The Breakup Bible

Common Sense Media says

First-heartbreak story has good life lessons.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

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

Language

Some words like "bitch" and "ass."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teen drinking at parties and at a restaurant.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Melissa Kantor
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:May 1, 2007
Number of pages:272
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of The Breakup Bible was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byhaybail09 May 5, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

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 care?!
Teen, 15 years old Written byidaly March 25, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

the Breakup Bible

itz a really nice book
Teen, 13 years old Written byCourtneyandCharger September 14, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

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