cover image The Breakup Bible

The Breakup Bible

Melissa Kantor, Author . Hyperion $15.99 (265p) ISBN 978-0-786

Jen is crushed when her boyfriend tells her “it would be better if we were just friends.” Making matters worse, she catches him kissing another girl from the school paper, where she also works. Jen cannot sleep, cries constantly and thinks she “could actually die of heartache.” Even with supportive friends and family—and opportunities to advance her journalism career—it takes time to move on. Kantor (Confessions of a Not It Girl ) successfully juggles several storylines, including Jen's work on a controversial article about race relations at school, her mother's attempt at romance after years on the sidelines and even a fun first date for Jen with a boy who bravely takes her salsa dancing. These threads make Jen's world seem very real and reflect her growing sense of self. Readers may not know what to make of the actual self-help book Jen's grandmother buys her (called The Breakup Bible ); full of clichés (such as “A fabulous, foxy lady such as yourself knows when it's time to say good riddance to bad rubbish!), the cheesy book seems to help Jen at times, but ultimately ends up in the trash. Jen goes through much of the book thinking “I'm so sad, I'm so sad, I'm so sad,” which may overwhelm readers, but in the end, they will likely be convinced both of Jen's readiness to move on and of her ability to see the good and the bad in her first romance. Ages 12-up. (May)