Author: Meg Leder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: June 7, 2016
Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
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.
M Y T H O U G H T S
Sixteen-year-old Penelope (Pen) Madeira Marx is the curator of the Museum of Heartbreak of the United States of America. She is a romantic waiting to fall in love. When Pen's friends Audrey and Eph have been expanding their social circles beyond their social triangle, Pen has been feeling quite left out. After meeting Grace and Miles, she realizes that she doesn't always have to do thing with her friends all the time. However, Pen seems not to be able to let go.
Meg Leder writes a genuine book about first crushes, friendship and finding one self. I found myself smiling a lot throughout the whole book because it's so light, fluffy and happy. I feel like I am sitting on cloud nine. Leder takes her readers on a trip around New York City. I recognize a lot of places from McNally Jackson Books to the American Museum of Natural History. Pen is relatable and all the characters in the novel are believable. Nothing is over the top and I can see every event happening in a high school setting.
Pen goes through multiple types of heartbreak throughout the book. Heartbreak is define by absence, loneliness and heightens nostalgia. It's a physical phenomenon, it comes it all shapes and sizes and the biggest heartbreak of it all is letting go.
Each chapter has a sketch of an item from the Museum of Heartbreak. Next to the drawing, there is description of the item and how she obtained the item along with a catalog number. This is a very creative way to title each chapter since each artifact of the museum has significance in Pen's life. Karina Granda did a fantastic job with the cover art. A curation of everything mentioned in the book is summarized through artifacts like pieces of a puzzle.
I also appreciate the pop culture and literary references within the novel such as mentions of Watchmen, J.D Salinger, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anne of Green Gables, Wuthering Heights, Oscar Wilde and the Dead Poet's Society.
This novel is written in a first person POV except for the last chapter which is sort of out of place since it's written in second person POV. However, the second person POV is the reader being a character from the novel.
The Museum of Heartbreak is a quirky and delightful read full of nostalgia and innocence. From dinosaurs to dark chocolate Kit-Kats, Pen realizes sometimes the best of things are right in front of her. Sometimes heartbreak is necessary before finding the truth and happiness.