Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: A Field Guide for Heartbreakers

 Title: A Field Guide for Heartbreakers
Author: Kristen Tracy
Publication date: June 1st, 2010

Best friends Dessy and Veronica arrive in Europe with wildly different plans. Dessy hopes to heal her newly broken heart by diving into the creative writing workshop that brought the girls to Prague. Veronica's plan, meanwhile, is to conquer as many hot-dudes as possible in one month--and help Dessy recycle her heart in the process. Her method:

- Dress like you are the party.
- Explore the terrain. (Moderate stalking is totally allowed.)
- Be adventurous. And that means being prepared to hide in your suitcase.
- Ask questions that make your hot-dude feel smart.
- Gloss early, gloss often, and bring bum. Because a kiss can happen when you least expect it!

At first, Veronica's plan is working so well that Dessy thinks she might be a love genius. But soon it's clear that Operation Maneater has a few holes. Like its failure to anticipate crazy mixed signals--and worse, its mysterious tendency to plague a friendship with secrets and lies.

Well, no one ever said breaking hearts was a simple craft.... 

At first, the cover and summary of this book made it seem like one of those fluffy summer novels with little substance, but something told me to give it a try. I did, and I was very pleasantly surprised. This novel ended up having a lot more depth with the plot and characters than I thought it would. There were lots of interesting twists that kept me on my toes, wondering what had happened or what would happen. At times, I thought the contrast between Veronica (extroverted, loud-mouthed, etc) and Dessy (introverted, doormat-like) was too great for them to be such good friends, but by the end I was satisfied. There were many, many times where I found myself laughing out loud at the things that the characters did and said, particularly with Veronica. There were a lot of great little quirks and such that kept this novel interesting (for example, a crazy homicidal girl in their writing workshop.)

The only complaint I have with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. As I neared the end and was caught up in all the suspense, I looked at the remaining 10 or so pages and thought, "That's it? There's no way this whole thing can be wrapped up in just ten pages." It was, but I thought it could've been done a bit better. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book. I read it every chance I got, and will likely read it again in the near future. It was a perfect mix of a fun summer read with some depth and adventure to it. 

Received for review from Disney Publishing.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Overall grade: A