Instructions for a Broken Heart
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...more
I usually reserve the One Star Honor Rating for books I simply can’t f...more
However, it really failed to capture my attention. (view spoiler)[ I was bored. Quite a lot. (hide spoiler)]
Jessa was altogether...more
We've all been there. High School. In love with some tool. Dumped by said tool. Devastated.
However, after being dumped I did not have to fly halfway around the world with said Dumper and his new girl toy with HUGE boobs (whom he was cheating with.) Poor girl. I did feel a certain amount of sisterly love and pity for her in the beginning.
seriously, she was in Italy. Put on your big girl panties and suck it up a little. Yeah, the situation sucked and I know in...more
2. You like/love/would like to go to Italy.
3. You appreciate romance but hate saccharine.
4. You remember having your heart broken for the first time.
5. You like/love/need to be reminded that life isn't all gloom and doom.
6. You have fantasized at some point in your life about throwing an orange soda (or something equally messy) at someone who really deserved it.
7. You are not the kind of person who would actually throw a neon drink at someone.
8. You want to read a bo...more
YA contemporary isn't my favorite genre, but...more
One of my favorite reads of 2011 thus-far and you can be sure I will be picking up Culbertson's first novel after this.
Long fan-girly review TK
I hate when I read a book and feel really dense for not getting it. I feel like I should have felt sympathetic towards Jessa and relate to her heart break after having her heart crushed by a slime ball boyfriend but I really couldn't and found it hard to figure out why I should like her at all. If you know why please let me know. I know she's a teenager and just caught her boyfriend rolling around in a tongue lock with another girl but from what we begin to see maybe she did bring it up...more
Reading that synopsis, I was expecting a light, fluffy novel, probably in the same vein as Anna and the French Kiss. Instead, I got an annoying main character that squanders a trip to beautiful Italy by being the most petty, pathetic and just downright annoying...more
Holy moley! This book is way better than I expected! This book is so awesome that I want to give Kim Culbertson a bear hug!
Now I know how it feels to be infatuated with a book because even though I've finished reading this book last week, I'm still thinking about it. Everywhere I go, no matter what I do, the story and characters of this book kept floating behind my mind. And now you think I'm crazy but that's the effect of Instructions For A Broken Heart on...more
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews
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 J...more
After Jessa catches her then boyfriend and another girl, whom she calls big boobed Natalie making out their drama club's barn, Jessa is completely devastated, and broken hearted. To make matters worse she's stuck on their drama club's trip to Italy with them. Her best friend Carisa sends her...more
So she sets out to get over Sean with the help of her best friend, Carissa, who has sent along instructions for Jessa to do one thing each day of her trip that takes her out of her comfort zone and onto the path of getting o...more
‘Instructions for a Broken Heart’ is a read that fell somewhere right in the middle for me. I didn’t love it, though I really liked certain aspects of it. I loved the descriptions of the Italian scenery and all the different monuments and places that Jessa and her classmates visited. I also thought the letters from Jessa’s best friend Carissa were a great plot device. The letters allowed Jessa to do things that were out of character for her, and while a lot of them ended up in catastrop...more
That's not the only reason I loved it, though. I like books with a hook, if you will, and the 20 envelopes added a driving force behind the narrative as I eagerly anticipated both the reason and the instructions to follow in each one. That turned into an intr...more
(Read my full review on the blog.)
An Open Letter To Instructions for a Broken Heart,
You go book! You're pretty much one of the funniest and sweetest breakup books I've ever read. I think that the reason I liked you so much could be because of fairly current life events of my own? That's always a possibility, but that being said you had most of my favorite things in your pages. Legit girl/boy friendships that don't head into romantic territory, about 1...more
This was another lovely book by Culbertson, and with this one she has become one of my favourite authors of YA books. She has a way of putting that extra into a tale.
Jessa Gardner is a young girl with a lot on her plate, all different clubs and projects. She knows what she wants, but she is also an artist, something she forgets at times. I liked her, and how she found herself again. Because just before leaving for Rome she gets her heart broken by a cheating boyfriend. This is all ab...more
Jessa can't believe her boyfriend, Sean, would cheat on her. What's even worse is that he does it right before they leave for their drama trip to Italy. Now not only is Jessa alone in one of the most romantic pla...more
I wonder sometimes if your enjoyment of contemporary fiction depends on how much you identify with the main character. Because I really liked this book, but I also really identified with Jessa. I may be an adult reading teen books, but I remember that first broken heart.
Jessa reacts just the way I thought she would. She's devastated, but she's not about to let it ruin her trip to Italy. But, I don't think she was counting on how hard it would be to see Sean everyday, let alone see him with anoth...more
She believes books make the world a better place and likes to be on the look out for books she really connects with and loves. Any book she reviews on Goodreads is one of these finds.
Each month I...more
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I will find a bare patch of earth, somewhere where the ruins have fallen away, somewhere where I can fit both hands, and I will dig a hole.
And into that hole, I will scream you, I will dump all the shadow places of my heart—the times you didn’t call when you said you’d call, the way you only half listened to my poems, your eyes on people coming through the swinging door of the café—not on me—your ears, not really turned toward me. For all those times I started to tell you about the fight with my dad or when my grandma died, and you said something about your car, something about the math test you flunked, as an answer. I will scream into that hole the silence of dark nights after you’d kissed me, how when I asked if something was wrong—and something was obviously so very wrong—how you said “nothing,” how you didn’t tell me until I had to see it in the dim light of a costume barn—so much wrong. I will scream all of it.
Then I will fill it in with dark earth, leave it here in Italy, so there will be an ocean between the hole and me.
Because then I can bring home a heart full of the light patches. A heart that sees the sunset you saw that night outside of Taco Bell, the way you pointed out that it made the trees seem on fire, a heart that holds the time your little brother fell on his bike at the fairgrounds and you had pockets full of bright colored Band-Aids and you kissed the bare skin of his knees. I will take that home with me. In my heart. I will take home your final Hamlet monologue on the dark stage when you cried closing night and it wasn’t really acting, you cried because you felt the words in you and on that bare stage you felt the way I feel every day of my life, every second, the way the words, the light and dark, the spotlight in your face, made you Hamlet for that brief hiccup of a moment, made you a poet, an artist at your core. I get to take Italy home with me, the Italy that showed me you and the Italy that showed me—me—the Italy that wrote me my very own instructions for a broken heart. And I get to leave the other heart in a hole.
We are over. I know this. But we are not blank. We were a beautiful building made of stone, crumbled now and covered in vines.
But not blank. Not forgotten. We are a history.
We are beauty out of ruins.”