The Heartbreakers



Fun Traveling Pants-style story with fewer mature themes.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

The idea is there that girls can get over their breakups by being better, closer friends to one another. But the focus still seems to be on crushes and boyfriends.

Positive role models

The girls start off strong, choosing not to let their crushes rule their life and creating rules; many of them find he courage to try new things, whether singing with a band or writing poetry, but their focus stays pretty much on who they want to date, or date again, or not date. The parents are mostly present and supportive of their girls.

Not applicable

Lots of crushes; kissing.


Mild use of "hell," "bitch," "s--t," "ass," "piss," and "damn."


Some references to brands such as iPod, Sentra, Sephora.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens attend a kegger; Sydney gets drunk for the first time at a party drinking rum and has a bad hangover.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this is a pretty frothy romance somewhat similar to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series but with fewer mature topics -- just some teen drinking and a bit of swearing. The girls support each other and exhibit loyalty; most of the guys are positive, well-rounded characters, and the parents are mostly present and supportive of their girls. However, the idea that the girls are more interested in being great friends than having boyfriends isn't how it plays out.

Parents say

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What's the story?

A circle of high school friends find themselves without boyfriends all at the same time. Alexia's parents are therapists, and she's the one who suggests writing a breakup code: a list of rules for the heartbroken to follow that will transform them into the heartbreakers instead. Focusing on themselves for a while instead of their boyfriends leads them to discover or rediscover things they love such as singing in a rock band, photography, and spending time with their girlfriends. But even so, the rules turn out to be too much, and in only a few short weeks there is much more dating going on than there was before, despite the pledge to not date anyone for three whole months.

Is it any good?


This is fun, predictable chick lit about four sophomore girls dealing with guys, parents' divorces, keggers, and the true meaning of friendship. Although the alternating narrator structure becomes a little dizzying with four points of view, the characters are equally drawn, with supportive parents and likable guy characters. Coming up with a code of rules to follow could be a useful tool for many situations. It's just too bad the focus goes right back to boys and dating in the end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about in what other situations such a "code" or list of rules could help function as  a coping mechanism. How well did this code actually work for the main characters?

  • Sydney discovers the power of writing about her feelings in a journal. Why is journaling so popular?

  • Was Raven right to hide her singing from her mother?

Book details

Author:Pamela Wells
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:November 1, 2008
Number of pages:256
Publisher's recommended age(s):14 - 17
Read aloud:14
Read alone:13

This review of The Heartbreakers was written by

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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; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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For kids who love romance and friendship

What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byuma-saa September 15, 2011

i love this book,and i want more ,,>.

What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bysamandie August 3, 2010

book love

i love it tis a good book i love it
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byKellyxo1 November 22, 2011

The best book of all times!

I think this book is really educational in a lot of ways. It teaches teenagers how to be friends and how's it like to go through a break up, but not just that it focuses on one thing and that is "break up" It's a really good book in my opinion. Worth it!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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