Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Breakfast with Neruda” as Want to Read:
Breakfast with Neruda
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Breakfast with Neruda

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Michael Flynn is just trying to get through his community service after he made the dumb decision to try to blow up his friend's car with fireworks--the same friend who stole Michael's girl. Being expelled and losing his best buddy and his girlfriend are the least of his problems: Michael has learned to hide everything, from his sick hoarder mother to the fact that he's ...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published May 16th 2016 by Simon Pulse
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Breakfast with Neruda, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Breakfast with Neruda

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  158 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Breakfast with Neruda
Read InAGarden
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a gem of a book that really should have a more eye-catching (read inviting to young adult eyes) cover. On the first day of mandatory community service, Michael meets Shelly an intriguing force. But Michael doesn't have time for intriguing forces in his life. He is just trying to survive the mess of his life. He's going to be a fifth-year senior (after an unfortunate incident at school); he lives in his ancient car; he's focused on daily survival and keeping the authorities from knowing ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

When I first saw the title of this book, I was sort of intrigued and put off at the same time. I thought that the title literally meant that the plot was going to be about having breakfast with the poet, Pablo Neruda.

Instead, this book is about an eighteen year old guy named Michael Flynn. He's homeless and living out of his pick up truck named Blue Whale because his house isn't safe enough to live in. He has two siblings named Annie and Jeff and they all have a healthy
Audrey Wilkerson
Michael Flynn's life has become pretty atypical for a high school student. Due to his mother's hoarding problem, he has lived in his car for the past few months. And then there was an incident involving his now former best friend that went sideways, so he has to work off community service in the summer at his high school. That he was expelled from. And where he has to repeat his senior year.

While cleaning out lockers with Earl, the cantankerous custodian, he learns that he isn't the only one who
Kristin Thorsness
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this YA book is one both teen and adult readers will fall in love with.
Jennifer Bardsley
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Contemporary YA fans will fall hard for Michael and Shelly; two teens who feel so real that you'll swear you know them. Michael is recovering from a felony conviction after an ill-thought out revenge scheme against his former best friend. Shelly is a girl with a mysterious past. Separate they are troubled, but together they are unstoppable.

This is a character-driven novel, with dialogue that will have you at times laughing, and at times tearing up. If you've ever watched HOARDERS, and wondered
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John W.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA is a story of two young adults dealing with issues of homelessness, building relationships, trust, and blended families. Laura Moe weaves her storyline around the two teenagers from two different social and economic lifestyles. The author introduces Michael Flynn providing her readers some details of his backstory such as his secrets of where is living and his lack of funds. The storyline moves forward, increasing the intrigue of both Michael and Shelly’s connections, as ...more
Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

*This review can also be found at The Reader and the Chef. Huge thanks to the publisher for providing me a copy so I could give it my honest opinion.*

I lost count of the number of times that I've written and re-written this review and not being satisfied with what my fingers are typing. This book... I feel that this book deserves a lot more than what I'm going to say since it has such a great story inside and I know it will strike some chords and possibly inspire more
Rating: 3/5
(I received a free copy through a goodreads giveaway)
***Minor spoilers***

Michael was never much of a troublemaker, until he got caught with enough explosives with him to blow up the school. The plan was to blow up his best friend's car - the same best friend who stole his girlfriend. Except, he got caught and now must work with the custodians at his high school over the summer before he can finish his senior year. On the surface, you'd never guess what Michael was going through. After
Jasmin Chigbrow
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book not having any kind of expectations because I have never heard of the poet Neruda. After reading it and seeing the excerpts from some of his poems, I think I want to check out more of his stuff! “Breakfast with Neruda” highlighted his work beautifully and I felt everything was well-woven into the plot. This is a young adult book, and at 23 years old I’m in the middle ground so to speak, where I don’t read YA like I used to but still enjoy a good one when it’s recommended to ...more
H.A. Leuschel
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
The main character of this book is Michael Flynn. He is eighteen and lives in a car that he calls the Blue Whale because his mother has a problem with hoarding. He tried to blow up his friend’s car which means that not only does he have to repeat his senior year in high school but he has to do community service. That’s where he meets Shelly who is also having to do community service for something she has done. He falls in love with the girl and they both go on a quest to find Michael’s dad. ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2016
A fun, easy YA read. The romance was a little bland, but deftly managed to avoid some typical YA tropes (and thanks to Laura Moe for not writing depressed teens - these characters had some optimism, which was refreshing). Many of the teenage conversations felt like realistic teen conversations, which I enjoyed. Though, it was hard for me not to compare this to Sea of Tranquility, which was amazing.
Shayne Thomas
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this YA novel set in Ohio. The characters are interesting and complex. If you like John Green then you will enjoy Laura Moe.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

