Review: The Museum of Heartbreak

Meg Leder - The Museum of Heartbreak
Expected publication: June 7, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

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.

I still don't get the point of this book.

I'm not even sure how to explain it. It made zero sense. By the cover, I thought it was about a girl - the MC, obviously - who was forced to return all her junk to her ex-boyfriend and had an emotional attachment over whatever thrift-store trash he gave her and was forced to reminisce over each item. Yeah, I don't know why, but I did.

When her best friend, Audrey, grows distant to become the new best friend of the resident queen bee, Cherisse, Penelope is crushed. Her only friends, Audrey and Eph, are slowly becoming not hers. But when she attends a house party and meets the eccentric Keats, who is sitting on the floor in his room, in a three-piece suit and drinking from a flask (?), they share an in-depth conversation and he gives her his copy of On The Road. The book follows Audrey's descent into womanhood, I assume?

The slutshaming is massive and ugly. Cherisse wasn't even that bad of an antagonist. The girl got drunk once, and was automatically labeled a sloppy ho. Audrey was the terrible friend. As soon as she was able to follow Cherisse around, she ditched Penelope. What kind of "best friend" is that?

And Keats was weird. I think you might get that from his full name. Keats Francis. It's so pretentious, I already have a headache. He writes dark poetry, reads only Kerouac, and has slight Berger-tendencies. He declines a slice of cake because it contains "artificial coloring." Leave my house, then...?

At the beginning of each chapter, Penelope has either been given and/or loaned something, or in the rarer case, she has actually brought something. Most of the items are meaningless. It was a semi-interesting concept, though. Seemingly, Penelope is a fortunate gal. But at one point, her best friend gives her a dark chocolate Kit-Kat wrapper. Um.

This is a short read, but it felt intolerably long. I wasn't invested in anyone's character. I feel like I still don't know anything about anyone. Eph's parents fight. Keats writes badly. Cherisse is trashy. In a few words, that's the book. I hate to say, but this was a waste.



  1. Oh man, this one sounds pretty bad. Too bad because that cover is so cute! Definitely too many negative aspects that would bother me though, especially if there wasn't a point to anything.

    1. Ikr??? I ADORE the cover. Yeah, but this book was mostly a mess.


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