Instructions for a Broken Heart
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Rating: 4 stars
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.
This was a really cute book – I loved the setting and all the theater involvement in it. The characters were fun, and it was a major page turner.
While I really enjoyed essentially everything about this book, I had an issue with the character of Mr. Campbell. He is their drama teacher who takes them on this trip, and the way he was written I felt like he was one of the kids on the trip. He spoke and felt like a 15 year old or so. He just didn’t feel like his was in an authority position or anything.
That aside, I really did enjoy everything else about it. The plot was so fun – I loved the constant changing scenery. The were traveling city to city, so it was always changing. I also loved the idea of the 20 envelopes, it was absolute fun seeing Jessa and Tyler and the others carry them out. Instructions for a Broken Heart was really well written – I loved the music and poetry that simply flowed with the story throughout.
The characters were really well written and seemed very real. There were a few characters that didn’t capture this quality right away, but by the end I was connected and could sympathize with them. Jessa was a fun character, though at a few times she seemed almost a bit self centered. I thought that the characters, even the minor ones, really held to their own. I remember the minor characters just as well, no one really seemed to fade into the wallpaper.
I would really recommend Instructions for a Broken Heart. It was a fun read that I read in one sitting – I didn’t want to put it down. It surprised me, and blew me away in so many ways. Jessa wants you to read her story, or who knows what she may do – you may get an orange soda thrown on your white shirt ;)