The Heartbreak Cure
By: Amanda Ashby
Many thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Books for allowing me to read this cute and fun read. The minute I saw the cover, I knew I had to read and review it.
After being dumped over the summer, and made into a laughing stock on YouTube, Cat enlists her best friend Alex, to be her pretend boyfriend so the people at her school will back off and move onto a different topic.
I’ve seen the fake-boyfriend thing done before but with this story, it’s not boring, or cringy at all. It’s cliche, but in a good way, and that’s mostly to do with the characters.
Alex: A bad boy persona with a tortured past, and a cute little smile. He wants to do right and set everything straight. The well-balanced chemistry between him and Cat is apparent and you will be yelling at the paperback at every move they make until they finally realize what they truly want.
With this book, be ready to smile at the pages, and laugh at the characters, and cry because Alex doesn’t exist. It’s a fast and easy read with an ending that will satisfy your soul. If you’re looking for a fun and flirty read, this one is definitely up your alley!
I also got the chance to interview the author herself, Amanda Ashby! Check out below for
Lily: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Amanda: I wish I could say that I’ve always known, but the truth is that I didn’t have a clue until my mid-twenties. Then one day I woke up and decided to write a book. No one was more surprised than I was, but once I had the idea it wouldn’t leave and a month later I had a 50,000-word manuscript. It was completely terrible but it taught me two things. First that I could write a book, and second that I could only get better!!!
Lily: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Amanda: When I’m not writing I’m either coaching other authors how to get their books finished, or I’m working as a children’s librarian, or I’m reading and watching Netflix. It’s a pretty sweet life!
Lily: How did you come up with The Heartbreak Cure?
Amanda: I got a flash of a girl sitting under a tree writing a slash and burn story about the guy who’d broken her heart. It was such a powerful image that I just started writing it. Then when Alex climbed over the fence I decided that he’d be the guy to cure her heartbreak, so I liked the idea of him bringing something that would symbolize what he was doing. Plus, I’m a big fan of brownies!
Lily: What’s your cure for a heartbreak?
Amanda: I’m a bit fan of hibernating until the initial pain is gone and then getting back out into the world and reminding yourself that there is a lot of other stuff going on out there. So watching inspirational movies or seeing people stepping out of their comfort zone and doing brave and amazing things. Plus, brownies. Obviously!
Lily: Any advice to future authors out there?
Amanda: The only way to write a book is to write a book. It sounds so simple but doing courses and reading books about writing will only take you so far. The best way to learn how to write, and also to learn about what you want to say, is to get your butt in that chair!!!!
Lily: What is your favorite book?
Amanda: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’m such a huge Jane fan so I love all her books, but Pride and Prejudice is my favorite. Well, my favorite today. Tomorrow it could be Persuasion. Or Sense and Sensibility. Or…
Lily: What was the hardest scene to write within The Heartbreak Cure?
Amanda: There’s a scene where they break up, which was tough to do. I really felt their pain and neither of them were being mean or horrible, which made it even sadder.
Lily: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Amanda: The first scene in Alex’s point of view because it wasn’t just the reader who was meeting him properly, it was me too! He’s one of my favorite heroes so it was great to start writing his journey!
Lily: What books have most influenced your life?
Amanda: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Raymond E Feist and Ursula LeGuin have all been huge influences on me – and not just because of writing. Their books have really shaped my life and the way I see I world and I can’t imagine a world where they didn’t exist!
Lily: What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the book?
Amanda: Not too many, though we once lived in a house in Australia and the previous owner was called Birdie, which is how I named Alex’s grandmother!
You can also read an excerpt of the book below!
“Please don’t tell my mom that one. She doesn’t need any more bad puns to put on her cards,” Cat said as Alex’s cell phone buzzed. He read the text message before looking up.
“You could tell her yourself—or not tell her, as the case might be. She wants you to call her.”
“What?” Cat said in surprise before dragging out her own phone and staring at the dead screen. She’d obviously played one too many games on it during math. “How did she even get your number?”
He shrugged. “I guess Joe gave it to her.”
“Oh.” It seemed Cat wasn’t the only forgetting Alex wasn’t her real boyfriend.
The darkening afternoon sky was a spectrum of blues as he held up his cell. “You can use mine.”
“Thanks.” She took the handset. The screen was cracked, and there was a fine coat of grease on the keys. She grinned at his screensaver, which was of Snoopy dressed up as the Red Baron. “Frozen and now Snoopy? I always knew you had a marshmallow heart.”
“Yeah. I’m a total softie,” his voice was light, but his knuckles whitened. Cat winced. Franklin had tarred and feathered him with the same brush they’d used for his parents. The worst thing was he seemed to believe it, too. Frustration gnawed at her chest.
How am I the only one who can see how amazing he really is?
Her mom answered on the second ring and explained she’d been held up at a sales meeting and it was going to run for another two hours, which meant she couldn’t pick Cat from school.
“It’s fine. I’ll hitch a ride with Nikki,” Cat said, promising to charge up her cell phone, eat some vegetables with her dinner, and on no account throw a house party.
“You’ll never guess what just happened.” Nikki came running outside, her eyes glowing and her cheeks bright.
“Mackenzie fell into a vat of glitter?” Cat suggested. “Or glue?” Alex added.
“Wrong. Parker just asked me if I wanted to grab a burger with him. Well, he said you guys could come, but I told him you were busy. Right. Right?” Nikki narrowed her gaze so there could be no misunderstandings.
“Right,” she agreed with a smile before recalling her transport predicament. “Go, have fun, and don’t tell him about the time you beat your brothers up. It will only scare him.”
“Duh.” Nikki grinned and went racing over to Parker, who was nervously chewing his lip.
“I can give you a lift,” Alex said once they were alone.
“Are you sure? I feel like every day I impose on you more,” she said, achingly aware of how close they were standing.
“What kind of fake boyfriend would leave his girl stranded?” He shrugged.
She tested out the words like a new flavor. Her body trembled in response and she nodded. “Okay, great.”
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult, and middle-grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Libraryʼs Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle-grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.