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The Museum of Heartbreak

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,559 ratings  ·  495 reviews
"A charming, tender, and hilarious debut you will want to get lost in." — Gayle Forman, bestselling author of If I Stay and I Was 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, actual
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Simon Pulse
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Sarah D The question itself is answered through reading the book. Or at least that's how I saw it. The "Museum of Heartbreak": It's a museum because it showca…moreThe question itself is answered through reading the book. Or at least that's how I saw it. The "Museum of Heartbreak": It's a museum because it showcases multiple time periods or events that occurred during a set period of time. It's of heartbreak because in the end we (people) all go through things both bad and good as well as varying forms of heartbreak and each event pushes us further and further into who we are and sometimes causes our present.

The story is written on how each item in the "museum" eventually led to where the two main characters are now and showcases what they went through throughout the story. Hope this answers your question.(less)
Khadija you can order off your kindle and it should come the day its released

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Wendy Darling
Free association with THE MUSEUM OF HEARTBREAK! What words and phrases come to mind when you think of this book, Wendy?

Trying too hard.
Quirky without enough substance.

The thing about humorous prose is it has to feel effortless--and it has to have some order even if it doesn't appear to. This book felt all over the place; from the structure to the tenses to the things the characters were interested in, I felt like we were bouncing back and forth in a pinball machine. There's no real
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Contemporary-A-Thon challenge #7 (book #8!): read a book with pink on the cover (okay kinda cheating but Aldo says it counts!) - COMPLETE!

This was one of my TBR jar picks for February and I decided to pick it up on a whim today and was very pleasantly surprised! I thoroughly enjoyed this, even though the ending was MEGA cheesy. It was still such a fun book and I’m pleased to have read it l!
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*I received an advanced copy from IndigoTeen via Simon & Schuster CA in exchange for an honest review. All quotes taken from a pre-published copy may be altered or omitted from the final version.*

“I don’t want them to go.
I know i will forget them if they leave now.”
Things I Liked: Pen, and how I was able to connect with her when I thought back to my high school days!

Things I LOVED: Eph<3!!!! The cover, the title, the writing style, and t
An Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

Penelope Marx is a romantic. One who believes in a romance that will sweep you off your feet. She believes in Rose and Jack from the Titanic movie and Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice novel. Real life isn't like the movies or the books because happy endings don't happen. When her distant best friend Audrey suddenly wants to spend less time apart, s
Karmen (readingoncloud9)
Thank you so much to the author, Meg Leder, for sending me a copy of the Museum of Heartbreak!

It was a really quick read! The cover and the synopsis were what made me want to read this book. It even has a great title. This book was cute, but I thought it was pretty predictable. It was set in high school so it of course had to have some high school drama. I felt like there wasn't much of Cherisse in the story other than the parts where she doesn't like Penelope or when she's with Audrey/Keats.

Ashley Blake
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was so amazing. Perfect pacing, unforgettable voice, this book made me FEEL high school all over again, with all its uncertainties and anxieties. I loved Penelope's journey and the wisdom she curated through her heartbreaks is really lovely. Set against a vibrant New York City setting, this book was everything I wanted out of a contemporary YA. ...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
3.5 stars

Read this quite a few months ago and wasn’t able to draft a review so I’ll just speak from my little memory of the reading experience. It was entertaining and cute. I’m not a huge fan of Penelope as a character but I liked that she was purposely portrayed by the author as this flawed character who had all these absurd and impossible expectations about love and life in general and how she was slowly brought to the realization of what it really means to fall in love, break a heart, hav
S.M. Parker
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was hands down one of the best contemporary YA books I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is smart and cool and hopeful and heartbreaking in all the best ways. I have a legit hangover after living in Pen’s story. I have fallen head over heels for her. Loving her quick wit, keen observations, unbreakable Pen-ness. Her character is beyond awesome and she attracts awesomeness. Eph? Sa-woon. Audrey, Grace—the entire cast—is so perfectly flawed and real. Leder’s writing is engaging and ...more
When I first saw the synopsis for this book, it seemed like a proper Sophie book. I love YA contemporary books, especially the fluffy ones, during the summer time. When I bought this, I started it as soon as I got home, and though it would be a high four, maybe even five star read. Unfortunately, it's barely a 3 star for me.

