I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.
Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.
Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.
Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.
But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
Penelope Marx is a romantic. One who believes in a romance that will sweep you off your feet. She believes in Rose and Jack from the Titanic movie and Elizabeth and Darcy from the Pride and Prejudice novel. Real life isn’t like the movies or the books because happy endings don’t happen. When her distant best friend Audrey suddenly wants to spend less time apart, she ends up meeting the most charming and handsome new boy who seems so perfect. But there’s also her other guy best friend named Eph who’s more than just moody lately.
As far as romantic contemporaries go, this one was just too adorable. It has all the makings of a novel that you will gobble up. And it’ll be a fast read too. Having read so many novels, this ends up being a very predictable read. But I just didn’t care! From the moment I turned the page, I knew there was going to some great character development going on. Penelope is still young and she needs to get her heart broken to find out what love really is. Then there’s Eph..The moment he appeared I knew I would instantly like him. He’s not exactly the cliché new boyfriend, but the one most characters don’t even see. Keats..Well he was instantly a detractor, and I was waiting for Pen to get rid of him LOL I hated how she was around him. Constantly blaming herself for how he acted. Making herself settle for his constant callous actions. As soon as he said this:
I wrote him off as the villain. Nope, that is a deal breaker. For someone to write off a whole gender is just lousy and despicable. Nope nope nope.
As far as the story goes, there’s a sweeping high that comes when you know Penelope is going to end up learning her lesson and I love how she realizes it. I love the cute slow-burn romances where you know more than the characters and this one had it. This book also caters more to the younger teen audience, but anyone will still enjoy it.
If you love books from Jenny Han, Miranda Kenneally or Kasie West, add this Meg Leder to your list because you’re going to want to gobble her books in an instant.
I have always been a huge reader, so surrounding myself with words has always seemed like a natural next step. Growing up, I dabbled in poetry—all sorts of angsty love poems about the boys I had crushes on, and overwrought poems about the beauty of nature. But then I was lucky enough to have an amazing high school English teacher—Mr. Geier—who encouraged and supported my writing, and who got me thinking about other types of writing too: journalism, fiction, personal essays. I spent college and graduate school letting myself try some of those forms of writing—figuring out what felt natural to me. All of that sort of came together about eight years ago, when my friend and agent Michael suggested I might want to try writing young adult. And I fell in love with it. I dedicated the book to Mr. Geier and Michael, because without either of them, I don’t think I’d be where I am now.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley. I’m totally loving the characters, especially Solomon. Next up on the list is Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake—one I’ve been waiting to read for a long time!
I’ve learned it’s really terrifying to put something you love so much out into the world! My day job is as an editor for Penguin Books, and so I thought I pretty much knew all the ins and outs of what it meant to be an author. But actually being one is really hard. I’ve never felt so vulnerable and so protective of something I created before. I’m slowly learning that I need to let go of the book—it’s out in the world and isn’t mine anymore and I can’t control how people read it. Now is the time to focus on something new. But wow, it’s hard!
I love my main character Pen. She feels everything so keenly, and she gets hurt so easily. And that leads her to make some not great decisions. But at the end of the day, I also think she has a really big heart. And I love that about her—that she’s willing to put herself out there and get hurt in the hopes of finding something real.
I love all my characters, but I think I’d have a hard time with Cherisse. She’s the queen of passive aggressive statements, and she’s confident in a way that’s really intimidating to Pen (and to me). But she’s also deeply loyal to Pen’s friend Audrey, and Audrey needs that at this point in her life. So while I might not get along with Cherisse in person, I appreciate how much she takes care of Audrey, a character I love.