Author: Kim Culbertson
Amount of Pages: 291
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Geared Towards: Teens
From: Gift From Friend
"Jessa's eyes fastened themselves to that red dress mostly because she couldn't bring herself to keep looking directly at them. Like the sun. Or a blinding light from an alien spaceship. More like that" (P. 4).
Summary (From B.O.B): When Jessa catches her boyfriend, Sean, making out with Natalie "the Boob Job" Stone three days before their drama club's departure to Italy, she completely freaks.
Stuck with a front-row of Sean and Natalie making out against the backdrop of a country that oozes romance, Jessa promises to follow all of the outrageous instructions in her best friend's care package and open her heart to new experiences.
Enter cute Italian boy stage left.
Jessa had prepared to play the role of humiliated ex-girlfriend, but with Cariassa directing her life from afar, it's finally time to take a shot at being a star.
Wdebo's Review: Instructions For a Broken Heart was a part of my birthday book pile so I thought that I should read it because it had been sitting there for so long, just collecting dust. While reading this book I found it to be average, nothing particulary amazing, but not something that I hated too much.
I felt that I should have been feeling myself being transported into Italy and empathizing with Jessa while reading this book, but I just could not. Even though, growing up, one of the main places I always wanted to visit was Italy, I still could not thoroughly enjoy the extensive descriptions of the scenary around her and to feel exactly what she was feeling. But I guess that is one of the main problems that I found with the book. The descriptions were just too "extensive" almost to an extent of being...pretentious.
I had read a positive review of this book that had stated one of the mian reasons for reading this book to being its beautiful writing. But there is a fine line between beautiful writing and over flowery and over the top descriptors. When I read books, I definitely enjoy straight-forward narration as opposed to the whole beating-around-the-bush kind of writing. I also disliked how the story seemed to stuff romance randomly into the conclusion. It would have ended so much better if they showed Jessa "surving" the trip just by relying on herself.
I liked the progressve addition of characters into the storyline, however, the characters themselves did not impress me too much. With the character of Dylan Thomas I found him to be a decent character, but I was just not the biggest fan of how he was presented through the writing. I did not mind that the charcter was named after the poet, instead, I actually appreciated it, it feels like a great way to introduce teens to culture apart from just pop culture. The thing that annoyed me though was the repitition of his name. If Culbertson had written Dylan over and over again, I would have been fine with it, but instead she would continually refer to "Dylan Thomas." Which got annoying after a while.
The protagonist, Jessa, is a different story. I found Jessa to be a very selfish, whinny and annoying character. I get that this all came about because she was cheated on, but that doesn't give her the right to act like a total bitch throughout the entire trip. At least she did have growth throughout the story, but I still could not find her very likeable. On the other hand, I really liked Tyler, he just seemed like such a sweet guy.
Cafe Cover Chat: The cover has a sweet side to it and also has a romantic undertone to it with the blurred out background of Italy. It's cute. (B)
All in all, though not the most perfect, memorable book, it still posesses a few good qualities that makes it a readable story sure to fill up a few open hours.