Thursday, 6 August 2020

REVIEW: Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: August 6th 2020
Buy the Book: Book Depository

Faking the best summer ever is a lot harder than it looks...
At the start of summer, Jack and Nate find themselves dumped as their respective exes, Dylan and Tariq, start up a new relationship together. Not only that, their exes start posting pics on social media, showing the whole world how fabulous their new life together is!

Jack and Nate are reeling. Not to be outdone, they decide to create their own 'highlights reel' and show their exes that they're having an even better time.

But between the depressing motorway service station motels, damp campsites, and an ultimate showdown with the exes, something epic really is happening: Jack and Nate are learning to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.
WHERE DO I EVEN START? As someone who is constantly yelling, both online and in person, about my love for the stories of Simon James Green, Heartbreak Boys was always going to be one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. And as predicted, I was in for an absolute treat.

This story alternates between Jack and Nate, former friends who end up reuniting after their relationships with their boyfriends come to a screeching halt. Despite not having spoken to each other in years, Jack ends up joining Nate and his family on a road trip around Britain, all for the sake of documenting their summer on Instagram to prove that they've happily moved on in life.

Together they explore the world of online influencing and find themselves in situations they couldn’t have predicted if they tried. Their contrasting personalities make for an entertaining clash along the way, and the pacing is simply perfect. The best part? It managed to include all of my favourite tropes that I'm weak for no matter how many times I read them.

I 👏 LOVE 👏 THESE 👏 CHARACTERS. When I say I would lay down my life for Jack, I do mean it. He is WONDERFUL. His bubbly and hilarious personality had me warming to him immediately, and even though we learn that he can hide his true feelings behind that bright persona, it only made me love him more.

Then there’s Nate, a Precious Bean™ who must be protected at all costs. His emotions and doubts will definitely be relatable to a lot of readers, which is always an important factor. Nate’s struggle to repair his own flaws and make up for how he treated Jack in the past is told subtly whilst remaining a key part of the story.
  • FEEL GOOD MOMENTS. I could sit here all day and shout about the paragraphs in this book that left me smiling. Jack and Nate had some especially inspiring quotes as we got closer to the end, when they started realising what was truly important.
  • ROAD TRIP. Considering our own summers are likely to be quiet and full of Covid-related worries (yay 2020), it’s a joy to live vicariously through Jack and Nate’s adventures to some…questionable parts of the country.
  • PLENTY OF LAUGHS. As always, Simon James Green is a master of awkward YA comedy that leaves you giggling out loud. From dodgy campsites to unexpected invites, the characters reactions to the situations they end up in are always hilarious.
  • CHARACTERS. There's nothing I love more than a cast of wild and wonderful characters. From Jack's eccentric cousin Elliot to Nate's personality-filled family, they keep us entertained throughout.
Easily one of my favourites from this year, I enjoyed every chapter of Heartbreak Boys. The perfect pick-me-up after a difficult few months, Jack and Nate’s story was full of cheerful goodness, whist giving us a few important reminders about life. Anyone can fake a smile for an Instagram post, but the truly happy memories don’t need a camera to capture it.

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