Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review : Instructions For A Broken Heart

Title: Instructions For A Broken Heart
Author: Kim Culbertson
Expected publication: May 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Source: ARC

Summary: "Three days before her drama club's trip to Italy, Jessa Gardner discovers her boyfriend in the costume barn with another girl. Jessa is left with a care package from her best friend titled "Top Twenty Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard," instructing her to do one un-Jessa-like thing each day of the trip. At turns hilarious and heartwrenching, Instructions for a Broken Heart paints a magical Italy in which Jessa learns she must figure out life-and romance-for herself."

Thoughts: When I first read the summary for Instructions For A Broken Heart, I automatically thought it sounded like a cross between Anna And The French Kiss and P.S. I Love You. Jessa's best friend creates this list of dares to help her get over her ex while in Rome. How cute does that sound? And though charming in it's own way, it lacked the necessary book chemistry and allure I've grown to love about contemporary literature.

First off, I had so many issues with Jessa. I understand that she's upset. I felt bad for her. I mean, no one deserves to walk in on their boyfriend making out with the girl who has balloon sized boobies. And even though all her friends are there for her, she is so consumed with self pity and heart ache that she completely misses out on everything. There's a part in the book where even her closest friend on the trip (Tyler) can't take anymore of the Jessa-Sean drama, that he blows up at her. Not once does Jessa ask her friend how he's doing or if he's having fun on the trip. I get that she's hurt, but what's more tragic than the love-that-wasn't-meant-to-be is the fact that she's missing out on Italy and life. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to go to Italy, but what's a better way to get over an ex than enjoying the trip of a lifetime?

Though at times comical, I found a lot of the instructions Clarissa gives Jessa to be cruel. They weren't cute little things like singing karaoke in front of a room full of strangers. It was more like a list of vengeful, spiteful things mean, bitter girls do. I much prefer the funny random things than the cruel ones.

I did enjoy Tyler. He was the best kind of friend to Jessa. He was there for her and always had a bag of her favorite candy around. I felt bad for him because sometimes he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, especially with some of the dynamics between Jessa and Clarissa. But he was a great friend and person and deals with each situation gracefully.

Though I thought the book was well-written, I just couldn't get into it. I did relish in the descriptions of Italy and the places they went. It seems like those who have read Instructions of a Broken Heart did enjoy it, but sadly it wasn't the book for me.


  1. I like the cover but I'm not sure if it's for me. Thanks for the review!

  2. Aww, bad you didn't like this one. I am really looking forward to get and read it. Hope I can find a better connection to it:)

  3. OMG! I really do love you blog.
    This review is great too! I haven't heard of this book until now. Thanks so much for the review!

    - New Follower, Cory from Anti-Drug Reads

  4. I just finished this one-(review to come soon)-and I totally agree with you! I had so many problems with it-Jessa is annoying and angsty and not once does she appreciate that she's in Italy. Glad I'm not the only one who felt that way!

  5. Oh no! :( So sad to hear that you didn't like this one! I've been looking forward to this one for a while! I really liked her debut novel (Songs for a Teenage Nomad) so I had high hopes for this one. But, your complaints seem like things that would probably bother me too. :( Great review though!

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