Jace, Peeta, Warner, Rhysand. It’s probably not a surprise that reading YA has made me such a hopeless romantic. I believe in sparks, soulmates, meet-cutes, and if you’re meant to be together, the universe will make it happen. I didn’t think there was anyone who believed in romance as much as I do, until I read Museum of Heartbreak. The main character of this romantic, hilarious, and emotional novel, Penelope, is as hopeless of a romantic as hopeless romantics come. She believes in everything that being a hopeless romantic stands for and can never meet the right guy because of it. No one is ever perfect enough for her. Even Penelope’s best friend, Audrey, points out how Penelope is rarely attracted to a real person, and WOW, I can relate to that. These YA boys have just RUINED me (looking at you Rhysand & Jace). There’s so much to love and relate to in Museum of Heartbreak, especially if you’re a heavy YA reader, and since you’re here reading this, you probably are (Also, HI! We should be friends!).
1. New York City in the Winter
There’s something special about New York City in the Winter. The snow, the lights, and wonderful food venders; it’s all perfect! Everyone is bundled up in cute puffy coats, scarves, and hats. Of course, this doesn’t apply to teenage guys who, for some reason, avoid coats and scarfs at all costs. WHY!?! I will never understand this and one of my favorite comments Penelope makes is about all the different boys she knows and their lack of good and warm clothing decisions.
2. Realistic Family Drama
Penelope is surrounded not only by her family but her best friend Eph’s family as well. I loved how important each family is to this novel, they’re always around Penelope, and are invested in her life. Parents are weirdly lacking in many YA novels so I always appreciate a good family when they show up.
3. Friendship Heartbreak
This is THE REAL DEAL. Sure, in high school you might breakup about a guy or two, but when you drift from your best friend or have a friendship breakup, IT HURTS. A best friend can hurt you in a way that no one else can, especially in high school when any romantic relationships are so new. If you breakup with a best friend, it’s probably a friend you’ve had for a decade. Penelope’s struggle with this in Museum of Heartbreak is so realistic and hurt me right in the FEELS (more so than any of her romantic breakups).
4. Geeky References
Penelope isn’t just a hopeless romantic but she’s a a true bibliophile. The geeky fun references are scattered throughout the novel. The first one to pop up was a Buffy reference in a Spike vs. Angel fight (I’m Angel ALL THE WAY). Penelope also yells at someone to stop slut shamming Buffy and that’s the moment I knew I was going to LOVE this book.
^see all of the above. I just LOVED everything about Penelope. I related to EVERYTHING about her. Sure, she makes some bad decisions here and there, but they are the same bad decisions I would have made in the moment. Everyone but Penelope could tell Keats was a bad cookie, but I would have fallen for the literary references and mysterious nature too (and his name is Keats, teenage Danielle would have been sold right there)!