Author: Meg Leder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Penelope Marx’s is having some first experiences. The new kid, Keats, is charming and sweet and potential boyfriend material. Her best friend Audrey, is becoming more and more distant. And her other best friend Eph is acting strange now too. It used to be the three of them, but now she feels like she’s the only one. As Pen starts to deal with this growing up and apart, she realizes that heartbreak comes in many forms. Sometimes in boyfriends, boy friends and best friends.
I really like how there were pictures and museum tiles next to each of the items Pen collects, showing the date and possible sender of these items. As the book goes on and the list grows, it’s fun to see what is coming next and how it had an impact on her life. Pen is a typical girl with some issues about change, as we can all relate to. I like how she was so adverse to it, navigating slowly and reluctantly through. The uncertainty seemed real to me and I she misread other people alot. She wasn’t overly nice or good or bad.
That said, I didn’t feel like there was enough to this story. Sure, it’s about Pen growing up and growing apart from her best friends. And the changes that happen within their relationships. It’s about a first boy and a perfect boy and latching onto a best friend who is growing in a different direction. But overall, I felt like not a lot happens. Keats isn’t interesting to me, he seemed too shallow for Pen to really like him. And Pen’s obsession with older television shows (like ones I grew up with) was fun but the motivation was never really explained. Did she like them because she used to watch them with her family? How did she stumble upon them? They are a big part of her personality, but I felt like they were more injected and not organic.
Overall, The Museum of Heartbreak is cute and a quick read. But it left me wanting something deeper, meaningful, magical.
Rating 5 Okay