The Breakup Bible

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
The Breakup Bible Book Poster Image
First-heartbreak story has good life lessons.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Parents can use this book to talk about relationships -- including how media portrays teen romance versus what most of these relationships are actually like.

Positive Messages

A believable and realistic examination of the pain of a first real breakup, done with humor, wit, and a great supporting cast. Jen takes time getting over Max, but she also learns to take charge of her own life. Readers will cheer her on as she lands an important internship -- and even flirts with trying love again.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jen's family is supportive of her during her breakup, as are her friends.

Violence
Sex

Some kissing, and Jennifer's boyfriend pressures her to spend the night.

Language

Some words like "bitch" and "ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teen drinking at parties and at a restaurant.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the main plot here involves a girl's attempt to get her life back together after her first real boyfriend breaks up with her. She recounts kissing him, and even a night when he asked her not to go home. Characters swear, and there are also some scenes in which teens -- including the protagonist -- drink. Parents can use this book to talk about relationships -- including how
media portrays teen romance versus what most of these relationships are
actually like.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybaby face jo January 27, 2010
its a great book but not for tweens if they are 13 they may get the wrong idea about the book that it is fine to do what the girl was doing but other then that... Continue reading
Adult Written bypercyjmcclowns45 October 6, 2015
Really helped me with my breakup with Chad. Chad was a Santa Claus impersonater at a mall. He was a real piece of crap. He asked me out while I was sitting on h... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byhaybail09 May 5, 2009

dumb

i thought jen was being a big baby, get over it..max did...im not trying to be mean, but if someone breaks up with you they dont care anymore, why should she ca... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bychipperj December 19, 2011

common reasons that its a good book.

I think as a teen that it does have some cursing in it and some kissing but thats really all the bad stuff. I think that this book is good for teen girls cause... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jen's family and friends try to cheer her up after she's dumped by the school newspaper editor; her grandmother even gives her a cheesy self-help book. But Jen remains heartbroken, especially after she discovers Max is now going out with a ditzy girl who works on the school paper with them. Her life slowly gets better, thanks to her involvement in a controversial article -- and a realization that Max wasn't as perfect for her as she thought.

Is it any good?

Some lovely writing and a colorful supporting cast breathe realism into this likable novel about a girl getting over her first heartbreak. Readers will relate to sad Jen, a driven school newspaper editor who now has to work closely with the boy who just broke up with her. They will also like her colorful family, which includes a foul-mouthed younger brother obsessed with hip-hop culture and a wacky grandmother who gives her an over-the-top self-help novel.

On the other hand, readers may tire of how long it takes Jen to get over Max, and they may not know what to make of The Breakup Bible (which instructs Jen to cut out inspirational messages such as "Mr. Wrong is in the garbage where he belongs" and "I complete me.") Also, the story line in which Jen writes a controversial newspaper article about race relations at her high school seems to come out of nowhere -- though it does energize her, and help her draw an important conclusion about Max. Ultimately, the author hits the right chord: Jen takes time getting over Max, but she also learns to take charge of her own life. Readers will cheer her on as she lands an important internship -- and even flirts with trying love again.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how teen relationships are portrayed in media, from TV to books. What are some of the cliches -- and how do they shape expectations of what relationships are actually like? 

  • What do you imagine a good relationship to be like, and how does that compare to relationships you've been in, or seen friends in?

Book details

For kids who love girl-centered reads

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