Tuesday, 18 March 2014 | MYT 12:00 AM

Break My Heart 1,000 Times

  • Author : Daniel Waters
  • Genre : Fiction
  • Publisher : Hyperion


Don’t judge this cover

LOOKING at the cover and title of this book, I thought that Break My Heart 1,000 Times would be a sappy love story about a girl (it’s always the girl who gets her heart broken, yes?) pining for a boy to reciprocate her undying love. Gosh, was I wrong. No, really. If I had bet my life on guessing the content of the book based on its cover, I would have written this review from my grave (assuming that my parents didn’t decide to cremate me). Whoa, morbid much?

But, hey, how else do you expect me to react after staying up all night to read a young adult novel that revolves around a world in which ghosts pop up at unexpected places and roam freely during daylight like they belong with the undead?

Veronica Calder is your average teenager who just happens to live in a house with her mother and the ghosts of her father – who appears at 7.13am every morning just in time for breakfast – and a random boy – who appears in the bathroom every time she takes a shower.

However, these occurrences are nothing out of the ordinary for Veronica, her mother or anyone else in the world because after an incident, which is only referred to as The Event, happened and mysteriously killed two million people instantaneously, ghosts are regular fixtures everywhere.

However, trouble starts when Veronica’s secondary school teacher August Bittner, a widower, starts showing a non-sexual but super creepy interest in her; Veronica is disturbed not only by his unwanted attention inside the classroom but also and eventually finds him following her even outside school hours.We eventually discover that, years ago, August lost his only daughter on Feb 29 – which is coincidentally Veronica’s birthday – and figures that he has found a way to bring his daughter back by giving her the right body to “live” in. Yes, he believes that Veronica is the perfect host for his daughter’s lost soul, and she is the key to reuniting his broken family. Well, August’s plan seems pretty simple except for the fact that Veronica is alive and he needs her dead – on her birthday no less.

Sensing that her life is at risk, Veronica tries to prove that August is not the innocent ol’ teacher that he pretends to be and that she may not his be first nor only victim in his crazy scheme. And along the way, Veronica gets into various dangerous situations, almost making the former’s plan to kill her totally redundant.

The author successfully keeps the storyline moving at a fast pace without confusing the readers with too much information or fancy words that maybe only 3% of the world population understands.

More importantly, the author has done an excellent job of not portraying the protagonist as an annoying teenage girl that you want to kill yourself.

Veronica is a brave, level-headed, clever and compassionate girl who seems like a good role model for young readers to look up to.

She is a good student who loves her family and friends, unafraid to face her fears and definitely is not a … you know, that word that rhymes with “witch”.

Break My Heart 1,000 Times is an easy read that takes less than a couple of hours to finish, although two things might keep replaying in your head way after you have put the book down. First, the question: Who the heck suggested the title, which has nothing to do with the story whatsoever? Secondly, the inevitable lesson that you learn at the end of it all: never judge a book by its cover. Oh yeah, lesson totally learned.

Tags / Keywords: Break My Heart 1 , 000 Times , Daniel Waters , Hyperion


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