I thought that this was a fun quick read as far as young adult novels go. The characters were well-developed and unique. Their stories were as well. I did feel as if the ending was slightly rushed, although it did leave room for a sequel or the reader's imagination to fill in what ends up becoming of Michael's relationship with his father. I would recommend this book to others and may end up passing it along to my niece once she's a little older.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ohioana
Recommended to Miriam by: courtney brown
I agree with the front cover blub "Superb." It's not often I'm completely absorbed by a YA novel about teens who are having a rough time of life. In this case, I couldn't put the book down. I actually cried at the end. I guess the tension got to me.

As you already know the basic premise of the story, a teen gets himself in trouble and is sentenced to community service at his high school for the summer, and he's living out of his car. There's a girl who is also serving community service. As they
Nicole Schubert
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Wonderful, realistic coming-of-age story about a teen dealing with his mother's hording and discovering new love. I couldn't put it down from the two-thirds point on. I also want to know what happens to Michael in the next chapter of his life.
Eva-Marie Stanger
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was quite honestly, refreshing. Overall, I was enthralled with the characters, the pace of the writing was good, and the story was original. (No love triangles here!) Michael is like any good character, flawed. I cannot say that I absolutely loved either main character completely, but that is probably a good thing. At times, the rate of progression of their relationship seemed a little quick to me, but nonetheless, I still think it was fairly realistic. I mean, who didn't have a ...more
Martalti Moon
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this novel we follow two teenagers struggling to find themselves, fighting off their demons and trying to become someone new and different from what they are supposed to be.

Stuck in sunmer work at school, paying for some past crime of theirs, Michael and Shelly develop a great friendship that may lead to a beautiful love story based on support and trust. Both main characters are going through a hard time and find a little bit of peace when they spend time together, an undeniable attraction
Jennifer Greer
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review posted on:

My Thoughts: ****Four Stars****
This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review from Merit Press! Thank you so much! Like I mentioned above, receiving this book was a total surprise and it truly did not disappoint me!
The story follows Michael Flynn, a young man who is stuck living in his car because his mother is a hoarder. Michael has no idea why his mother holds onto useless junk that have no meaning to her other than the simple fact
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent realistic novel about a young man voluntarily living in his car rather than at home, because his divorced mother is a hoarder and their house is pretty unlivable. (His younger half-sister sleeps on the porch because she can at least keep that area free from clutter.) It's summertime and Michael's doing community service, before he repeats his senior year, because he was expelled for "almost accidentally blowing up the school" in a revenge prank gone wrong. He meets Shelly, also ...more
Paddy Eger
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Laura Moe has a distinctive and keen eye for writing realistic young adult stories. She shares the lives of two high school misfits (one who is homeless, the other who comes from a wealthy family) who fit together in the critical, judgmental world of teens who don't accept teens who are on the fringe. Each reluctantly has a story to tell. Together they come to trust each other and those around them.

Once you start reading the story you will find it difficult to set it down. The characters will
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading "Breakfast with Neruda" by Laura Moe. I really enjoyed this book and read it today in one sitting. This love story all starts out when Michael and Shelly meet at the school during summer, earning community service. Michael is going into Senior year for the second time, he has a hard home life and gets through the days living in his small car. On the other hand, Shelly is a emo, girl with a nicotine addiction, but has a loving and wealthy family to support her. Shelly and ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA is a social problem novel, a Romance, and a quest story. Michael Flynn ‘s mother is a hoarder so Michael, 18, lives in car. He is doing community service because he tried to blow up his best friend’s car with fireworks. The friend had stolen Michael’s girlfriend.