In The Museum of Heartbreak, we follow Penelope, who is a romantic at heart. She keeps little momentos of all her significant relationships, friendship and otherwise, and eve
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews
May 22, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish

Will I ever learn my lesson about judging a book by it's cover? No, probably not, because that is a lovely cover. It called to me. But the actual story -


Was there supposed to be a point to this, because I couldn't find one. I think it was supposed to charm me, make me feel all nostalgic and shit. It didn't. It was such hard work to get through. The writing was all over the place, there was no real character depth, no growth.

I don't think I've ever read so much of a book (66%) and not finished i
Jay G
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
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4.5/5 Stars

16 year old Penelope Marx has experienced heartbreak. Keats, the popular new boy in school is finally paying attention to her but in the process of this new relationship, one of her best friends, Audrey, is growing increasingly distant from her. Not to mention her other best friend Eph has been acting moody lately and Pen doesn't understand why. Things are changing in their s
Julie Zantopoulos
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, read-in-2018
I go into the majority of my contemporary (especially YA contemporary) with hesitation but this one was really cute. I mean, it has your classic miscommunication and blissfully unaware MCs who can't see the true love interest right before their eyes...but it was sweet. I dug the nerdy references, the quirky dinosaur loving and lifelong friend references, a lot. They're relatable. Everyone has those quirks, those inside jokes and moments, and most people then also have to cope with relationships ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A better title for this book would be 'Deciding He Wasn't For Me', or 'We Didn't Work Together, No Big Deal'. I went into it expected it to be like Daniel Handler's 'Why We Broke Up' - you know, with actually pain and heartbreak - but instead, I got a cute story about a girl finding new friends and realising that she liked her oldest friend as more than that. Underwhelming, really.
The background characters were the saving grace, along with her dad who was just so HYPED about dinosaurs, it was a
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was so extremely charmed by this book, but there isn't a ton I can talk about loving without giving huge spoilers. I'll just say this is a delightfully cute, sweet, and sometimes serious teen romance with a voice as strong as Rainbow Rowell's but totally unique and new. (It's in no way a Fangirl rip off but I do think if you enjoyed the relational dynamics in Fangirl you'll enjoy this.) I also loved the friendship Leder wrote. It really surprised me. It's complicated and messy and honest. It w ...more
Karen Fortunati
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Truth: I found myself racing through the arc of The Museum of Heartbreak and had to force myself to slow down. The exquisite writing, the characters I wished were real, a story that sparks with energy, the labelled drawings at the start of each chapter - this book was a joy to read. It might be tempting to categorize this story as a YA romance and it does contain one of the most satisfying love stories I've ever read. BUT it's so much more than that. This story dissects the emotional aftermath o ...more
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The Museum of Heartbreak” is the sort of YA book that takes me right back to my high school years. I was literally going through all of the emotions Penelope was feeling while reflecting on my own memories.

The format is a fun way to get to know the life of Penelope and her friends. Each chapter contains a different item from the “museum catalogue” and revolves around the story behind it that helped shape where she is at the moment. Some of them are flashbacks to elementary school and others are
△⃒⃘Qamar Al Oqaily ⚯͛
BookTubeAthon book1 :challenge, read a book in one day ✅
This was an easy sad but beautiful read,enjoyed it a lot !:( 🖤
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

The Museum of Heartbreak is a book like no other. It is so relatable and contains very well-developed characters. With everything from actual artefacts for the main character's museum to themes of family and friendship, this book is sure to entertain everyone.

This book is one of the most creative books I've read this year. When I saw the title, "The Museum of Heartbreak," I had no idea that the book would be about an actual museum. Well, not an official museum, but
Jul 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: my-fave-reviews
I've been sitting on this review for a long time because I wanted to put into the right words just how exactly God-awful this novel is.

I read The Museum of Heartbreak book as recommended by Lauren Conrad's book club. This book is centered around one of the most pathetic and irritating main characters ever dreamed up. If the book's main character is disgustingly unlikable to the point where you're rooting for her self-proclaimed nemesis, you know it's going to be an uphill battle.

Now, the main c
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf-shelf
I couldn't get into this one. I liked the writing, but I think it's the completely wrong time for me cause I'm pretty sure I'm having a book hangover. ...more
Sarah Louise
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Admittedly, I picked this up for the cover. It has weird written all over it, and I was more than ready for a quirky romance.

