Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 337
Series or Stand Alone: I believe series?
SummaryIf there’s an upside to having your heart broken, it’s this: A broken heart makes you brave.
The first day of sophomore year doesn’t go the way Lucy planned. After a summer apart from her boyfriend, she’s ready to greet him with a special surprise and instead gets a shocking one in return: He’s breaking up with her. Beyond devastated, Lucy has no idea how she’s going to make it through homeroom, let alone the rest of her life.
Enter three stunning girls with the unnatural ability to attract boys and an offer Lucy can’t refuse: They can heal her heart in an instant. And then she’ll be one of them—a member of a sisterhood that is impervious to heartbreak and has access to magic distilled from the tears of brokenhearted boys. But to gain their power, Lucy must get a guy to fall in love with her the old-fashioned way, and then break his heart in the next seven days.
While the sisterhood may need another Heartbreaker, Lucy’s only desire is to get her ex back. But how far is she willing to go, and who is she willing to cross to get what she wants?

Lynn Weingarten is awesome. I met her after reading Wherever Nina Lies (her previous book, which everyone should go out and read because it too is awesome) and she was totally fun, bubbly, and down to Earth. When I heard about her next novel, I automatically added it to my to be read list. I was lucky enough that Lynn sent me an ARC of The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers back in October. I read it back when I first got it, then read it again when I bought the book on release day at the end of December.
Lucy Wrenn, the protagonist in The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers, gets her heart broken within the first chapter of the book. She is approached by a group of three beautiful, confident girls that have an offer: if Lucy can bring them the tears of a boy whose heart she breaks within seven days, they will use their magic to heal Lucy's broken heart. Otherwise, the memories of this deal and her knowledge of magic would disappear. At first Lucy is hesitant, but she decides to use the advantages at hand in order to get her ex-boyfriend Alex back. Lucy ends up learning a lot about herself and those around her--and breaks an unexpected heart in the process.
If I could describe this book in one word, it would definitely be whimsical. Weingarten's words evoked thoughts of fairy tales--but don't be mistaken. This book is not something completely fluffy rolled in sugar, there are darker aspects at work, adding a completely different dimension to it. There are supernatural aspects involved (re: magic) but the darker aspects come from a wholly human place. The willingness of the girls to toy around with the feelings of others, regardless of their intent to make these boys more empathetic beings, is kind of a dark concept. Firmly in the morally grey. Their activities are not because of magic; the things the Heartbreakers do are merely enhanced by magic. Lucy's exploration of the morality of their activities within the story made the book far deeper than it could have been without it. There are a darker aspects, but Weingarten's writing is light and easy to read--a great combination.
The cast of characters is varied and well developed. Lucy captures the wonder of first love perfectly, down to her adoration of each and every tiny aspect of Alex's personality and appearance. She's definitely naive, but learns about the situation she's in and the people involved quickly, never losing herself in the process. Her best friend Tristan perfectly embodies the friend on the sidelines of a relationship without being pathetic or clingy. The Heartbreakers--Olivia, Liza, and Gil--become Lucy's friends (at various portions of the story) but still seemed to retain a certain ethereal detachment fitting of people that healed their own broken hearts by magic rather than time.
The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers was a great opening to a series--but have no fear if you are adverse to series. Weingarten ties the story up within the first novel, so it could act as a standalone if you are so inclined. Personally, I can't wait for the next installment. If you're looking for a different take on the supernatural, definitely pick this one up. Lucy and her friends were a refreshing change from the world-ending love of vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc populating the shelves today. Pick this one up--you won't regret it.
(Side note: I love the cover. Confetti = awesome.)

Rating: 5 - shelf of favorites.

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