Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published: April 30th, 2019 by Inkyard Press
Format: eARC from Netgalley
The summer after senior year is not going as eighteen-year-old Lu Charles expected: after her longtime boyfriend unexpectedly breaks up with her, Lu can’t write a single word, despite the fact that her college scholarship is tied to her columnist job at hip online magazine Misnomer. Then, she meets Cal.
Cal’s ever-practical girlfriend Iris is looking ahead to her first year of college, and her plans do not include a long-distance boyfriend. When Lu learns that Cal and Iris have planned to end their relationship at the end of the summer, she becomes fascinated and decides to chronicle the last months the couple will spend together.
The closer she gets to the couple, the more she likes them, and the more she wants to write about them. The summer unfurls, and Lu discovers what it really means to be in love. On the page, or off it. The book is touching exploration of love and how it shapes us both during a relationship and after it has ended.
This book drove me completely insane. Not in a good way.
Lu, the main character who is dumped after high school graduation and faces ever-dreaded writer’s block just when her writing matters the most, was funny and easy to relate to sometimes, but, MY GOSH, she absolutely annoyed the heck out of me.
Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak is exactly what the title implies, minus the brief part. It honestly felt like this book would never end. (I apologize to the publisher who granted me this eARC for the very delayed review. I did my best, I promise. I related most to Lu when thinking about the fact that I, too, had missed a writing deadline so repeatedly and horribly, but it was all a part of the experience, right?)
Lu is a writer for a teen magazine called Misnomer, where she writes a column on the subject of love. Except, Lu doesn’t do much writing at all during the course of the book because her ex-boyfriend, Leo, breaks up with her because he doesn’t see how their relationship can survive long-distance when they both go off to college in the fall. She sinks into a cycle of depression, writer’s block, and acting out to avoid feeling the impact of her break up and her heartbreak.
This all sounds like an engaging story to me, especially because the blurb claims that the book is a touching exploration of love, but this book ended up being a dud for me because I couldn’t connect with Lu because her destructive cycle repeatedly gave me anxiety and I wished she would just talk to someone about what she was going through. This book is true to life and felt raw and real, but it was just too anxiety-inducing for me to really enjoy it.
I was frustrated with Lu more often than I was able to relate to her, making the entire experience of reading this book very stressful and irritating rather than engaging and cathartic.
I wish I had more to say because I had such high hopes for this book and really expected to enjoy it, but in the end it just wasn’t quite the right match for me.
Overall, I think Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak is a very realistic, hearthfelt look at what it’s like to be a teengager and experience love, a first break up, and the crushing weight of having to make decisions and meet requirements that can affect the rest of your life.
Teens and young adults will undoubtedly relate to many of the experiences Lu goes through on her journey to recover from her first heartbreak, and I’m sure there are readers out there who will love this book, even though I didn’t.