ARC Review: The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

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Release Date: June 7, 2016

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In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

review

4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley &  Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing/Pulse

The Museum of Heartbreak is a feel good story that tackles the challenges of growing up, growing apart, and learning to love. 

PROS:

  • Meg Leder perfectly captures that growing insecurity and uncertainty that many high schoolers face as they mature. Friendships change, people change, relationships get harder, and when some friends seem to be moving at a much faster pace, it feels like you’re being traded in or left behind. It’s hard not to lose some of your confidence. Penelope (Pen) is in that on the verge phase of young adulthood. She’s just on the edge of falling hard and discovering who she truly is and who she wants to be. All that change seems like chaos, and like life is spiraling out of control. The emotions are spot on. 
  • Disillusionment is killer. That stomach-dropping moment when you know without a doubt that everything you thought was sunshine and rainbows is nothing more than an optical illusion, is stark and eye-opening. Pen has epiphanies that sneak up and stun. These moments change her forever. They were a blast to read.
  • So many swoony, dreamy scenes. That sunshiney, new love feeling that invades and fills you with dizzying warmth? Yeah, that’s all over the place here. Pen is a hopeless romantic and she daydreams shamelessly. How she sees people and fantasizes about their future is magical in itself. Keats is straight out of a teenager’s dream, especially a bookish one. He seems perfect. From the books he carries around, to the patched jacket, to the gorgeous way he seems so mysterious and worldly, I mean, he’s everything. You can totally see why Pen is captivated. 
  • Eph. EPH. Be still my stuttering little heart because that boy. Happy sigh. He’s such a fantastic character. Always there for Pen, so quirky, unique, handsome, those little dinosaurs, the way he makes Pen feel like she’s special and worth every ounce of trouble, because she can be extremely difficult. Eph. Warm, blissful happiness. There are so many components to his personality that make him kind of irresistible. It’s pretty irritating how people don’t see Eph’s sensitive, caring side and only see him as a player (though totally warranted). He’s got that flirty, funny, fun vibe going on. ❤ Plus dinosaurs. How adorable is that?

CONS:

  • Secondary characters were fresh and fun when they were in the story, but it felt like they flitted in and out, you didn’t really know when you’d see them again or how much of them you’d get. 
  • The jealousy over Cherisse was predictable and uncalled for. Cliche. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Happy reading, 

Jordan

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Release Day Blitz: Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost by Mindy Hayes and Michele G. Miller

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On June 18, 1993, Flight 397 crashed off the coast of Long Island.
But this story isn’t about the crash. Not completely.
This is a story about two high school seniors living very different lives, who share one connection: they both lost parents on that fateful flight.
 
Slowly, letters bridge the gap between California and Pennsylvania as Ruby Kaminski and Brett Pratt find a way to remember the past while looking toward the future.
 
This is a story about hope, paper planes, and the other things they lost.
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Excerpt
Prologue
 
Dear Amber,
Did you know you’re more likely to be attacked by a shark than die in a plane crash? I find that interesting since I never go in the ocean, but I’ve been on a plane ten times. So, I guess I’m more likely to die in a plane crash than be attacked by a shark, but maybe it’s different for you.
I thought beginning this letter as if you already know me would make the concept of a total stranger writing to you a little less weird, but now that I’ve thought about it, I realize my fascination with plane crash facts might be weirder. But I like weird. So, hi. If you didn’t catch it from my return address, I’m Ruby Kaminski from Fremonton, California. My mom died on Flight 397 with your parents. Though, can we really say they died when we have no idea what actually happened to them? Let’s refer to them as MIA. No, I’m not in denial. I’m painfully aware that they aren’t coming back, but I like facts. And the truth of the matter is most of the people on Flight 397 are MIA.
You’re probably wondering how I managed to get your address. I have my ways. Besides, I thought it might be good to connect with someone who understands what I’m going through. Though I believe our circumstances are entirely different, and there’s no way for me to understand what you’re going through, I’m hoping we can relate to one another on some level.
Do you ever wonder if, after the plane exploded, the passengers were washed up onto a remote island, and now they are kicking back, drinking coconut milk, and sun tanning under a palm tree? Maybe they are eating fresh seafood cooked over a fire and sleeping under the stars?
It’s a nice thought, don’t you think?
If you’re okay with weird, feel free to write me back. I’m full of it.
Sincerely,
Ruby Kaminski
Michele writes novels with fairytale love for everyday life. Romance is always central to her plots where the genres range from Coming of Age Fantasy and Drama to New Adult Romantic Suspense.
 
Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of an enigma. She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow. However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter! 
 
Her family, an amazing husband and three awesome kids, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina. 
Mindy is the youngest of six children and grew up in San Diego, California. After attending Brigham Young University-Idaho, Mindy discovered her passion for reading and writing. Mindy and her husband have been married for eight years and live in Summerville, South Carolina. 
 
She is the author of the YA fantasy series, The Faylinn Novels; the adult contemporary romance series, The Willowhaven Series; as well as the coming of age standalone, The Day That Saved Us.
Magical reading, 
Jordan