Published: May 1st 2011 Sourcebooks Fire
Three days before her drama club's trip to Italy, Jessa Gardner discovers her boyfriend in the costume barn with another girl. Jessa is left with a care package from her best friend titled "Top Twenty Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard," instructing her to do one un-Jessa-like thing each day of the trip. At turns hilarious and heartwrenching, Instructions for a Broken Heart paints a magical Italy in which Jessa learns she must figure out life-and romance-for herself.
This was another lovely book by Culbertson, and with this one she has become one of my favourite authors of YA books. She has a way of putting that extra into a tale.
Jessa Gardner is a young girl with a lot on her plate, all different clubs and projects. She knows what she wants, but she is also an artist, something she forgets at times. I liked her, and how she found herself again. Because just before leaving for Rome she gets her heart broken by a cheating boyfriend. This is all about her journey, finding who she is, what happened, and what has been going on. She travels through Rome with her drama group, tensions run high, and she follows the instructions from her best friend. And this leads to funny situations and sad ones too.
This is how contemporary YA should be. Warm, funny, thoughtful and it just leaves you happy, because there is always a rainbow after the rain, and sunshine. It leaves you whole.
The writing is good too, it's easy, it flows, and when built around a good story there is nothing to complain about. To be honest the only negative thing I could think of is that Jessa reads The Portrait of the artist as a young man and thinks the book rocks (while I think the book is the most boring book ever written), so there you go, nothing bad to say about it.
Like I said, this is how contemporary YA should be according to me. No one too bitchy, not too much drama or angst, but it's still there just not in abundance. It's just real. I could close this book with a smile on my face and wish Jessa all the best. It's a book I would recommend to all, and I will read more by this author.
Source: From the Publisher
I almost forgot my news:
Sourcebooks will be offering a FREE e-book of Kim’s previous novel, Songs of a Teenage Nomad, from May 3 – May 9. All you need to do is click here: http://bit.ly/mBn85f
So remember that tomorrow because that book was just as lovely.