(Goodreads) Three days before her drama club's trip to Italy, Jessa Gardner discovers her boyfriend in the costume barn with another girl. Jessa is left with a care package from her best friend titled "Top Twenty Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard," instructing her to do one un-Jessa-like thing each day of the trip. At turns hilarious and heartwrenching, Instructions for a Broken Heart paints a magical Italy in which Jessa learns she must figure out life-and romance-for herself.
The Short Story? – Instructions for a Broken is a bittersweet YA contemporary about the pain of a broken heart and the steps it takes to start moving on. Culbertson has captured the heartbreak of a teenager romance. Beautifully written and a wonderful character development, it wasn’t what I expected but nevertheless, I’m sure many of you would enjoy it! For fans of Sarah Dessen!
The Long Story? – I really wanted to like this one especially after I pinned away on the book for a good deal of 2011 but it really didn’t meet my expectations. More than anything, I think the blurb lead me to believe the book was going to be different from what it happened to be. I was expecting a little more romance and comedy and a little less ‘poor me’. Maybe a rebound guy, some parties, few stray kisses and at least flirting with the smexy Italian boys! I really would have liked to see the Italian setting used to its full advantage. For fans of Sarah Dessen – this is your book; you’re going to love it. The broken heart, the instructions and the healing process. For me the novel sat a little too close to the line between “reasonable sadness over cheating boyfriend” and “completely ridiculous, man up and get over it”. Most of you would love Instructions for a Broken Heart but I’m not a huge fan of contemporary to begin with and for my picky taste, this just didn’t make the cut.
As far as characterization, initially I wasn’t a huge fan of Jessa. I could understand that she was broken hearted over the fact that her boyfriend cheated on her but she just went on and on about it. It got to the point where it was just pathetic, I wanted to shake her and say ‘SO WHAT, you boyfriend cheated, he’s a guy! GET OVER IT!’ Eventually, following the instructions (Which were really fun! They were my favorite part of the novel!) she didn’t start to heal her broken heart and I started to like her. In the end, she really became a different girl and I really want to applaud Culbertson on her fabulous character development!
Instructions for a Broken Heart wasn’t bad. There were parts about the novel that I loved. The Italian setting, the instructions and the moving on in the end were fantastic! It wasn’t what I expected and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have like but I’m certain, many of you would love, LOVE this novel. It’s the perfect contemporary for a contemporary lover :)
What’s it Worth? – Squeeze into the Budget
Badass Bookie xx