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Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

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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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