Review: The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young

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The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

There's no shortage of contemporary YA romances. It is, however, difficult to find any that make you feel both the warm and fuzzies, and like you've just discovered a new friend. In the case of The Breakup Support Group, you feel like you've inherited a group of friends who are all tied to one another in teenage heartbreak. Cheyanne Young captures the essence of being young and in love just as easily as she is able to tie readers into her characters own heartache.

This makes the novel itself relatable to both ends of her readers--those who are in the same age group as the characters, and those who are not. It adds a nice balance to what makes the novel likable. You have traditional coming of age triumphs and failures; first heartbreak, after your first love, and the age old complication of being a new girl at a new school. You have the romance aspects of the teenage years. You have the healing of love lost and, of course, the power of friendship.

I will say this--The Breakup Support Group is genuinely a sweet novel. For many readers, it will be like reading the day-to-day events of a good friend. There's a sort of intimacy in the prose that cannot be replicated and makes it a simple read. I finished it quite quickly and not just because I am a fast reader. Cheyanne Young has the sort of writing that makes you want to continue, continue, continue.

That being said... it did have its rough patches. Emotionally speaking, it's a charged novel. It sends a good message to the younger audience. That even after painful breakups, the most romantic of us are able to heal. Further, it shows us the importance of friendship and moving forward with your life in a new way. But (but!) the beginning is quite slow in terms of pacing.

Here's what I mean: I felt, the leading lady, Isla's pain when it came to everything she was going through. Most of us have been through breakups to understand why she was as crushed as she was. And we all know what it's like to have that fish out of water feeling when it comes to new locations. The problem isn't with the plotlines, it was within the execution at its start.

I felt like we didn't know enough about her days spent with her ex-boyfriend and classmates, which is what made it so easy to just forget them and her experiences with the lot. We knew what was coming when her boyfriend of four years said, "We need to talk." and it was impossible to feel much at all when her former friends Therefore, it didn't pack the kick that we were meant to feel.

In fact, they were more or less only mentioned in passing. We don't see what they were like in the good days. We don't see much at all of them. And nothing is ever truly resolved in that regard by the end of the novel. Which makes since--sometimes, teenagers just aren't meant to be around someone forever. We all had some disposable friendships, those bonds made out of convenience, at one point in our life. It just would have been nicer to add depth and have a conclusion when it came down to it. 

But there were far more positives in The Breakup Support Group that made it easier to ignore the glaringly obvious flaws:

  • The friendships that Isla makes at her new school. From the support group that she finds herself in almost immediately after arriving, to her ever evolving bond with Ciara (who proves to be the best friend she never truly had) all the way to her relationship with Emory. I liked that the novel centered around love and heartbreaks but still had that strong foundation for what it means to be a friend and have true friendships. While romantic relationships are still a very prominent (and swoon worthy) part of The Breakup Support Group, the biggest plus is the friendships. They feel real. They are genuine. They are new.
  • Emory is a very complicated character but not in the sense that he is a stereotypical prick. His archetype at first was quite obvious--that he was just another boy who dated plenty of girls and went through them like tissues. That he was alluring but untouchable. See, the stereotypes were soon shattered. Because unlike most semi-bad-boys, his heart was pretty obvious from the start. In fact, he was just a typical teenage boy fueled by something entirely different. I liked that he and Isla weren't rushed; that their friendship formed naturally, that they grew stronger together and their feelings were quite true. 
  • Isla's reaction when her ex-boyfriend pulled the line, after their breakup, about hooking up one last time. I was hoping for baby-girl to slap him but her reaction was fabulous. 
Overall, it was an enjoyable and fluffy book that rang true to life. The characters were teenagers who actually acted like teenagers. My experience reading it was positive and I really did have a good time reading. 

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