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The Heartbreak Diet

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  258 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Thorina Rose's funny, beautifully illustrated memoir charts the unexpected dissolution of her marriage and the strugglesand adventures of starting over. After marrying young, living in New York, and settling in San Francisco, Rose and herhusband start a family. When he begins an affair with his "running partner," Rose must find a way to rebuild her life with her two young ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 2nd 2008 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  258 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it
this was fun and easy to read. . . this woman's husband was an asshole! i'm glad she sees the light in the end, though. too bad he had to turn it on for her.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-review
The Heartbreak Diet is the memoir of a woman who's husband begins an affair that eventually separates them. They also have two children together. It is told in the format of a graphic novel.

You'd think due to the subject matter this would be depressing. In fact, what sold me on reading this was the format. I love graphic novels but usually try to avoid this sort of subject matter, it just makes me sad. I'm very glad I decided to read it. Rose has a great sense of humor about her life. She goes
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
The art in this book is very good, and you can tell that her drawing style is what got her a book deal. It certainly wasn't that she had any fresh insights on divorce or that she had a firm grasp of storytelling. This is another example of a sad trend in graphic memoirs lately, in which book publishers have been jumping on the bandwagon to travel down a path laid by the popularity of Alison Bechdel and Marjane Satrapi and creating a glut on the market. If this were a conventional memoir, it woul ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This graphic novel is a very frank account of one woman dealing with her husband's infidelity. She goes through a range of emotions from suspicion to the desperation of meeting her husband's mistress (thinking they can maybe work out an "arrangement" to keep the family together), to reluctant acceptance that her husband isn't coming back. This was an honest and well-drawn book, with nice "words of wisdom" pages from well-known women from history. I didn't particularly feel like the target audien ...more
May 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I loved this book! Don't let the title fool you - there's only 1 page where the author actually talks about body size in relation to her breakup. I'm not planning on breaking up with anyone anytime soon, but nonetheless it's nice to know that this book is out there as a sweet salve when you need it most. Think: [[(Ellen Forney + San Francisco + hetero-heartbreak)/considering polygamy] x finding one's self] - admitting that it's an on-going process = awesome! Also, the illustrations are beautiful ...more
Andrea LeClair
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphicnovel
I loved this story so much, and read half of it standing in my kitchen because I opened it up just to see what the art was like and I couldn't put it down. I love that the story does not chronologically follow the relationship, but instead is governed by the stages and states of the author's feelings about her life. I was momentarily frustrated by the end, but mostly because I wanted to know how the story ended, and - it's the story of someone's life.

Utterly captivating. I'll likely read it a f
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
A woman writes a memoir about her cheating husband. The book is written in a graphic novel format and contains some nicely done artwork. The story left a lot to be desired though. Our narrator is a simpering, whiny sort of person (and no offense to how she is in person) who begs for her husband to stay, despite the fact that he's a grade A jerk and continues to see his mistress. There were some odd choices such as the random quotes from various big personalities and celebrities intermixed. It wa ...more
May 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I don't have the heart to give this book the three stars it maybe kinda more likely deserves, because it has so much of the author's heart on the page. All the stages you go through after a serious break-up or divorce are here: the why didn't I see it coming, the horrible jerk stage, the we'll work it out stage, the "please stay" stage. I hope I don't know anyone who will go through this but if I do, this will likely come their way via the mail.
Aug 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
Definitely recommended. It's frustrating to watch a relationship disintegrate and the excuses people make for themselves. However, it's a very honest book, not pretentious or breezy. I enjoyed the art and the women's wisdom interspersed throughout (not hokey!). I look forward to reading her other works.
Oct 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2008
This was a great graphic novel-- not as moving as Persepolis, but the subject matter wasn't anywhere near as tragic so it's a tough comparison. Nonetheless, I felt for the author and enjoyed her portrayal of what happened to her. Her drawings were interesting, often beautiful, and her sense of humor and self-deprecation was a nice light touch to balance the sadness of being left by her husband.
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a memoir illustrated and told by a woman who found herself losing her husband to an affair, struggling to connect with her sons and committing to starting over - no matter how many times it takes. The language is wise and humorous, and the drawings tug at your heart in a way that grabs your feelings of loss, love and hope.
Courtney Payne
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book changed my opinion (based on nothing) of the new breed of graphic novels written for the novel reader. I loved it. This one is geared toward the 30-something woman.
Sad, real, funny, full of hope. Now I am finally reading Persepolis (and loving it).
Krystal Racca
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it

This is one of those "read in one sitting" books. It's a graphic novel about a hard breakup from the wife's perspective. Graphic novels can be really fun to read, but they go so fast!
Hannah Garden
Dec 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Aw. This was a charmer. I'd like t0 meet this girl and give her s0me wicked high-fives.
Aug 03, 2011 added it
I was so mad at the ex husband in this story but I was especially mad at the woman he was cheating on the protagonist with. The audacity of her!
Kathy Ellen Davis
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult
Great adult graphic novel.
More here:
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favorite quotes:
"In all honesty, I must be unbearable to live with. I'm tracking his every twitch like a hyena stalking a wildebeest. But the more I try to hold on, the more elusive he becomes."

