Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Review: Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Pages: 304
Series: no
Acquisition: received an ARC for review

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. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
A refreshing read for me. I'm not much of a contemporary fiction gal but I seem to be enjoying this genre more and more lately :)

One of the things that stuck with me about Instructions for a Broken Heart was the fact that every character, every action and reaction felt real and tangible.  High school love? It's pretty messy - no matter how it turns out. Kim did a great job of portraying this.

What stuck me the most was the supporting characters. I mean, Jessa's best friend? She isn't even really in the book, and I fell in love with her. She very much reminded me of my best friend in high school (except for the boy drama ;)
It was supper easy to warm up to Jessa and some of the things she did? Pure awesome! She doesn't always make the best choices but she really grows as a person as the book progresses. I liked that.

Oh, and the setting? Kim Culbertson had to have toured around Italy before writing this book! I felt I was there! Great word building and that little movie that runs through my head while reading? It wasn't lacking in the scenery department.

There were a few things I didn't love - like Sean, Jessa ex. What he did wasn't cool - no matter how Jessa might have treated him. There were a few times when I had the feeling I was suppose to feel sorry for him...that wasn’t going to happen. Oh, and there was this weird thing with one of Jessa's teachers….wasn't really feeling that vibe.

Final verdict:
All in all, everything worked for the story. I didn't agree with it all but it worked. A contemporary, stand alone young adult novel about breaking and mending hearts. With the little contemp fiction I read, Kim Culbertson is always on my radar as she has yet to disappoint :)

Overall Rating:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Author's Website

Tidbits: Book Trailer!


  1. I've been wanting to read this one since I first heard about it. I'm glad you liked it! I'm excited to read it now

  2. I loved Songs for a Teenage Nomad, so I was really looking forward to this one. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about it, which makes me a little nervous, but I'm glad to hear you liked it!

  3. This sounds like a good one. Great review :)


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