Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Book Review: Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Pages: Hardcover; 384
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Source: TLC Book Tours / Publisher
Content Screening: Nothing of note.

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers looking for a refreshing look at teenage love.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
The summer after senior year is not going as eighteen-year-old Lu Charles expected: after her longtime boyfriend unexpectedly breaks up with her, Lu can’t write a single word, despite the fact that her college scholarship is tied to her columnist job at hip online magazine Misnomer. Then, she meets Cal.

Cal’s ever-practical girlfriend Iris is looking ahead to her first year of college, and her plans do not include a long-distance boyfriend. When Lu learns that Cal and Iris have planned to end their relationship at the end of the summer, she becomes fascinated and decides to chronicle the last months the couple will spend together.

The closer she gets to the couple, the more she likes them, and the more she wants to write about them. The summer unfurls, and Lu discovers what it really means to be in love. On the page, or off it. The book is touching exploration of love and how it shapes us both during a relationship and after it has ended.

I'm going to be completely transparent with you, and let you know that this book came into my life at a time when I wasn't prepared for it. To all of my other mood readers out there, you'll understand what I mean. Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak is a really sweet book. It's all about having love, losing love, choosing love, and figuring out that weird balance that you have to achieve when high school is behind you and college looms ahead. It's about that last summer, and the pressure to do something with it. This book is everything I needed as a teen going through that, and that's also why it was so hard for me to love it now. I'll explain.

First off, Lu isn't the easiest character to fall in love with. My initial reaction towards her wasn't great, because she felt so self-centered and lost. However as I read, I had to keep reminding myself that I was once that person too. A person adrift in life, grasping at anyone who looked like they had their lives together. A person who thought they had love, and lost it in a way that felt utterly devastating on all levels. I read on, and I realized that I understood Lu more than I wanted to. She was a passionate human being, who needed some guidance. She was a good friend and a good daughter, who was too caught up in her own issues to really see how that was slipping away. I'll admit, by the time I reached the end of this book I actually loved that girl. Give Lu a chance. She's worth it.

On the plus side, the interactions in the book were also something that I ate up eagerly. Lu's friendships felt real, and whole. Her relationship with her mother cracked me up, because that's how my mom was when I was a teen too. I loved seeing the two of them exist in a space without judgement, and filled with love. There's nothing more important than a parental love when you're floating adrift. I also more than loved the fact that Peter, Lu's best friend, was never on the "love" scale. A book like this would have had me thinking that he'd be the twist ending boyfriend. I won't spoil, but trust me when I say that the way this ends is perfect. I appreciated Alsaid for just letting a friendship be a friendship.

My other issue, in all honesty, was the pace of this book. Lu's brain isn't an easy one to be caught up in, especially when she turns to procrastination instead of dealing with her emotions. I felt like, while the vast majority of the story line felt solid, there were portions that just dragged. The longer that Lu pushed away her feelings, the more I felt like there were long pauses where nothing happened. Since I was frustrated with her for nearly the first half of this book, it made it harder to read on. As I said though, I did change my tune! I still wish this was a little shorter though.

I think what made me love Lu in the end was her writing. The amount of emotion poured onto these pages, once she let herself really feel, caught up me. You've probably noticed that my reviews are usually very heavy on the emotion. I connect with books through my emotions, and that's how I share my feelings about them. Alsaid created a character who felt very much like I felt, and that helped a ton. This book is a sweet, honest look at what love can mean. I know that there are a ton of readers out there who are going to fall hopelessly in love with it.

In the end, I'd rate this at a solid three stars. It wasn't always the easiest read, but the story was worth it. I found myself reminiscing of a time that I hadn't thought about in a while. I loved the nods to small gestures of love, and holding on to things even when it feels pointless. If you are a fan of stories that will make you smile, and possibly make you tear up, this is for you. Enjoy.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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