My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Maybe, in real life, there weren’t happy endings.
Can we pause for a second to admire that beautiful book cover? Seriously, if you still judge books by their cover (even when everyone tells you to not to) like I do, that book cover is an automatic click to your TBR.
The Museum of Heartbreak is a good yet generic contemporary novel. I really had a great time reading the book, it’s basically enjoyable but not memorable hence my 3-star rating.
The characters are portrayed very well, they had their significant and predictable roles. We have our main character, Penelope whose voice was quite relatable especially for those of us in high school. She may come off as naive and a bit childish to some but to be honest her character is quite accurate, it’s part of growing up and so is heartbreak (we’ll elaborate that in a bit). For our supporting characters, we have the not so supporting bestfriend, Audrey who is changing and drifting away from Pen; Eph, the other bestfriend but he’s a guy; Keats, the guy that Pen likes but is very awful and; Cherisse, the BFF-stealer. See how everyone has that specific and predictable role?
I feel like this is more of a character-driven book than a plot-driven one, which is common for contemporary books, that being said the over-all character development was done well. Pen went from annoying and naive to a whole lot better person in a perfect pace.
The plot is predictable and has been done a lot already, but if you’re a marshmallow like me you’ll still enjoy it because it has its sweet and fluffy moments. The romance here was fine, it wasn’t bad or butterflies-in-my-stomach good. The thing that I loved about this book was the friendship, even though the BFFs-drifting-away-story has been done so many times it still gets me and this book wrote that part so realistic and raw that I actually cried so much.
Her smile faltered, and I wondered then if we’d stay friends forever, or if we’d drift off into our new groups, and if maybe that was okay.
Other things that like: The dinosaurs, the drawings. I also liked the concept of the museum and artifacts, how after reading the book you’ll look at the book cover differently.
Things that I didn’t like: Keats. And the lack of overall depth to the story and feelings, I wanted more from this book and it did not deliver. It lacked this emotional connection that gets me invested with the characters and their stories.
The moral of the book is that, heartbreak can come from different places. And it is part of growing up. People can give you heartbreak whether they’re your bestfriend, or just a close friend, or the person you like-like. You cannot control that, but what you can control is opening your heart to other things and other people. Heartbreak hurts, but do not let it stop you from growing and letting people in your heart.
The Museum of Heartbreak is an enjoyable read, it’s a perfect quick read for everyone who just want to take a break and read something light. It’s your generic contemporary novel with forgettable characters and predictable plot.
…maybe that was the point—that instead of happy endings, you get beginnings. Hundreds of little beginnings happening every moment, each of them layering into histories deep and tangled and new, histories you count on to remain, no matter what changes the world throws at you.