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Love Hurts: The 7 Most Heartwrenching Breakups In Books

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Love Hurts: The 7 Most Heartwrenching Breakups In Books
Reading can mend a broken heart.
Curl up with one of these books over the holidays.

There's a big reason to not be grateful at Thanksgiving, and that's the dreaded "turkey drop": when college freshmen go home for the first time since starting school, and often cut ties with their high school sweethearts now that they've realized how many other fish are in the sea. (Even pragmatic adults recognize that it's better to pull the plug on a lousy relationship before the months-long holiday trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year's and Valentine's Day.) If you're a victim of the turkey drop, you're not alone! Young adult lit is filled with harsh breakups, from catching the guy you kissed making out with someone else to standing helplessly by while your first love chooses a path that doesn't include you. Check out these brutal YA kiss-offs and breathe easy that you dodged a bullet.

1. Why We Broke Up
Unlikely couple Min and Ed were doomed from the start: When the prototypical jock and the shy, artsy movie lover started dating, they raised plenty of eyebrows among their peers. They leapt out of their comfort zones, each grudgingly attending basketball games and indie films for the other. However, once Min comes to a devastating realization--one that overshadows their differences — she swiftly returns a box of mementos to Ed, hoping to hustle past the heartbreak stage. Each item symbolizes an event in their relationship; through Min's recollection we learn why, exactly, they broke up.

2. Tiger Lily
Jodi Lynn Anderson's retelling of Peter Pan reframes the classic tale within a story of young love — but not with the characters you'd expect. Peter, the boy notorious for never growing up, seems like an odd match for cynical, introverted Tiger Lily. Yet, she finds his childlike charm alluring, much to her tribe's chagrin. Risking her family and her future to be with the leader of the Lost Boys, Lily soon faces another obstacle, one that ultimately tears her relationship with Peter apart: the arrival of Wendy Darling.

3. Forever
Judy Blume's Forever is, for many readers, the seminal tale of teenage sexuality. When Katherine falls in love with Michael during her senior year of high school, she makes the agonizing decision to lose her virginity to him, with the hopes that it will seal their love forever. But, when the ever-ominous summer break comes, it is Katherine who is tempted by other romantic prospects. Working at a camp two states away, she falls for older, worldlier Theo. When Michael surprises her with a visit, he's in for crushing blow: Nothing lasts forever. (Makes the title seem a lot more cruel now, doesn't it?)

Read the rest of the books over at Bookish: It's 'Turkey Drop' Season! The Harshest Breakups In YA

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By Jessica Gentile

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