Synopsis: Jen Lewis is having a great junior year. She is the features editor of the school paper, and she’s dating Max Brown, the paper’s editor-in-chief. Everything is perfect—that is, until Max says, “Maybe it would be better if we were just friends.” In shock and total denial, Jen wonders how she is going to deal with the pain of seeing Max in school every day. Her misery only intensifies when her grandmother gives her a book that she heard about on the radio. Dr. Emerson’s The Breakup Bible claims that “there’s no reason a woman can’t get over a breakup very quickly if she’ll just follow a few basic commandments.” Jen is doubtful. What does Dr. Emerson know about her and Max? In a send-up to the scores of dating books on the market, Melissa Kantor’s The Breakup Bible tackles the aftermath of a high school romance with her trademark honesty, humor, and wit.
The Cover: Cute. The gold broken heart in the center of an obese amount of pink caught my attention.
The First Line: “In nineteenth century novels, characters die of heartbreak.” I read this and immediately thought of Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, one of my favorite books. It hits the nail on the head, of course, as an excellent point on some 19th century literature as well as what is going to happen next. This line is also intimate for the narrator. You know that Jennifer is intelligent, thoughtful, and getting dumped.
The Good: Jennifer’s spiral of despair is, sadly, realistic. She thinks everything is fine and – WHAM – Max dumps her out of nowhere. Who hasn’t had that happen? Max’s behavior only makes matters worse and makes it harder for Jennifer to move on. Kantor writes with an authentic voice and leads the reader through the heartbreak that Jennifer tries so hard to get over.
The Bad: Jennifer whines… A LOT. Her voice, while authentic, made me want to smack her silly at times. Also, I hate the word “retard” and it is used WAY too much without any repercussions. Jennifer is a smart young lady and calling someone “retarded” is beneath her.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a book with deep meaning behind it, skip The Breakup Bible. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, then go for it. I recommend this as a beach read for the summer.