The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers: A Valentine’s Day Review

“In the beginning, there was Lucy Wrenn, standing all alone out in front of her school on the first day of sophomore year, with a seductive little message written on her stomach in Sharpie marker.”

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn WeingartenBut it turns out what Lucy saw as the beginning of something much more is actually the end of everything when her boyfriend breaks up with her. Right there. On the first day of school. Even after seeing the message on her stomach.

Lucy doesn’t understand how Alex can suddenly stop loving her this way. She knows her feelings haven’t changed even if her heart is now broken in painful, sad, pieces. She knows she needs to get him back. Even if that seems an impossible feat there in the beginning on that first day.

By the second day, Lucy has a plan. Recruited by three mysterious, beautiful girls at school, Lucy has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If Lucy can make a guy fall in love with her and break his heart in the next week, Lucy can become one of them; a part of their secret sisterhood of heartbreakers.

Suddenly Lucy’s chances of winning back her boyfriend are looking up. The girls offer to help Lucy find the right way to win and break a heart with their own special brand of advice and a little something extra–a little something magical. With that little bit of magic, Lucy won’t need to break a heart at all. She can just win back her boyfriend and have things go back to normal.

The only problem is that nothing about becoming a heartbreaker is normal. Or easy. Some of it isn’t even very nice.

In the beginning Lucy Wrenn had her heart broken. By the end, Lucy Wrenn might not have a broken heart but she also might not recognize herself in The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers (2011) by Lynn Weingarten.

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers is Weingarten’s second novel. It is also her first fantasy.

From the very first page, Weingarten creates a compelling narrative voice for the novel with a tone commonly found in fairy tales or folk stories. The prose aptly captures the strange blend of magic and mischief Lucy encounters as she delves into the world of the Heartbreakers.

Despite the pitch perfect voice, some moments in the novel stand out as too crude, too modern, or simply too mean. Breaking hearts is a messy business and leads to some tough decisions for Lucy and some heartless behavior from all of the characters.

While The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers is light on the fantasy in some respects (the actual “magic” of being a Heartbreaker comes up more in the second half of the story), this story remains an interesting commentary on what new relationships look like as well as what it really takes to get a guy while staying true to yourself.

Lucy’s transformation throughout the story is handled well and extremely interesting. Though the story is fully resolved many questions about the Heartbreakers’ purpose, the arc of the story, and Lucy herself are left unanswered. With so much world building and setup, readers are definitely left hoping for a sequel to see what becomes of Lucy and her new friends.

Possible Pairings: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti, How to Love by Katie Cotugno, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman, The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith , Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee

You can also read my interview with Lynn about this book.

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