Heartbreak Boys

Heartbreak Boys
Age Range
Release Date
December 20, 2022
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A road trip rom-com about heartbreak, social media hijinks, and learning to be happy with who you are, perfect for fans of Heartstopper, Becky Albertalli and Phil Stamper.
When their ex-boyfriends get together and start Instagramming a disgustingly perfect summer of love, Jack and Nate decide to concoct a mutual Insta-worthy summer adventure of their own to prove they’re just fine and everything’s great.

Of course, it’s hard to have an epic summer road trip when they’re stuck in a van with Nate's mid-life crisis-bound parents and his annoying younger sister. And it’s been years since Jack and Nate have said more than a few sentences to each other. But their followers don’t have to know any of that.

How hard could faking the high life be? Posting as @TheHeartBreakBoys, the duo stumbles into one hilarious situation after another—and each discover that maybe the cure for heartbreak has been the boy riding next to him all along. 

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1 review
absolutely delightful rom-com
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HEARTBREAK BOYS is an absolutely delightful YA contemporary about heartbreak, friendship, adventure, and finding your own path. Jack is about to be crowned prom king alongside his boyfriend, Dylan, when Nate makes an announcement that he is gay and dating Tariq. As they exchange a look, Jack recognizes it, and it soon comes out, very publicly, that Tariq and Dylan have been cheating and are now together. To add insult to injury, they have started their own instagram with their worldly travels and everyone seems to be supporting them together.

Nate is heartbroken, and Jack is furious. When Nate's parents invite Jack along for their road trip, he decides to go with them and create their own account, The Heartbreak Boys, to show how fabulous their summer is as well. Jack and Nate used to be friends, but that ended back in year nine. However, Jack is excited to rekindle their friendship, which would be going great - if they can clear the waters from what happened in the past. As they spend the summer on a roadtrip with Nate's family who are going with the flow (but with some schedules), they begin to realize what is really important and the truly amazing lives they have offline.

What I loved: This book is absolutely hilarious. There were some scenes that absolutely had me laughing out loud - a perfect rom-com feeling. It's light and charming with some emotional depth that ties it together in a really delightful and satisfying package. Some of my favorite scenes were the massages (Olga!), the raft building exercise, and pretty much everything with Rose, Nate's younger sister. Even the trip to Karen's house (whose name was apt) was absolutely hysterical amidst the horrifying. I mean, seriously, all the smiles from this book!

While the book is full of fluffy and funny, it also has some deeper themes that will resonate with readers around being true to yourself, embracing who you are, living for yourself, the toxicity of social media, true friendship, and falling in love. Jack is very open about who he is and true to himself in a way that others don't always appreciate. While some ask him to tone it down, he owns himself as he is, and this is something that other characters learn to respect. It takes a lot of courage to just be who you are when others can be so cruel, and Jack is a model of it all - he feels the hurt from teasing, but the value in being who you are and whoever you want to be really just shines through.

While their road trip begins with their plot to curate the perfect instagram feed (and maybe snag some endorsements), what they really learn is that the important stuff happens offline when they are experiencing things, making friends, and spending time with family. Speaking of family, Nate's family is amazing. It was apparent that each of his parents were their own character, but they also had a lot of love and support to share. I was completely charmed by them - and by Jack's mother and their banter as well. The parent relationships in this were really fun and added to the story beautifully.

Jack and Nate are also really great characters. The book is told in alternating perspectives, and they each had their own personalities and felt so real. While their outlooks and reactions had been different, their friendship is truly binding and lovely. It was impossible not to cheer for them as the book moves further along, and I love the way their friendship grew all the way into something more. Their personalities really drive the story with a bit of sunshine vs grumpy elements as a cherry on top.

Final verdict: Delightful from start to finish, HEARTBREAK BOYS is an absolutely charming YA contemporary/rom-com that will leave readers grinning from ear to ear. Highly recommend if you enjoy laughter, love, and teenage drama.
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