Despite the dinosaur and Santa Claus figurine actually making sense upon finishing, this book was so ... bland. There was nothing beyond a love-sick girl and her realization that perhaps the guy of her dreams is actually a complete jerk. That’s it. I’ve read this type of story a thousand times, and I’m trying to find the underlying message in this one, but I just didn’t t
Laurence R.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED IT! I could relate so much to Pen, which was a bit weird sometimes, since it felt like I was reading about myself. I absolutely loved the characters in this story and I'm really, really happy I read it. ...more
Kate Ormand
Penelope loves books and movies and romance, and wants her happily ever after. So when her friends start branching out and making new friends, things become complicated. And when a guy she likes asks her out, everything begins to change. Is Penelope’s world moving in the right direction? Or is this not the happy ending she always wanted?

I didn’t want this to be over! It was perfect. I loved it. I really related to Penelope, I think a lot of readers will, with her expectations of first likes, the
Brittany Tellefsen (thecontinuingchronicles)
Rating: 4.25/5

This book was so stinking cute and such a sweet surprise!

Ultimately, this is a coming of age tale. We follow Penelope who, at 16 has never been kissed and is naive in the ways of love. She feels herself being left behind by her best friend Audrey, who is more wordly but also friends with her archnemsis and mean girl Cherisse. And Ephraim, who himself is a ladies man and seems to be growing out of their small social circle.

When Penelope draws the attention of Keats, a boy who doesn
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aw. This was really cute and made me remember what it was like to have hopes for the future, lol.

To be honest, the plot is your typical high school story and the characters kind of do fall in stereotypes, but I liked it very much anyway. The writing is pretty good and I could really feel the emotions it evokes. To me, it was easy to empathize and identify with Penelope, I think we're very alike and oh how I wish I had had an Ephrain and a Grace and Miles when I was 16.

Loved the Kerouac roasting
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars!

Let me be honest here... this was total cover love at first sight. When I saw this cover, there was no question whether I would read this or not. It was a done deal. Then I read the synopsis, which sounded pretty unique to me for a contemporary read. Once this book arrived on my doorstep, I immediately jumped right in!

Penelope is a hopeless romantic. She dreams of the picture-perfect romance you will find in a romance novel. She meets the super-cute Keats, and sparks start flying. When
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Believe it or not, I had wanted to read this book since 2016, and finally I got the chance to read it in August 2020. I was drawn to this book by the cover (love it), and was not disappointed by this awesome book!

Okay, here we go. This review might get a little personal, which I don’t usually like to do in my reviews, but I felt a connection to the main character and her experiences.

Penelope Marx is a 17-year-old girl who is slowly losing her two best friends and dealing with heartbreak from be
Wendy F
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I’m a very odd duck, because I’m not a huge fan of adult contemporary romance but I’m a major fan of YA contemporary stories, both realistic and romance. While I’ve come across a couple pretty good ones lately, I also haven’t been overly blown away by one in a while. The Museum of Heartbreak came close.

Chapter one started off pretty abruptly, and in a very confusing way. I couldn’t understand the relevance of a dream about dinosaurs evacuating the city, but everything comes together so perfectly
Jenn Bishop
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are some books that grab you from the first page, with characters that feel authentic enough that you believe them, and yet almost too delightful (and funny) to be real. That's "The Museum of Heartbreak" -- at least it was for me. I immediately connected with our narrator, New York native Penelope Marx, whose heart has been broken. I loved tracking the items that contributed to the heartbreak, which she catalogues with lovely specificity, and seeing her fall for Keats, oh the dreamy myster ...more
What a delightful book! Though use of Heartbreak in the title may imply romantic love, much of the heartbreak in this story is friendship centered (as noted on the back cover copy). Changing friendships, evolving lives, and great detail about living as a teen in NYC.

When Penelope becomes infatuated with a living, breathing hipster cliche, it's tempting for adult me to roll my eyes. But I dated that guy too. I know the 30-something-year-old version of that guy (and he is still insufferable). But
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Crazy for Young A...: The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder → Start Date: July 9th, 2016 2 14 Jun 28, 2016 10:23AM  

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A former bookseller and teacher, Meg Leder currently works as a book editor in New York City. Her role models are Harriet the Spy and Anne Shirley. She is the coauthor of The Happy Book, and spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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“Just because someone isn't at their best doesn't mean you write them off forever" -Pen” 5 likes
“I stared at Eph, envying the fact that he already had a costume, though whether it was actually qualified as a costume was debatable. He was dressed in all black- black jeans, black knit hat, black boots, long-sleeved, black T-shirt, black thermal on top of it.
"I'm the dark night of the soul. Or a black hole. Or something like that," He'd said when I'd asked him earlier.
"You're copping out," I said.
"How is being in more than one costume copping out? I'm actually so investing in this, I am in an infinite number of costumes. It's meta and crap.”
More quotes…