he acted towards Cassie and other people. He was broody and moody and not in an attractive way at all.
Second, the diary thing. It appeared again but this time, it was Ethan’s diary and not Cassie’s. It’s not bad but I just found it cheesy sometimes. I could have done away with it and I would still be okay with the story. But I guess it served to inform the readers about Ethan’s feelings for Cassie.
Overall, I enjoyed this one despite some of the issues I had. I actually loved the ending and how everything got wrapped up together at the end. It wasn’t tied up in a pretty bow sort of ending but it fits Cassie and Ethan.
Would I recommend this one? Definitely, yes. I felt that story wise, Broken Juliet offered a lot more than Bad Romeo. I am looking forward to Ethan’s sister story which is going to the third book in the series.
ARC provided by St. Martin’s Griffin