Lu (short for Lucinda) is sitting on a park bench waiting for her ex-boyfriend to reappear, so she can try again to convince him that their relationship doesn’t have to be over even though they are about to separated by miles and experiences. According to Leo, they are about to go their separate ways for college so why not end things now, at the beginning of summer? But Lu wants another chance to convince him which is why she’s waiting for him in Madison Square Park, hoping she can change his mind. But she meets Cal instead. And later, she meets Cal’s girlfriend Iris, and while they are faced with the same situation, they’ve decided to continue seeing each other during the summer before Iris moves across the country for school. And although Lu is initially attracted to Cal, she finds Iris equally appealing, albeit in a different way, and the fact that she can use them as the subject for her Carrie Bradshaw a la Sex In The City- type online magazine article, gives her a reason to spend the summer with them instead, exploring what makes their relationship, and not hers, survive the pre-college summer.
While the novel has all the makings for a classic teen love triangle, author Adi Alsaid gives the story all of the romantic prelude and all of the teenage angst but spares us a lot of the romantic drama. I enjoyed the love letter to New York City that this entire novel was – the bookish jaunts to the Strand bookstore, the behind-the-scenes experiences of working in a movie theater, the bourgeois duality of trips to Whole Foods and buying one dollar coffee from a street vendor, a picnic in Central Park to watch a meteor shower at sunrise and waiting at Penn Station for a train. But all of that is just the best landscape on which to illustrate the classic story of a young writer trying to absorb the inspiration that New York City provides – from the opportunity to eavesdrop on couples in coffee shops, to the struggle of remaining focused enough to actually meet writing deadlines.
Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak is a fun, easy read, a great book to introduce New York City and what it has to offer as well as what it doesn’t. The characters are uncomplicated teenagers but they are still “entrancing” enough (as Lu says about her favorite couple) to warrant the 300-plus-page description of their lives and their unique love story. And while this is a story about teenagers learning to navigate through life and the pitfalls that love and adult responsibilities can bring, there are also sagacious adults who pepper the narrative with their own particular brand of wisdom and the multigenerational collaboration is what ultimately makes this novel work.
- Title: Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak
- Author: Adi Alsaid
- Pages: 336
- Format: Hardcover
- Publisher: Inkyard Press
- Publication Date: April 30, 2019
TLC Book Tours provided me with a free Advanced Readers Edition of Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak in order to complete this review but I tried to provide an honest and unbiased review of the book, which I thoroughly enjoyed.