The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers

340p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2011. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-192618-1. LC 2010050518.
Gr 8 Up—In the first pages of this tale, Lucy Wrenn's heart is broken by her boyfriend, Alex, who has been away for the summer and whose affections have drifted elsewhere. She is shattered by his indifference and feels that she will never bounce back. Soon she is approached by a mature group of girls who offer to help her find a way not only to recover, but also to protect herself from heartbreak again. They are a coven of sorts, girls who use magic to break boys' hearts in order to heal (and numb) their own. Lucy accepts their help, which takes her on an emotional journey that leads to a sort of superficial healing, even if it does not make her any wiser in terms of her relationships. Although Lucy's story might appeal to those looking to avoid the pain of unrequited love, the novel leaves an impression that being mean is good entertainment (in fact, the girls refer to this as "fun mean") and that navigating relationships is best done via trickery. While heartbreak is a universally understood topic, the novel falls short of providing readers with more than a shallow treatment of it, especially because Lucy's subservience to her man is not really overcome, but merely transferred to the sisterhood. Still, fans of Meg Cabot's Jinx (HarperCollins, 2007) may enjoy reading about the sisterhood's magical antics, as well as fans of all things witchy.—Nora G. Murphy, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, La Canada-Flintridge, CA
Lucy is devastated when her boyfriend breaks up with her. Then three mysterious girls offer to indoctrinate her into their magical sisterhood, which entails winning, then breaking, guys' hearts--but only if Lucy can break someone's heart in seven days. The magical aspect seems superfluous; more compelling is Lucy's palpable pain and the strength she finally develops to move on.

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