“I didn’t want him anymore. And I actually felt okay about it. Lighter.
I could start the school year without Devin Kapadia taking up any physical or mental space in my world.”
Get ready to fall in love with Farah Heron’s latest ya romance How to Win a Breakup.
First, math genius and gamer-nerd Samaya gets dumped by her boyfriend. Then he sabotages her job and hooks up with her frenemy. What could be worse? Clearly, her golden-boy ex is winning the breakup. The only way Samaya can get some rebound cred is to find someone new. Even if she has to fake it.
At a volunteer bake sale, Samaya meets a sweet opportunity. Daniel is a handsome hockey jock and a whiz when it comes to lemon squares and brownies. And he agrees to play along. Quid pro quo. He’ll pretend to be the boyfriend of her dreams if Samaya helps him pass calculus.
This may well be the recipe for the best revenge, but Samaya has no idea how complicated it will get. As they whip up an imitation romance, and a bumbleberry pie, resisting each other’s very real charms proves impossible. Samaya finds herself on an unexpected journey of secrets, self-discovery, and the true meaning of moving on.
Bring on the teenage drama and angst! Farah has done it again. She has created a warm, fun, and realistic YA contemporary romance story. It was easy to just sink into this book and watch all this high school drama unfold. I loved all the big emotions, the food talk, the characters, and the Bridgerton feel of this book. She weaves together themes of family, friends, relationships, technology, and cliquism and creates a fun story with excellent banter and a lot of depth.
I loved, loved, loved this modern take on Lady Whistledown’s gossip pamphlets. In this book, there is a mysterious Instagram account called Earl’s Whispers, which keeps its followers up on the latest gossip at Earl’s Jones Secondary School (Samaya’s school). No one knows who runs this account, but whoever it is seems to have it in for Samaya. I just thought this was such a clever story element to include, and I loved how Farah modernized a part of the Bridgerton world. It showed readers how toxic and dangerous social media can be and its impact on people’s lives. I enjoyed this mystery around who was running this page and found myself trying to guess who was the “Earl.”
Samaya has a lot going on in her life. Her break-up with her boyfriend was unexpected and did a number on her mental well-being. At the start of school, Samaya wants to step away from all this drama linked to her break-up and focus on school and volunteering. Unfortunately, escaping the limelight is harder, and she finds herself the target of Earl’s Whispers posts. I liked Samaya; she is smart and driven, and underneath that prickly exterior is a nice person. In this book, we watch as she tries to figure out how to deal with all the rumours going around, and tries to show the school that she has moved on from her ex. Her character makes mistakes and stumbles, but she picks herself up and grows. I liked spending time with her.
Daniel is a big old sweetheart, and I loved his passion for baking. Farah could have easily made his character one-dimensional and very stereotypical, but she didn’t. Daniel’s character comes across as this carefree jock with a glass-half-full attitude. It looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world. But in reality, Daniel is dealing with some tough problems and has been through a lot. I loved peeling away those layers and learning more about Daniel and his life.
The romance in this book has so much drama in it. You won’t enjoy this story if you are not a fan of teenage angst and big emotions. The main catalyst in this story is Samaya trying to show her fellow peers that she is over her ex and that she is living her best life. And that’s where Daniel comes in. Samaya and Daniel agree to help each other out; Daniel will pretend to be Samaya’s boyfriend until geek prom, and in exchange, Samaya has to help Daniel with his math homework. But of course, as they spend more time together, they fall in love. These two are sweet and have this lovely reverse grumpy sunshine feel to their relationship. I liked their chemistry, and they were perfect for each other.
How to Win a Break-up is a fun, drama-filled teenage romance that you cannot put down.
Thank you, Skyscape, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.