The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I read a book before its publication date... HALLELUJAH! This just hasn't happened in a long time so yeah, it's kind of a big deal for me, reading slumps and all. Haha! Read on for my review of this book out next next week!

The Museum of Heartbreak
Title: The Museum of Heartbreak
Author: Meg Leder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date of Publication: June 7, 2016
Source: egalley from publisher

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.

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My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

That cover was too adorable that I knew I had to read this book. And THAT TITLE. I admit to not even reading the synopsis to this one when I requested it. So I went into this book blind.

Well, I wouldn't say that I regret being blinded by my love for adorable covers but I would also say that the story inside isn't as adorable as its cover.

My main gripe with The Museum of Heartbreak is that I didn't feel any connection to our protagonist, Penelope Marx. Or to any character, actually. In fact, the characters in here lacked dimensions and they felt like they just played a role to move the plot along. Oh wait, there isn't really a plot as the novel more of chronicles Pen's series of heartbreaks, which is to say it's just a coming-of-age story. We have Keats, the cute guy Pen has a crush on who likes Kerouac and is obviously a dickhead but of course Pen does not see it. We have Cherisse who's just totally mean with no redeeming qualities (gah, I know a Cherisse in real life that I am not fond of so it doesn't help the character gain any favors with me, not that the author gave the reader any reason to even root for her as a person) and we have Audrey, Pen's bestfriend/soon-to-be-ex-bestfriend. And Eph, who obviously likes/loves/whatever Pen but of course she can't see it too. Well, I actually don't blame Pen too because Eph is her bestfriend and he keeps on dating other girls and breaking their hearts too. And he's so bad at emotions and expressing himself. But then again, he's only marginally better than the others with the dimensions aspect because he still felt like a plot device more than a character/love interest. I did adore him and how much he loves dinosaurs but that's about it as well?

I did see a bit of myself in Pen and I actually empathize with her social anxiety and general anxiety/paranoia/nervousness/panic. I so overthink things and I just get that aspect of her personality. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for me to root for her wholeheartedly. I mean, sure, I root for her as you usually do with the protagonist but I don't have strong feelings about it. Pen started off as an idealistic girl too, the type who thinks romance is like a Jane Austen novel, so while I do understand that, I can't also help thinking that she needs to let go of that way of thinking. Then I berate myself because that's how I was as well when I was her age. Ha! Also, Pen is bookish so yay!

Sadly, I don't have strong feelings for this novel. It's a bit cute but it fell flat to me most of the time. I did really like the concept of this heartbreak museum and that there were illustrations of each item/artifact in it. Complete with a Latin translation and donor. And I liked how the heartbreak tackled in this novel isn't purely of the romantic kind because it's not all there is to the world! It also included heartbreaks due to friendship and family, which I'm grateful for because coming of age does not only mean learning about love, romantic love that is.

So, overall, a decent read but nothing worth gushing about in my opinion. Would I read Meg Leder's books in the future? I think I will but it's not going to be a top priority. Unless it's coupled with another adorable or gorgeous cover then you know I'll be falling in queue for that. Ha.


  1. I really love that cover and congrats on the ARC! You totally deserve it :D AHHHHH I'm so excited for this book, and need it in my hands right this instant!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. Hope you get to read it soonest, Alex! :D

  2. I've recently read a couple of books where I didn't have that connection I needed with the character. Still gave good ratings because the rest of the story worked. I'd read the authors again.

    1. Me too! I read three books like that in a row, including this one. They were good but no connection and strong feelings. And I'd read the author's other books too but they're not a priority. Thanks for dropping by, Laura!


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