I don’t get to feature Filipino fiction as often as I’d like here on the blog so it feels like a treat when I get to do so. I can still remember the first time I read The Breakup Diaries a few years ago. I was still in college then and this title was my favorite out of all the Summit Books that were available at that time. After I finished reading it, I worked on convincing my girlfriends to pick it up as well so we could discuss it. Preferably while hanging out in a cafe because Monica, the main character, is a barista. When I saw that it has been reissued, I decided to grab a new edition and read it on my flight back to Singapore from Manila. I ended up enjoying the book just as much as when I first discovered it.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
Twenty-three-year-old self-proclaimed nice girl Monica Tanseco is finding out the hard way that in order to survive a breakup, you have to grow up – fast. Sure, breaking up is hard to do, but who knew it involved:
- Denial, followed by desperate bid to get back together involving promises to do everything to make him happy
- Sever loss of sleep, appetite and self-esteem
- Acute paralysis – or maybe death – of good judgment
- Compulsive tendencies to document every event, feeling and fantasy in a manner of reporter trying to make sense of things
- More compulsive tendencies to over-examine relationship carcass and over-analyze cause of death as couple
- Getting a life
When her perfect boyfriend – college hoop star certified hottie and young hotshot eagle Itos Ongpauco – decided to call it quits, Monica, barista by day and dreamer by night, found herself stepping out from behind the coffee counter and out of her comfort zone – into the mad world of magazine publishing.
While starting out at the bottom of the food chain as the overworked, unpaid intern at “M” magazine can obliterate any trace of self-esteem, anything – including bitchy bosses, temperamental photographers, rather dull but oh-so-hot male models – is a welcome balm to her pains. Never mind that her freebie-obsessed boss treats her like an on-call, 24-hour proxy service. Never mind, that, sometimes, when she’s had too much alcohol, male models become irresistible. Never mind that, despite having just had her heart-broken, the possibility of love presents itself again.
One of the main reasons why I enjoyed reading The Breakup Diaries so much is because it’s easy to relate to Monica’s situation: how difficult it us to pick up the threads of your life after a breakup, especially when you didn’t see it coming. Monica had no idea that her boyfriend would decide to call it quits on their anniversary dinner date. Pretty harsh, noh? I felt so bad for her but what I liked about the book is that it was still fun to read even though the character was experiencing a major setback. There were several hilarious moments within the story and all throughout everything, you’re rooting for Monica to heal her broken heart. Her reaction to the breakup felt realistic, from wanting to get back together with her boyfriend to re-evaluating her life and seeing things in a different light. It’s also nice that Monica had friends and family who were there to support her – as with any problem, it really helps to know that other people have your back. I also liked how The Breakup Diaries gave me a better idea of what it’s like working in a magazine publishing company. I don’t want to say too much about the book because it’s a short and sweet read, something that you can finish during a flight or an evening when you’re in the mood for something light. I think it’s fitting that my first review for 2013 is about an old favorite. If you’ve ever experienced a breakup, then you’ll probably be able to relate to Monica as well.
One thing I noticed about the new edition is that it had several typos. I don’t remember seeing those in the original edition – it’s a minor thing but I thought I’d just take note of it. I do like the new cover more than the old one: