Review: A Field Guide for Heartbreakers by Kristen Tracy

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
When high school seniors Dessy and Veronica arrive in Prague for prestigious college writers program led by Veronica’s novelist mother, their priorities aren’t quite in sync. Dessy, still fragile from a recent jilting, has come to heal her broken heart and hone her writing skills. (Not that strapping creative writing majors aren’t welcome company.) Her gorgeous best friend Veronica, on the other hand, has just inexplicably dumped her devoted boyfriend and plans to blow off the workshop. Leave the craft of fiction to egomaniacs like her mom. Veronica aims to master a different art—boys.

To Dessy’s dismay, Veronica gets right to work on her “man-wall”—one paper cutout for every hot-dude she meets—and zealously embarks on her mission to cover one entire wall of their dorm with hot-dudes by the end of the program. In spite of herself, Dessy sometimes wonders if her friend might be some kind of genius. Veronica’s man-wall is blossoming like mad, and thanks to her heart-breaker’s sage guidance, it looks like Dessy might have a real shot at beguiling her #1 hot-dude, Waller Dudek. At other times, Veronica seems more like an agent of chaos. By the end of their first week, a homicidal suitemate is bent on killing Veronica and Dessy, Operation Waller has taken an absurd turn, and both girls are hiding secrets that could wreck their friendship.

Well, no one ever said heartbreaking was a simple art...

I'll admit it now that this just was not the book for me one bit. Going into this, I was expecting a cute and funny romance, something similar to the greatness contained in Elizabeth Rudnick's Tweet Heart, but sadly enough, this summer YA read just fell short for me in the cute and funny scales. Instead it measured quite high on the boring and blah ones. Though, don't get me wrong, I didn't HATE it necessarily, but I didn't find it all that great either, but before I get to that, let me tell you what it's about...

It's been a couple of weeks since Dessy got her heart broken by her college-bound and now ex-boyfriend, and while everyone's telling her she should get over it and hunt for more fishes in the sea, she just can't. She wants him back more than ever, actually, even though he was a huge jerk to her in many areas.

Her best friend Veronica is facing similar problems involving a break-up, but instead of viewing this as a set back, Veronica's taking everything she can get and doing everything she can to get back in the game of dating. Which involves conquering all the hot, young, and eligible guy's of Prague and creating a man wall of them during her and Dessy's one month writing retreat, and before Dessy can say no, she's recruited as well into this scheme of hot guys, but when Dessy meets two guys who she finds adorable, will she be able to tell which one is the one for her deep down? But with her ex-boyfriend calling, will she say no to both and settle for him? Only time and more pages will tell in A Field Guide for Heartbreakrs by Kristin Tracey.

Let's start with Dessy, our lovely main character. Dessy is one of those girls who has a problem of not speaking up to herself when it comes to her parents, Veronica, ex-boyfriend, and basically everyone in her life, and that annoyed me and tarnished my other feelings for her right of the bat. I mean, she was okay, but that quality of her just bothered me to no end, as it would with any character in a book, no matter who the author is or how great the plot is. Making this even worse, I just couldn't relate to her, which was just the icing on the cake for me. I did like Veronica for most of the better half of the beginning and the last couple of chapters because I found her to be funny and interesting. But in the middle I lost interest in her because she provided to be one messed-up emotionally teenage girl who was a just a bit too manipulative and made one too many stupid decisions involving guys. Though, I did really like some of the other characters for the whole book, including Veronica's mother and the boys, especially Roger.

The one thing that did save A Field Guide for Heartbreakers a bit in my eyes was the setting. I loved Prague and the way the reader got to see it and learn about its history right along with the characters. I also enjoyed the fact that Dessy and Veronica's writing class was a big part of the book as well. Because the stories and situations provided always were interesting and funny.

Lastly, while Tracy's writing was decent and enjoyable, I often felt she didn't dig deep enough into her characters, and that left for dragged on periods of time in the story.

In all, A Field Guide for Heartbreakers is a decent story, and one that you may possibly love, but it just wasn't the right read for me at this time. And the biggest question of all: Will I be reading more by Tracy? I'm not sure yet. I mean, I do I have anther one of her books in my TBR pile and her 2011 release does sound pretty snazzy, so maybe I will give her books another chance.

Grade: C-

Source: Publicist. Thanks, Atoosa!


  1. I'm sorry to see that you didn't really like this one. To be honest, I was never very excited for this one. It just doesn't look like my thing.

  2. I gave up after 100 pages. It just wasn't getting any better.

  3. Totally agree with you on this book! Great review!


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