Holly Liddell has been stuck with crimped hair since 1987 when she agreed to let her boyfriend, Elton, turn her into a vampire. But when he ditches her at a gas station a few decades into their eternity together, she realizes that being young forever actually means working graveyard shifts at Taco Bell, sleeping in seedy motels, and being supernaturally compelled to follow your ex from town to town–at least until Holly meets Elton’s other exes.
It seems that Holly isn’t the only girl Elton seduced into this wretched existence. He turned Ida in 1921, then Rose in 1954, and he abandoned them both before Holly was even born. Now Rose and Ida want to kill him before he can trick another girl into eternal adolescence, and they’ll need Holly’s help to do it. And once Holly starts falling for Elton’s vulnerable new conquest, Parker, she’ll do anything to save her.To kill Elton for good, Holly and her friends will have to dig up their pasts, rob a bank, and reconcile with the people they’ve hurt in their search for eternal love. And to win the girl, Holly will have to convince Parker that she’s more than just Elton’s crazy ex–even though she is trying to kill him.
I know The Heartbreak Bakery is young adult fantasy, but it was exactly what I, an older Millennial, needed to read at this moment in my life. Like Syd, I’m also fairly new to the whole “opting out of gender entirely” thing. Our situations don’t exactly line up—I’m genderqueer and use they/them pronouns whereas Syd is agender and is still figuring out which pronouns, if any, feel right—but are experiences and feeling are close enough that it at times seemed like someone was whispering my own thoughts, fears, and hopes aloud…
Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.
Buy it from bookshop.org (affiliate link).