Synopses & Reviews
Breaking up is hard to do—so why not pay someone to do it for you?
Twelve-year-old Quentin never asked to be the Heartbreak Messenger. It just kind of happened, and he cant 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, hell even throw in some flowers and a box of chocolates. You know . . . to soften the blow.
At first, Quentins 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 doesnt 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.
"After seventh-grader Quentin accepts to deliver a breakup message for a friend's older brother, a new business is born: he becomes the 'Heartbreak Messenger,' hired to perform breakups for the weak-willed. Quentin believes his single mother, an auto mechanic, is struggling to pay their bills, so there's an altruistic side to his entrepreneurship, but he also enjoys the power the job gives him. Problems arise, including bad reactions from the recipients of his services, as well as the friction created as Quentin lies to his close friend Abby about his secret profession. His complicated feelings for Abby don't help, especially after she starts dating another boy. The laughs are plentiful in Vance's debut, between Quentin's wry voice and the awkward situations the author creates (like when Quentin gets decked by a girl after delivering the bad news); Quentin's communicative, protective relationship with his mother is another high point. The lessons Quentin learns about love, compassion, and himself can be slightly heavy-handed, but overall it's an entertaining and funny read with a clever conceit. Ages 10 13. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"When his best friends brother wants to break up with his girlfriend but doesnt know how, Quentin agrees to do it for him for $20. He never expects it to turn into a business, but after being successful and taking the exs advice to soften the blow with flowers and chocolate, he becomes the heartbreak messenger. . . This clever read will find an audience with both boys and girls." - School Library Journal, starred review
"The laughs are plentiful in Vances debut. . . . Overall its an entertaining and funny read with a clever conceit." —Publishers Weekly
"Breaking up is hard to do, but not if you have the Heartbreak Messenger do it for you. . . .With strong supporting characters and an appealing lead, this funny, feel-good tale is perfect for those beginning to think about dating." -- Booklist
About the Author
Alexander Vance works as a film and video editor. The Heartbreak Messenger is his fiction debut. He lives in Upstate New York with his family.