Monday, February 16, 2015

Review of 'How to Unbreakup' by Rebekah L. Purdy

How to Unbreakup

Release Date: 02/10/15
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

First rule of breakups: There’s no going back.

For three years, seventeen-year-old Grace Evers has regretted breaking up with Sage Castle.

That day, she lost her boyfriend and best friend. And let's be honest, it's impossible to just be friends with the one person who gets you, faults and all, and loved you anyway. It's impossible not to think about how it felt to be held by him, or the way he looked right before he was about to kiss you with the most perfectly yummy kiss goodnight.

And now that things are over between them, they've become strangers to one another. Sage won’t even look at Grace, let alone talk to her!

Breakup life sucks and Grace is utterly miserable, doing whatever she can to ease the pain of losing Sage. She's spent the better part of high school pretending to be something she’s not and hanging out with people who probably wouldn't notice if she wasn't there. Crappy dates, backstabbing friends, and Sage's cold shoulder have taken their toll.

So when her parents propose going away to their house on Lake Michigan for the summer, Grace is thrilled. No more massively bad dates with horrible kissers or lunch with frienemies. Just three months of swimming, hiking, and relaxing before senior year starts.

But when Grace learns Sage and his family will be joining them, she readies herself for a totally awkward family vacation of disastrous proportions. How can it be anything but awful if Sage won't even acknowledge she exists?

This is it, Grace's last chance to get Sage back and unbreakup.

Read an excerpt:
“Let’s check out the deck.” Mom looped her arm through mine as we made our way around the furniture to the glass doors. As soon as we pushed them open, the scent of the lake and beach hit me. The sound of gulls echoed in the air. Beach chairs lined the deck, the view breathtaking. From here, I saw there was already a fire pit dug out on the beach. 
The doorbell rang from inside and Mom squealed. “Come on,” she said. My parents rushed to the front door, us kids on their heels. “Time for our other surprise.” 
Dad glanced at us as he whipped open the door. There, standing on the porch, was the Castle family. No. Flipping. Way. Sage’s mouth dropped open in disbelief. He met my gaze then looked away, obviously his parents hadn’t let him in on the surprise either. I squeezed my eyes tight then opened them again, trying to ignore the sick pit in my stomach. Okay. Just keep calm. It isn’t the end of the world. Not yet anyway. 
“Welcome Castle family,” Dad said, hugging Mr. and Mrs. Castle. “The Evers and Castles together again.” 
Mr. Castle chuckled. “Now how’s this for a surprise?” 
“I gave up soccer camp for this?” Sage asked, his eyes narrowed. 
“Yep, and you’re going to enjoy it. End of discussion.” Mr. Castle gave him a warning look. Sage pushed inside, carrying his stuff, not even bothering another glance in my direction. Crap. This wasn’t happening. It might be the end of discussion for Mr. Castle, but I had a feeling this was far from over. If things kept going like they were, it’d be a long, miserable summer for all of us. 
Allie smiled as she came inside. “This is freaking sweet. We’ll be able to hang out all summer. Just like old times.” 
“Yeah. Just like old times.” I gave her a quick hug. Minus the part where Sage actually talked to me. Things in my life were about to get a whole lot more complicated.

**My thoughts**

I loved this book. I completely understand why Grace and Sage broke up in the first place. They were quite young at the time and life is already confusing in your early teens. I felt sad for them that neither one of them was truly happy for several years following the break-up. I was even sadder that they weren't able to maintain their friendship. That best male friend is one of the most important in your life. Bonus points if you can turn it into something romantic.

I loved the list that Grace made to try to win back Sage, and the ensuing comedic mishaps. I found myself snickering out loud at some of her biggest failures, which just made her even more endearing. I felt like a teenager again, with those little belly flipflops any time Sage appeared to make some progress. I also felt her disappointment when her attempts were thwarted by her own missteps, or the acts of someone else interfering. I even found myself vacillating between Sage and Logan, the hottie she met up at the lake, as being the better choice for her at this point. After all, they are quite young. I don't know of many high school relationships that are this strong and intense. I do wish that everyone could find something so real and true at a young age, and also appreciate it as these two do.

I also loved the message of being true to yourself and not merely following the crowd. It takes time and maturity to figure that out for yourself. Many high school students are incapable of getting past that shallow stage until adulthood, but a few of us accomplished it by our senior year. I am seeing this theme again and again in YA lit, and love it.

I also enjoyed the setting, as I grew up in Ohio, just south of the Michigan line, and have fond memories of visiting some of these places. The whole book gave me a sense of nostalgia, and I was glued to the Kindle for the entire read. A solid 4.5 *s in my book. 

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About the Author

Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…

Author Links:
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