Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review: Museum of Heartbreak - Meg Leder

Museum of Heartbreak
Meg Leder 
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the eARC I received via NetGalley!

Museum of Heartbreak follows Penelope Marx as her world is being sort of turned upside down. She's been living a happy life, devoid of a lot of change. But then things start to change - Pen doesn't get along with her best friend Audrey's new bestie, the new boy in town seems to be interested in her, and things with her other best friend Eph are getting Weird. Pen struggles to accept that things are changing, experiencing many different heartbreaks in the process.

Penelope is sort of clueless when it comes to navigating change - it's kind of like "Stick to the Status Quo" is the theme song to her life - she's fully content with having her two best friends and continuing to love the things she's always loved, and she doesn't understand when her friendship dynamic starts changing. Pen is certainly stubborn and stuck in her ways, but at the heart of it, she's scared - she's not sure what's going to happen with her relationships and it's terrifying. The way Meg Leder portrays all of Pen's emotions - happiness and giddiness turned sadness, rage, bitterness, and more - perfectly captures her complete heartbreak.

Besides Pen, the supporting characters of Museum of Heartbreak are also extremely well built. I think it's fair to say that everyone knows a Cherisse and a Keats, but even more, the way Pen's friendships with Eph and Audrey evolve and change is something I think everyone can relate to in some way. I absolutely loved Eph!!! He was Best Friend Goals. And then, of course, there were Grace and Miles, who were so sweet and well developed even though they weren't a huge part of the plot. A+ character development from Meg Leder all around.

The introduction into this book is so cute, especially once you get to the end and it comes full circle. Each chapter of the book corresponds to one item that Pen has put in her "Museum of Heartbreak," and at the end we find out why she decides to "curate" this museum. Such a fun concept, and the way all the chapters were labeled with photos was so cute!

All in all, Museum of Heartbreak is simultaneously an extremely heartbreaking and heartwarming story; it definitely gave me all the feels. This is by far one of my favorite contemporary, coming-of-age stories I've read in a long time, and I highly recommend it! I loved this debut, and I look forward to reading more from Meg Leder!

- Kiersten

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