ARC Review: The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

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Release Date: June 7, 2016


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.


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. 


  • 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?


  • 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, 



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