Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt

book cover

Breaking Up is Hard to Do
by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt

ISBN: 0446407569
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: FaithWords
Released: April 16, 2009

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Back Cover (somewhat modified):
It's been a little over a year since Christine Lee's mom passed away in a tragic car accident. Now her dad is engaged to Candace, and Christine takes out her anger at her dad "getting over" her mother so quickly by trying to break them up...without success. It doesn't help that her dad never talks about her mom's death and doesn't have time for her in his busy political schedule.

To make matters worse, her only friends, the Miracle Girls, aren't there for her. The pressures of high school threaten to break the girls up when they need each other the most. Will they find a way to join together to help Christine come to terms with her mother's death and her father's remarriage?

My Review:
Breaking Up is Hard to Do is a well-written young adult general fiction book. It's written in first person, present tense. It's also the second book in the series, but I didn't need to read first novel to understand what's going on in this one (though probably I would understand the girls' bond better if I had).

The characters were complex and engaging though not always likable (for example, Christine's to-be step-mom was perfect when relating to Christine, but Christine was spiteful toward her even though she recognized this). Teen social and school life were realistically and vividly portrayed. BTW, something you can't tell from the cover picture is that Christine has Asian physical looks and doesn't like dresses.

Three of the four "miracle girls" were Christians. Christine started doubting God's existence after her devout mother died in a car crash yet wants "someone bigger" to be out there so that she's not really all alone. Christine's mother's ghost subtly visited Christine several times throughout the story.

There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of "she cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to female teens as a well-written, enjoyable novel.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
"It looks like a cheerleader's soul exploded all over the gym." I scrunch up my nose and catch a glimpse of my nose ring. It still surprises me to see it there.

Ana laughs at my joke, but Zoe rolls her eyes and starts clapping loudly, probably to cover for our silence. The bleachers shake as everyone around us gets pumped up on school spirit. Everywhere you look, there's garnet and gold bunting, streamers, and posters--one of which is misspelled. At least I don't think the cheer-nerds meant to say "Starfish Have School Sprit." It's bad enough that our mascot is the Starfish, but if people find out we have "sprit" too, we'll be the laughingstock of the country.

It's first period of the first day back in school. I rarely feel all that peppy on a very good day, and I'm certainly not chipper on a day like this. At least we were allowed to sit with anyone we wanted. The only requirement was that we had to sit by class. So here are the Miracle Girls, after an incredible summer together, parked under the big "Sophomores" sign. Woo.

The cheerleaders tumble onto the basketball court as the band cues up to play our fight song. Riley trails behind the tumblers, galloping sideways and "sparkling" her fingers at the crowd. The doctors don't want her tumbling this year. I give her a nod. She waves back.

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