Publication Date: May 1, 2011
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)
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.
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 :)
3.5 / 5 Stars
Tidbits: Book Trailer!