The Heartbreak Cure – Amanda Ashby

Confession time! I accidentally got sucked into wanting to read this book purely because of the brownies and then kinda sorta maybe quite enjoyed the read, despite having the best intentions to rip its romantic heart to shreds. Sure, there were some soppy sentences, mostly focused around how people smelled for some reason, but overall I really enjoyed the story. I feel like I need to apologise to myself because I don’t do romance novels so I’m more than a little disturbed that I liked the characters so much but if I enjoyed it, then the target audience are going to love it!

I’m showing my age here but I’m so glad I grew up in a world without the internet. I can’t even imagine how kidlets and teens these days navigate the awkwardness of growing up knowing the world is watching and most likely recording all of their mistakes, humiliations and heartaches for posterity. Back when I was a teen [she croaks while leaning on her walking stick and wagging her finger] you could quietly hope for the next drama to unfold in someone else’s life so you could be left in peace to pick up the pieces of your shattered heart. These days your most embarrassing moments can go viral. [shudders]

So, what is The Heartbreak Cure? Brownies!!! Baked by the 86 year old grandmother of your cute ex-neighbour boy (who is only a) friend. YUM! Hey, Alex, would you please let Birdie know I feel a heartbreak coming on? 😜

Cat and Alex share the experience of being shamed for something that wasn’t their fault. Cat has been featured in a YouTube video posted by a disgusting doofus 🤬 who enlisted her as a recruit in a summer challenge:

Ask out a loser and see how far she’ll go with you in one week before you break her heart. Bonus points if she gets a tattoo with your name on it.

Seriously, people??? I have no words.

In the slightly unbelievable but hey, it’s fiction category, this girl’s heart was broken over a guy she dated a grand total of three times in one week? And one of those dates was a group date. Maybe I’m out of touch and not the one to comment on the believability factor here, but no one is chipping away at the icicles surrounding this nerd’s heart in just three dates.

And how did doofus find his way into her heart in the first place? He used her Goodreads addiction to pretend he liked the same parts in books that she did. How dare you use a love of books as your weapon of choice, you cowardly, despicable, pathetic excuse for a human being!!

Meanwhile, Alex has been shamed by pretty much the whole community and sadly he’s internalised the seriously bad vibes. Now a lone wolf with a bad boy reputation, he thinks he deserves everything bad that comes his way yet aches to be granted a scholarship to study engineering at a college somewhere far away from the town that’s tarred him without knowing a thing about him personally. Come on, townsfolk with the pitchforks at the ready, he’s Birdie’s grandson! You know! The one who bakes brownies? How bad can he be?!

Anyway, after knowing her humiliating heartbreak made its way to internet land, Cat is feeling pretty darn sorry for herself. She’s even got the creative writing piece where the guy gets massacred by killer ants to prove it. Our Cat is a wannabe journalist on her way to fame via Oprah’s book club. So mid-massacre, who should hop over the fence but the boy with the smouldering good looks and muscles that define any item of clothing he wears, Alex. And he brings brownies that Birdie made. (Open your eyes, Cat! He’s the one!)

Cat comes up with the perfect solution to get the attention off her ugly cry heartbreak video. Why doesn’t she pretend to have a new boyfriend? Why doesn’t she choose our so hot that you could barbeque your dinner on his muscles (did we mention his clothes look wonderful draped over them?) Alex, who kinda has a thing for Cat but of course he’s not good enough for her so she can’t be ‘his’. [Ugh, men thinking of women as property.]

Throw in Cat’s take-no-crap best friend with green hair (Nikki), scary senior editor of the school paper (Mackenzie), doofus heartbreaker rubbing it in with Cat’s ex-friend (Isabel), a liberal sprinkling of adult drama, bucketloads of internal dialogue, angst-a-plenty and a serious amount of baggage following our fake couple wherever they go. What could go wrong?

Favourite sentence:

“Wow, you look like boiled crap.”

Favourite character: Birdie, brownie baker and all round sweetie.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing: Teen Crush for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

How to get over a heartbreak:

Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.

Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer. 

Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbour to act as your fake boyfriend. 

Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.

After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she’s fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time. 

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