Instructions for a broken heart

Instructions for a broken heart
Age Range
Release Date
March 26, 2011
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Top 20 Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard Jessa: To help you get over your train wreck EX, I've enclosed 20 envelopes. Each one has a reason why Sean is a jerk and not worth the dirt on your shoes. And each one has an instruction for you to do one un-Jessa-like thing a day. NO CHEATING! Ciao! -C When Jessa catches her boyfriend, Sean, making out with Natalie "the Boob Job" Stone three days before their drama club's departure to Italy, she completely freaks. Stuck with a front-row view of Sean and Natalie making out against the backdrop of a country that oozes romance, Jessa promises to follow all of the outrageous instructions in her best friend's care package and open her heart to new experiences. Enter cute Italian boy stage left. Jessa had prepared to play the role of humiliated ex-girlfriend, but with Carissa directing her life from afar, it's finally time to take a shot at being a star.

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Instructions for a broken heart
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Jessa can't believe she just stumbled on her boyfriend Sean making out with "the Boob Job" Natalie. To make matters worse this all happened three days before their drama trip to Italy.

No way is Jessa turning down this trip.

Then her friend Tyler gives her some envelopes from their friend Carissa with instructions for Jessa to get over that slimy jerk of an ex-boyfriend. Jessa is up to this. Anything to get the picture of Sean and Natalie out of her mind.

But once in Italy, she finds that life isn't like a well rehearsed script. No, there's many twists and turns on the path.

I really enjoyed this tale that transported me to Italy and memories of that first break-up and betrayal. Jessa is used to doing everything well. One refreshing thing about this story is her character isn't a one sided drama student that are in some other books and even on TV. No, Jessa is a multi-layered person who's struggles with Sean's betrayal and to the wrenching heartache of first love ring very true.

The lush background of Italy tugs at Jessa as does the cute mysterious Italian boy who just shows up to Dylan Thomas, a boy from the other school. The letters from Carissa remind me of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES only these instructions have Jessa do some experiences that go way out of her comfort zone. For example the whole Laundry Rule 101 that it should be a crime for an ex to wear something you bought them. What Jessa does with this one to Sean is hilarious. The romps through Italy are both touching to hilarious.

Another thing I really loved was the whole kiss-a-frog-thing wasn't about finding a prince but rather that you had to follow your own share of frogs on a stick through the busy streets before you get them smashed on the cement so you can find your own way. This is in reference to their tour guide who has this frog on a stick that they all find very annoying. Jessa finds out on her journey through Italy that she has to do just that.

This is a must read for fans of Sarah Dessen and those who loved Culbertson's first book SONGS FOR A TEENAGE NOMAD. This book also has some free verse poems throughout the pages. A real treat for those who need a welcomed break from all the paranormals and dystopias out there.
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