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Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Release Date: May 1, 2011
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.A quick and enjoyable read awaits you in this contemporary novel.
Jessa Gardner is on the trip of her lifetime. She's been waiting to travel to Italy for as long as she can remember and finally the tme has arrived! It's too bad that instead of enjoying it with her boyfriend like she had planned to, she's being forced to spend it watching him and the girl he cheated on her with. This an easy kind of read. I wouldn't really classify it as a romance, although I'm sure many would disagree with me on that front. To me, it was more of a novel of self-discovery and being able to do it in the beautiful country of Italy was a huge bonus.
The descriptions of Italy were probably one of my favourite aspects of the novel. Even more than physical landmarks, Kim Culbertson manages to describe the atmosphere and feelings. It has me itching to hop on a plane!
Jessa as a character... confused me. I went back and forth with her a lot and although in the end I had more positive feelings than negative ones, there were a lot of times while reading that I got frustrated. Jessa's thoughts and actions are kind of all over the place. Understandable, considering her situation, but still a little jarring to read through. There's also the fact that when Jessa feels something, it hits you like a ton of bricks because of how deep it runs. Drama school indeed!
The supporting cast definitely made the novel interesting. Tyler, one of Jessa's best friends, was undoubtedly my favourite character. He puts up with a lot but still manages to keep up the friendly, supportive attitude. Carissa, Jessa's other best friend, I feel considerably less warm towards. There were moments I liked her and moments I understood her, but mostly I was just thinking that I hoped my best friend would never act like that with me.
Finally, Dylan Thomas! He had such great potential to be this smart, amazing guy that I felt we rarely got to see. He definitely wasn't shown enough for my liking and I would have liked to dig a bit deeper into his head.
Set with a stunning backdrop, Instructions for a Broken Heart is a novel about finding yourself when it seems like you've lost everything.
Cover Comments: It's cute! I'm a little confused as to why Jessa is wearing a coat but I like the overall effect :)
3.5 stars out of 5