Symptoms of a Heartbreak
Genre: Comedy, Contemporary, YA
Publication date: July 2nd, 2019
The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in the contemporary romantic comedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak.
Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.
But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.
It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.
-A copy was provided by Imprint for review-
Remember how back in 2012 the only book anyone ever talked about was The Fault in Our Stars? I wish Symptoms of a Heartbreak was around back then because it is infinitely better and hits a lot of the same emotional notes that TFIOS hit for many people. While this book is pitched as a medical romcom, I’d actually describe it as less of a romcom and more of a family comedy with a smidgen of romance and a lot of growth and development.
Saira is Girl Genius and the youngest doctor ever. But all that genius cannot prepare for her first year as an intern at the place where it all started – when she diagnosed her best friend with cancer at the age of 6. It also cannot prepare her on how she should balance her very adult responsibilities with the fact she is still a teen who has never had any real teen experiences.
Saira truly reads like the perfect balance between teen and adult. A YOUNG ADULT if you will. She is prone to irritability, occasionally forgetting to think about people other than herself; but, she is also capable of being mature and making important decisions. Her voice just hit all the right notes for me. Her relationship with her fam was the best and all the food descriptions made me immensely hungry.
Given that this book is a comedy, it could have been pretty easy for it to brush off all the big bad things that happen in the world, but it didn’t. The health care system in the US is severely broken and Charaipotra didn’t dance around that. Saira had patients who dealt with shitty insurance companies. Not all of Saira’s patients are always okay given that they have cancer… and sometimes people die.
Charaipotra truly hit the mark with this book and I loved that we could both be immersed within Saira’s family and also within her work place without feeling like one or the other was neglected. I also loved how much character development there was. I love Saira coming to terms with the times she has dropped the ball on her friendships and familial relationships.
I have yet to say a word about the romance and part of that is because it really isn’t the focus of this book but also part of it is because it’s so soft and I wanted to save the softest thing for last. Link and Saira hit it off as soon as they meet but Link assumes that Saira is also a patient and she doesn’t bother to correct him. Even with this miscommunication, their romance is so sweet and so full of understanding.
If you enjoy experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, this book will truly be your thing. You will laugh, cry and swoon. If you were at one point, obsessed with Scrubs, this book will also be your thing (I started rewatching after finishing this book, LOL.) If you are a fan of realistic teens and good character development, this book will be your thing. If you love Punjabi grandmas (+ crazy Punjabi fams) and lots of good Punjabi food-porn, this book will BE YOUR THING. There is something for everyone here and Symptoms of a Heartbreak is absolutely worth the read.