Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cures for Heartbreak

Rabb, Margo. 2007. Cures for Heartbreak.

'If she dies, I'll die' are the words fifteen-year-old Mia Pearlman writes in her journal the night her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Twelve days later, Mia's mother is dead, and Mia, her older sister, and their father must find a way to live on in the face of sudden unfathomable loss.

Cures For Heartbreak has it all: humor, sadness, love, laughs, and embarrasing firsts. There are so many things I loved about this novel. Mia is a great true-to-life character. Whether she's resorted to bringing out all her stuffed animals from the closet to give her comfort, to her first date, to her obsession with romance novels, to her first experiences loving a boy, to her fears about her father's health, to her worries about normal teenage's all in the details. And the details are here.

I was always daydreaming, getting a crush on some guy. Unrequited or not, during even the most awful day a crush could change everything--it could make you forget the two classes you failed last semester, and the general overall suckiness of your life. A crush removed the world, at least for a little while (139).

It was a romance novel entitled Larissa's Love Royale, which I'd bought in the gift shop. It wasn't one of those romances with a subtle cover that try to pass themselves off as ordinary books, either. No. This was all luscious bosom, gold embossed letters, and tanned male chestage, set on a Renaissance pirate ship (109)

In romance novels this would change everything. A hand holding on page fifteen and you knew for certain, no matter what, that the couple would end up together, that not even 350 pages of pirates, wars, family deception, or evil twins could keep them apart. That's what I liked about those books. I wanted to believe when I read them that that kind of love was possible and real, that it truly existed (217).

Part of me knew that it was unrealistic to hope for something, to transform our brief meeting into some whirlwind of eternal devotion...I wasn't sure what I'd do if I didn't have Richard to think about. Even if it was unrealistic for us to be together now, what was to stop us from connecting in the future, like the characters in a romance novel, meeting on page two and again on page two hundred? I could see Richard and myself at more appropriate, having graduated from college, in a job (anything but social worker), until some minor incident--a friend's baby, a sprained wrist--took me to the hospital. Years would have passed--no matter. He'd have been through girlfriends, many of them, but never married. In hours, it would happen as we'd always known it would: we'd kiss outside the hospital, a deep, shocking kiss, and the other doctors, the passengers in traffic, the visitors, the social workers--the whole world--would stop and stare in surprise(61-62).


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