Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green – REVIEW
Faking the best summer ever is a lot harder than it looks…
At the start of summer, Jack and Nate find themselves dumped as their respective exes, Dylan and Tariq, start up a new relationship together. Not only that, their exes start posting pics on social media, showing the whole world how fabulous their new life together is!
Jack and Nate are reeling. Not to be outdone, they decide to create their own ‘highlights reel’ and show their exes that they’re having an even better time.
But between the depressing motorway service station motels, damp campsites, and an ultimate showdown with the exes, something epic really is happening: Jack and Nate are learning to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.
I received a complimentary finished copy of this book from Scholastic UK / Pride Book Tours.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“I don’t expect people to love me. I just wish they didn’t hate me quite so much.”
Heartbreak Boys ended up being one of those books you read in one sitting as it’s just too good to put down. It’s utterly hilarious and had me laughing constantly. The author employs the fake-dating trope (which is one of my favourites) so well and made me quickly invested in both Jack and Nate. I also appreciated the ways in which Simon James Green explored the toxicity of Instagram and the carefully curated images users choose to portray a certain lifestyle. It can be dangerous to believe this is real life and can also contribute to self-esteem and anxiety issues.
“Fine to be gay as long as you’re not too gay. As long as you can be slotted into some nice little inoffensive category that doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable.”
The characters were absolutely unforgettable, including the supporting cast. Sixteen-year-old Jack is dramatic, witty and extroverted, whilst Nate is grumpy, quiet, and introverted. Their relationship was handled perfectly and I loved how their old friendship leads to a much-needed reconnection. Opposites attract and sparks fly when these two agree to fake a summer romance and I loved every moment. Other stand-out characters were Nate’s family, especially his hilariously-dark six-year-old sister Rose, and Jack’s cousin Elliot, who was a bundle of energy.
“I actually can’t even. I cannot even. I have no even left.”
As Jack and Nate continue their road trip in a camper van with Nate’s family, it’s like a highlights reel of every bad family holiday you’ve ever been on. I just loved how happy this book made me and I even ended up buying a signed copy for my collection as I adored it so much. Heartbreak Boys is the perfect book for the summer, skilfully using the fake-dating trope combined with the quintessential British holiday and two endearing main characters to produce a joyous rom-com that deserves a place on your shelf.