Book Review

Breakup From Hell

Hi, all! I’m Cait from @functionallyfictional, and I might be popping in here and there with reviews. Without further ado…

Breakup From Hell

  • Author: Ann Dávila Cardinal
  • Genre: YA Paranormal
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2023
  • Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: violence, apocalypse, mild gore, parental death

Miguela Angeles is tired. Tired of her abuela keeping secrets, especially about her heritage. Tired of her small Vermont town and hanging out at the same places with the same friends she’s known forever. So when another boring Sunday trip to church turns into a run-in with Sam, a mysterious hottie in town on vacation, Mica seizes the opportunity to get closer to him.

It’s not long before she is under Sam’s spell and doing things she’s never done before, like winning all her martial arts sparring matches—and lying to her favorite people. The more time Mica spends with Sam, the more weird things start to happen, too. Like terrifying-visions-of-the-world-ending weird.

Mica’s gut instincts keep telling her something is off, yet Sam is the most exciting guy she’s ever met. But when Mica discovers his family’s roots, she realizes that instead of being in the typical high school relationship, she’s living in a horror novel.

She has to leave Sam, but will ending their relationship also bring an end to everything she knows and everyone she loves?

Clever, hilarious, and steeped in supernatural suspense, Breakup From Hell will keep you hooked until the last page.

*Originally posted on Functionally Fictional.

I’ll be honest, I knew almost nothing about this book going in. The cover caught my eye, and I skimmed part of the blurb, which sounded interesting, so I jumped into the audiobook without a second thought because I wanted something YA that was a little shorter than the others I’m currently reading.

It’s paranormal romance, with hints of mild horror, and the blurb is very accurate about it keeping you hooked. There is a lot of action, a great group of friends, and a pretty original storyline that made it hard to stop reading.

I will say, however, that I think I would’ve liked it a bit more if I’d read the physical or ebook. The narrator wasn’t bad by any means, but there was something about her inflection at times, as well as the tone for some of the boys’ dialogue, that sounded off to me. I can’t really explain it. Again, it wasn’t bad and it didn’t make me stop listening, but I think the story would’ve read a bit differently if I hadn’t gone with the audiobook.

That being said, I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It had a lot of religion in it, focusing on Revelations and demons and the end of the world. But it was a really interesting take on it. Honestly, my only real complaint is that I want more. The book was great as a standalone, but I generally prefer series, and I think this could have have been developed into a pretty epic one. The pacing was pretty quick and the main character became suspicious of the love interest fast, so I think if that had been slowed down a bit and drawn out, the world and plot could’ve been built up into a series. Or at least a longer book.

Some of the story was predictable, but there were still plenty of twists and turns. It’s rare that an ending genuinely surprises me, and this one did in a cool way. The book was fairly intense, and a little creepier than I anticipated. I’m not a horror fan in any way, shape, or form, but this was like just on the border between paranormal and horror. Like just creepy enough to make me wonder if maybe I shouldn’t have been listening to it at night in the dark, but not enough to stop me.

I easily give this book 5/5 stars. It was fun and entertaining, but there were also parts that tugged on the heartstrings. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this author.

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