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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard To Do by Various Authors

Title: Breaking Up is Hard To Do
Authors: Niki Burnham, Terri Clark, Ellen Hopkins, Lynda Sandoval
ISBN: 9780547014999
Publisher: Graphia
Page #: 300
Source: From My Library

"First Love - the joy, the excitement, the tingles - nothing can compare.

Then it ends.
The sheer pain of it all - nothing can compare to that either. How can the human body endure so much? Will you ever get over it?
Luckily, the body can and you will, and here are four stories describing how.

Extraordinary authors Niki Burnham (Royally Jacked), Terri Clark (Sleepless), Ellen Hopkins (Impulse, Crank), and Lynda Sandoval (Who's Your Daddy?) give us four tales of falling out of love. From Toby, who loses his girl because he's afraid of sex, to Mia who has to get over the heartache of falling for a straight girl, to Dee, who discovers too late that it was a cruel joke, not love, and Lisa, who gets dumped because she's not pretty enough, each story shows the resilience of the human heart with a little humor, a little pain, and lots of truth.

Falling in love is amazing. Getting dumped sucks. Reading about someone else going through it - perfect."
First Lines:

"I am, without a doubt, the luckiest guy int he entire West Rollins High School junior class. Here's why:
1. I almost have the 'rents talked into ponying up half the cost of a car."
Page 1 from Last Stand by Niki Burnham

You know, I'm not sure what made me pick this book up. I've been reading more short stories lately, so perhaps that was it. It took me a long time to decide to get to it because it seems like stories about couples breaking up would be really depressing. Luckily, these authors did a great job pulling in the humor and the friendships from wrecked relationships.

One thing I was shocked by (a little, just because it was unexpected) in these stories was the huge focus on sex. I mean, I do realize that it's a big part of relationships today... and please pardon my old fashioned sensibilities... but there were times when I just wanted to scream at the characters. It was like the one thing some of those relationships revolved around. All this is not to say that it's not appropriate - not at all. In fact, I think it would do good for many teens to read about it. I just got frustrated at the focus.

I think my favorite story was the second one - Don't Mind Me by Terri Clark. I think this was the case because it seemed like it was less about the relationship and more about the dynamics of that particular school. It was really well put together and I ended up really rooting for some of those characters.

The story by Ellen Hopkins, Just Plain Lisa, was a little weird for me to read. I've never read anything in verse before, so this was my first taste of it. Honestly, it wasn't written any differently. It's almost more to do with the formatting of the text on the page, isn't it? If you've read this short story, please let me know if it's typical in terms of novels in verse. If that's the case, perhaps I'm missing the point of it. It was a good story, yeah... just the format threw me off.

And the last story Party Foul was pretty heartbreaking. I mean, it's a really good story... and it was one of my favorites... but what happens is just so emotional. Also, I'm sorry to say that the ending isn't all that realistic. I mean, things just don't happen that way in the real world - no matter how much we really wish they did.

I think this is a good grouping of stories that deal with a hard issue. Teens will absolutely identify with the characters in each of the stories. I'll be recommending it to people looking for romance stories - because, really, that's what they are at their core.
Other Blog Review:

Library Girl Reads
YA Books and More
I didn't see a lot of reviews for this book. It's a few years old, but if you've reviewed it, let me know so I can link ya. Thanks!

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