Bad Breakups

July 21st, 2009 • Kate

break-upLate post today, as Intern Jenny and I spent the day sending books out, processing contracts, and answering queries. Between reading those, however, I did get a chance to read this, from GalleyCat:

Hyperion will publish a memoir that tells the other side of the story behind the memoir, Eat, Pray, Love—a literary response scheduled for a fall 2010 release. […]

And the Publishers Weekly article it links to adds:

In Displaced Cooper offers the flip side of [Gilbert’s] tale—his account of overcoming the divorce and embarking on his own world journey.

And my first thought? “Must be nice.”

I mean, seriously, you have a bad break-up, and both of you set off separately around the world to get over it? Wow, life must be SO TOUGH for you.

Breaking up is often a big plot device in YA fiction, and yet, very few teens have the liberty to go gallivanting around the world to get over a romance. To be fair, there’s a different commitment level between marriage and teen dating, but in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder…”

What have your teen protagonists gone through to get over a bad breakup? What about yourselves? If you had the wherewithal, what would you do to get over a bad breakup?

I mean, travel is nice, but I think I’d rather have friends around me to help me through than set off by myself… although if I could BRING my friends on a worldwide trip, I’d definitely go. What about you?

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4 Responses to “Bad Breakups”

  1. Michelle Says:

    As a traveler, I have to say I can see the appeal…not so much because I advocate running away from problems (although that's certainly tempting), but because seeing a bit of the world away from the little part we call home can be eye-opening and humbling. Living across from some favelas in Salvador certainly gave me a new perspective on my life and the things I call hardships.

  2. ChristaCarol Says:

    In my latest book, there isn’t a traditional break up per say, and I haven’t gotten to the one in the WIP I’m working on now. But, my own personal teen experience included a lot of balling, some shots of Jack Daniels (given to me by my parents, mind you) and a crazy ex-girlfriend.

    It was my first love, even though it only lasted a whopping month. I was eighteen, he was twenty four, and he had a psycho woman girlfriend who was off and on, off and on for the two years prior. Anyway, the week it ended he was distant (didn’t help he lived an hour away) and I KNEW something wasn’t right. Just that female instinct, right? Well, it happened OVER THE PHONE of all the ways. I was (ahem, still am probably) a huge drama queen, so my parents had to give me a few shots of Jack to calm me down. A month followed with a poor choice of movie on my step-sisters part, “Hope Floats”, and a lot of crying. But I *did* get away to visit my cousin in Colorado that summer (in which I tried calling him) and then to meet some online friends up in New York. It was the most amazing summer ever, and it probably helped me get over him a little faster (even though it took me a year).

    Sufficed to say, two years later we found each other again, eventually started dating, and a year after that he proposed. It’s now been seven years of marriage and two kids later, and he still says “I’m sorry” anytime I mention anything about that time in our lives. But I’m not, and I keep telling him we wouldn’t be were we are today, or the day we met again, if it hadn’t been for everything, good and bad, that happened. And that’s my long, sappy break-up/love story molded into as small of a nut shell as I could manage!

  3. Spomenka Says:

    Cut their hair, get a piercing, change their style. Really, that's the first YA reaction I've seen – doing something radical to their appearance in order to face the world as a person different from the person they were with the other…person.

  4. Ashley Says:

    My antagonist nearly kills my protagonist in an attempt to get her old boyfriend back. *Evil grin* Though for months beforehand, she just had a disillusioned idea that they were "on a break," since that's one of the most common things I ran into in high school. My friends would break up with their long-term boyfriends and say that they were just taking a break from things to "explore other options" and they'd be "back together soon." Of course, they rarely got together and most of those people are now with completely different boyfriends and girlfriends.

    It's like now, if you're not one of the people who is dating every person who breathes, you're going to marry the only one you date. Apparently you can only have one end of the spectrum here… At least in my neck of the woods, but my town is pretty small, so I guess there aren't many options for most of these teens.

    As for me, I've never had a particularly terrible breakup. I've only had one boyfriend and I knew that one was coming for seven months (we had to break up when I left for college and his mom made it clear once we hit our one year anniversary).