I read this book back in January for my Young Adult Lit class. Some of the following posts will be reviews on the books I read earlier in the year.
Cures for Heartbreak follows 15 year old Mia Pearlman as she is faced with the sudden death of her mother. While trying to cope with this loss Mia is forced to recognize the relationships that surround her. Her father is dealing with his own grief and her older sister doesn't seem to understand her at all. In the whirlwind of her family difficulties, Mia is also still faced with the feelings of self loathing and acceptance that most 15 year old girls face in high school. In everything Mia does and everyone she meets, she begins to develop a new understanding of her dead mother, her surviving family, and the friendships she begins to develop. In everything Mia is asked to deal with throughout her ordeal, she begins to understand the importance of accepting herself in the midst of her tragedy.
While recognizing that this book has a lot to do with loss, upon finishing Cures for Heartbreak I felt that it had more to do with identity. Rabb, while using the death of a significant role model, introduces how major life events shape one's identity and it is how they deal in different situations that make them into their individual self. Mia recognizes things in a different way that she might not have because of the death of her mother and they are experiences that wouldn't of happened if her mother had survived her diagnosis. However, Mia's ultimate problem is being able to face the rest of her life without the guide of her mother and so she must come to terms with not only her faults but the faults of the people that surround her.
I really enjoyed this book but I think that it wasn't personal enough for me. I have never faced a tremendous loss, so it was difficult for me to connect to the character. I think this will be an interesting book to re-read someday and will probably get more out of it. However, I really was interested in Mia's story and was rooting for her throughout the novel.