Early Review: The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

The Museum of HeartbreakMuseum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

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Wendy’s Review

I’m a very odd duck, because I’m not a huge fan of adult contemporary romance but I’m a major fan of YA contemporary stories, both realistic and romance.  While I’ve come across a couple pretty good ones lately, I also haven’t been overly blown away by one in a while.  The Museum of Heartbreak came close.

Chapter one started off pretty abruptly, and in a very confusing way.  I couldn’t understand the relevance of a dream about dinosaurs evacuating the city, but everything comes together so perfectly and that first chapter is really the cherry on the top.  In fact, those dinosaurs and their connection to the characters is my favorite part of the story.  They represented childhood, and imaginations, and unending hope.

The Museum of Heartbreak has an array of your usual characters, best friends that are pretty and enviable, enemies that are mean and snooty.  In that sense there was nothing groundbreaking about the story. That is until we get to know Penelope and Ephraim; especially Eph, with the constellation of freckles on his nose.  Dagnabbit, that was one character that I absolutely adored.

And then there was Keats.  Keats is such a confusing character.  It wasn’t hard to see why Penelope was drawn to him, right off the bat.  He sounded pretty darn dreamy.  I love the male characters with crooked grins.  And then he loved reading and said things like, “Which book chose you.”  I mean, come on!  One of the best pick up lines ever.

I knew where I wanted the story to go right from the very beginning, and with that said I wasn’t completely unhappy with the ending but I do wish there had been more.  I’m not one for the time jump epilogues but I would like the big moment between the protags.  For some reason it feels like it’s ‘in’ to cut it off just before the readers get that moment, and I’m starting to feel disappointed.

Overall, a really great book, and one that I’m willing to purchase in print for my own museum of literature, my bookshelves.

Thank you to Simon Pulse via Netgalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5 Stars = B+

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