"A horticulturist friend once mentioned that you cannot grow two cacti in one pot. One will thrive and the other will wither. Maybe that's what happened to us?"

"There is actually such a thing as 'broken heart syndrome.' The medical term is stress cardiomyopathy. It primarily affects older women and is bro
Ashley Lynne
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Just eh. Nothing special or memorable or unique. But there was a lot of raw emotion and I respected that so much.
Belle Beth Cooper
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up. Pretty depressing story in some ways but I liked the way it was told.
Dawn Rutherford
Not bad, but for some reason I wanted more.
Victoria Klein
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Breaking up is hard to do – we all know it. Close friends can help you get over a split with your boyfriend, but what about when that man was your husband?

My parents separated when I was 9, after 14 years of marriage and 2 kids. Trying to describe what it felt like for a young kid is immensely difficult, but I had no idea what my mom was going through … until now.

In The Heartbreak Diet: A Story of Family, Fidelity, and Starting Over, San Francisco illustrator and author Thorina Rose shares her c
Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix, non-fiction
This is a memoir style comic book about a woman learning to be independent and happy following a difficult divorce. I feel encouraged by the growing number of graphic novel memoirs by women like Cancer Vixen, The Imposter's Daughter, and Forget Sorrow which are being increasingly published for and marketed to a decidedly non-nerdy, mainstream female reader who might pick this book up after seeing a review in Glamour or Cosmo. I am really, really glad that these books exist and are being publishe ...more
Rosemary Rey
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
My daughter loves graphic (as in artistic) novels. I found this to be a lovely medium for the author to return to her artistic nature while telling a story of angst and self doubt. The author is quite talented in combining scenes from her history and succinctly expressing in words how she felt.

I love stories of heartbreak and lessons learned from love lost. This story is reminiscent of Happens Every Day, by Isabelle Gilles. A woman who puts family first at the expense of her career while being
George Marshall
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Superficial and irritating with passable art. Rose comes over as superficial in her insights and overly concerned with status and appearances. She talks a lot about people's looks and income and, when her husband abandons her for someone younger, prettier and richer I can't help but feel that this is the reward for having such materialstic values.
I do sympathise with the pain of Rose's abandonment and the book contains some genuinely moving parts (not surprisingly Rose does well when she is talk
Dina Depalma
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
I just had to review this. I just had to do exactly as the author did. Allow me to present you with nothing original, revolutionary or even interesting. The story is basically anyones sad divorce story, relatable to many. The journey is predictable as life typically is. The characters are about as bland as any stranger you never met, but also aren't terribly interested in. The books creation I imagine was therapeutic for the author. This does not really qualify it suitable for publication in my ...more
Savi Malfitano
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I loved this little book!!! I got this for Christmas and read it for the first time today, then re-read it about an hour ago. It is so entertaining I almost forgot about this being a tale of heartbreak. Thorina is truly a gifted artist and I loved the intricate details displayed in her illustrations.

It is a sad story about a woman who is married with two sons and discovers her husband is cheating. The book details all the desperate thoughts that cross her mind, all the advice she gets from the
Emilia P
Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
I am all wait...didn't I just read this a month ago? (Good Riddance)
And then part of me is like HEY more chicks should tell their stories and I should support that!
And then part of me is all heyyyy yeah dudes are rough to deal with sometimes aren't they, I really enjoyed this book on a gut level.
And then I'm all heyyyy but there's no great hook or personal twist here that makes it stand out so maybe it's kind of forgettable?

But then I'm all hey, sounds like you enjoyed it, Emilia, don't crap on
Janel Gradowski
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was surprised at some of the humor incorporated into this book about the breakup of the author's marriage. Not what I was expecting from the subject matter. After reading about her husband I really wondered how she had stayed with him for so many years. While he was only identified as "X", I'm sure there's nothing like taking out a little literary revenge to help mend a broken heart. Ms. Rose is a talented artist and I really like the illustrations in this graphic memoir. Now that I've read it ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2013
I don't normally go for graphic novels, but this is one of the March Amazon Bargain Books for Kindle, so I picked it up and read it on the train on the way to work. One can intuit that the story was cathartic for the author to tell and to draw, and that she is probably in a better place, currently. She treats the subject matter head-on with humor and dignity. It was good!

I enjoyed the quotations from women sprinkled throughout the book. All in all, it was worth the two bucks and the hour I spen
Oct 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Poor Thorina forced into a divorce she didn't want and tried to save her marriage from enduring. Fortunately, she muddles through and manages to find a glittering career and a healed heart at the end of her trials. Unfortunately, for me, there's no way to print any of the lovely full-page "Words of Wise Women" spreads that feature a portrait and a quote from several famous women at relevant points in the narrative. Well-written and charmingly illustrated, The Heartbreak Diet is a great read for ...more
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