Heartbreak Messenger

By Alexander Vance

Published: 2013

AR level: 4.5

AR points: 7.0

Word count: 47,530

I suggest: 4th grade+

I first heard about this book at a writer’s conference where one of the speakers described the efforts that went into making the right cover. The storyline sounded so cute, I just had to put it on my reading list.

This ended up being a delightful story about first crushes, but one that really gave us a good look at a boy’s perspective. Funny situations and dialogue, in addition to a friendship that outshines any middle grade romance, puts this book in my “favorites” category. Besides, it really highlights the fact that this is a time in one’s life where you have to find odd jobs to make money, and the main character’s job is about as humorous and odd as it gets!

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Twelve-year-old Quentin never asked to be the Heartbreak Messenger. It just kind of happened, and he can’t let a golden opportunity pass him by. The valuable communication service he offers is simple: He delivers breakup messages. For a small fee, he will deliver that message to your soon-to-be ex. If you order the deluxe package, he’ll even throw in some flowers and a box of chocolates. You know . . . to soften the blow.

At first, Quentin’s entrepreneurial brainchild is surprisingly successful, which is great, because he suspects his mom, who works as a car mechanic, is worried about money. But as he interacts with clients, message recipients, and his best friend, Abigail, it doesn’t take long for him to wonder if his own heart will remain intact. In The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance, Quentin discovers that the game of love and the emotions that go with it are as complicated as they come—even for an almost-innocent bystander.

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