While doing community service cleaning the school over the summer, Michael meets Shelly, who is also doing community service for getting in trouble. Author Laura Moe does a great job of adding suspense by revealing
Taylor G
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
As the year was coming to a close, I decided to read "Breakfast with Neruda" by Laura Moe. This was a great quick read and it have a quirky romance to it. Micheal, a student who has to repeat senior year, is stuck working at the school over summer break for community service. While he's there, he meets a girl named Shelly, a goth girl who has tons of secrets to find. They both spend more and more time with each other and eventually grow closer than ever. They come from completely different ...more
Apr 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Laura Moe's first novel for young adults is charming and literate; there was the added benefit that it takes place in central Ohio, so it was fun to recognize Columbus landmarks. (A big shout out to The Book Loft in German Village!)

Michael Flynn is a High School Senior that chooses to live in a his car when his hoarding Mom packs the apartment to overflowing with useless junk. Additionally, he is forced to help clean the school over Summer break and repeat his Senior year when an act of
AK Mama Reads
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-review
This book is one of those moving pieces of literature you hope is adopted into the curriculum of middle and high schools across the country. So often kids like Michael and Shelly are labeled as trouble makers and cast aside, written off as though they have no chance of success, and it's a vicious cycle. Breakfast With Neruda gives us their side of the story, and how many times there might be a lot more going on in these so-called deviants lives than we imagine. With clarity and pathos, Laura Moe ...more
Leigh-ann Brodber
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"What’s so bad about being a hoarder?”

That was my first thought when I first heard about Laura Moe’s Breakfast with Neruda. I mulled it over in my mind a couple of times before I could even read the first page of this amazing novel. I couldn’t understand why someone storing up things yielded so many consequences for their family and I just assumed that the book was based solely on a kid going through his “awkward years”. By the time I got to the fifth chapter, I understood the reasons behind why
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
A 3.5. Michael (aka Neruda) has spent his senior year living in his car escaping and rejecting his mentally ill hoarder mother's home and influence while also struggling with her impact on who he is as a person since he is clueless about his father's identity. Assigned a summer of community service for having a locker filled with fireworks, he befriends Shelly(a girl who has just spent her junior year rebelling against her present life while struggling to find her identity). Love of ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
when I started this book I thought it was so stupid but I kept reading, waiting for a plot twist.. but towards the end I really liked it. Michael and Shelly are kind of flat characters and their depth and layers seem kinda forced. But in the end I loved the growth that happened in Michael. I loved Earl and Dot though! Once they figure out Michael's situation, they take him in and we learn they have been foster parents - which was like the best part of the story. I did kinda like how the ...more
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very good YA book about a dysfunctional family... for the most part. A boy living out of his car after being suspended from school meets an eccentric girl during their summer "punishment" at the high school. Their adventures together to deal with their family dynamics and their own relationship mixed in with a lot of coffee drinking...

I received this book from a giveaway in return for an honest review.

I have already given this book to someone else to read and would recommend this book.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Teays Valley Readers: A Book Set in Columbus 3 12 Oct 25, 2017 08:55AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Year of the Dog
  • Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady
  • A Tale of Two Maidens: A Medieval French Story of Fate, Adventure, and the Hundred Years' War
  • The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise
  • The Summer of Jordi Pérez (And the Best Burger in Los Ángeles)
  • All Summer Long
  • Archival Quality
  • Bluffton: My Summers with Buster Keaton
  • Free to Fall
  • Flying Lessons & Other Stories
  • How It Happened
  • Teach Me to Forget
  • Marvel Powers of a Girl
  • Blue Valentines
  • When My Heart Joins the Thousand
  • Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home
  • The Arsonist
  • The Ethan I Was Before
See similar books…
Former librarian and teacher, Laura Moe now writes full-time. she is the author of BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA (Simon & Schuster/Merit Press, 2016) She is also the author of BLUE VALENTINES and THE LANGUAGE OF THE SON.