PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse

DATE PUBLISHED: 7th June 2016

PAGES: 256



In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.


This book is told in the first person from the perspective of Penelope. Penelope’s inner voice was easy and enjoyable to read. Relating the different chapters back to a particular item cemented Penelope’s journey, culminating in her Museum of Heartbreak.


The development of Penelope’s character was interesting to read. Penelope’s character works her way through high school and discovers that her friends and family have lives outside of her. Through her collective heartbreaks Penelope learns lessons and discovers that maybe your heart belongs to someone that you knew all along.


Heartbreak: As per the title of this book, Penelope undergoes heartbreak. Through this heartbreak, lessons are learnt and this heartbreak is a catalyst for an epiphany.

Love: With the concept of heartbreak there is also love. The idea of first love, both the unbelievable joy and uncontrollable heartbreak are explored within this novel.

Friendship: Penelope has a close niche of friends that make her small piece of the world amazing. The concept of friends having a life outside of the friendship with her and the breakups of old friendships and creations of new ones can be found in the novel.


This book was extremely cute and I particularly enjoyed the pictures and catalogue of each item in the museum at the commencement of each chapter to tie everything together. The cute high school rom-com type book left me smiling and empathising with the protagonist. At times I shook my head at her decisions, but overall I enjoyed this book.

A quirky ride through the turmoil of first love.




Keep Calm and Read On,



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