cover image The Heartbreakers

The Heartbreakers

Ali Novak. Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99 ISBN 978-1-4926-1256-8

Stella’s sister, Cara, has non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and is stuck in the hospital undergoing treatment. Stella and her brother, Drew (the siblings are triplets), visit Cara often and indulge their sister’s obsession with the Heartbreakers, a boy band à la One Direction. Even though neither Stella nor Drew cares about the band, they embark on a mission to get Cara the boys’ autographs. Stella is so lacking in knowledge about the Heartbreakers, she doesn’t realize it she when she meets Oliver Perry (the band’s equivalent of Harry Styles) at a Starbucks. Before long, the two are falling for each other. Novak (My Life with the Walter Boys) employs an array of misunderstandings and coincidental run-ins to throw her two romantic leads together and pull them apart (something Stella herself almost seems to be aware of: “How was it even possible to run into the same celebrity so many times in one day?” she wonders), while playing up the drama of the cancer-sick sister. First in a planned series, it’s a formulaic romantic fairy-tale, but that won’t stop Directioners and Beliebers from enjoying it. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)