Instructions for a Broken Heart
By Kim Culbertson
Sourcebooks Fire, 2011. 295 pgs. Teen fiction
After catching her boyfriend Sean in a compromising situation with another girl, Jessa and some classmates (including, unfortunately, Sean and the other girl) go to Italy for a school trip. Jessa's best friend, Carissa, knowing that Jessa will be completely freaking out, sends along twenty envelopes, each with instructions for how Jessa can get over Sean and get on with her life. With her friend's instructions, as well as a good book and Italy itself to help her, Jessa not only deals with her broken heart but finds out that there's more to her than she realized.
Although there were moments when Jessa seemed a little overly dramatic(which is probably completely realistic but not entirely fun to read) and when the book started to drag a little bit, overall, readers who enjoy stories of surviving your first heartbreak will come away satisfied. I didn't fully understand why Jessa would follow all of Carissa's instructions or why Carissa would give all of them. I don't think we got a good feel for Carissa and her personality (we're pretty much told, rather than shown to any degree that they're friends), and that made it a little difficult to connect with the story sometimes.
3 stars. A little bit of language but otherwise a clean read.
For a work project, I made a quick little Google Search story to use as a simple booktalk. Check it out.