Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Simon Pulse Publishing
Expected Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Get a copy here!
In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.
Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.
Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.
Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.
But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.
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Quick Reasons: teenage angst; cute, angsty romance; gross manipulative crush; awesome self-growth and actualization; lots and lots of dinosaurs!; great, vibrant characters; some weird, undefined “girl” hate (towards one character specifically); atmospheric, beautiful writing
HUGE thanks to Meg Leder, Simon Pulse Publishing, and Netgalley for access to this eARC in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered how I read, or my opinions of, this book.
Okay, guys—this book is, to take a word from Pen’s mouth, frakking adorable. First off, the prose is atmospheric, beautiful, and SO quirky—which I absolutely adored. I don’t know how Meg Leder did it, but she sucked me in within a matter of sentences…and didn’t release her stranglehold on my heart until the very end. There are some clever wordplay moments, some moments that made me stop and go “ahaaaa!”…and some moments that literally ripped the heart from my chest. Literally.
The characters are vibrant, realistic, and amazingly easy to connect with. Before the first page was over, I had already made a connection to Pen—and fallen absolutely in love with her as a character, while I was at it. The rest of the characters definitely don’t disappoint—at least, not on the realistic scale. I was a bit disgrunted with Pen throughout, for being silly and making a bad decision. Also, one of the characters sort of does a 180 from the beginning of the book (when I thought he was pretty adorbs) and becomes a manipulative monster. There is a purpose to this, but… Eh. I was on a certain other character’s team for pretty much the whole read, and I sort of called where the plot was going pretty early on.
Of course, that doesn’t change how much I LOVED this read. I thought certain key elements of it—dinosaurs, for instance!–were so quirky and outside-the-box that I was flipping pages like a maniac, wanting to know where the next bout of genius would sneak out to trip me up. I love the sense of nostalgia (I seem to be using this word a lot in my reviews lately!) this brought to my life. I love that the “love is right in front of you, has been this whole time” trope was used. I love pretty much everything about this, except…
There is insta-love at the beginning. TRUST ME, though, guys—Meg Leder knew what she was doing going in with this as part of the plot. She wrote it beautifully, and Pen actually learned something from it (about herself, about life, about relationships…) I just… It’s gorgeous, and well-done, and I honestly can’t see anyone actually disliking it if they give the book a real chance. There is one emotionally abusive, manipulative monster character who plays a key role in Pen’s personal growth…but let’s be honest, shall we? She learned from him, too.
This book is quirky, adorable, and brilliantly done. I laughed out loud; my heart broke for certain characters; I hurt when Pen did. Meg Leder brought her characters, and this world, to brilliant, vibrant life for me; I can’t wait to see what’s in store for readers from her in the future! She definitely made it onto my “to keep an eye on” list! I recommend this read to lovers of contemporary, teenage angst/drama, personal growth stories…and fluffy, right in front of you romances. You’ll close this book with a smile, I promise!