Symptoms of a Heartbreak

Symptoms of a Heartbreak

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...

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Title:Symptoms of a Heartbreak
Author:Sona Charaipotra
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Symptoms of a Heartbreak Reviews

  • Sona

    Hey guys! This is the author! Just a heads up that the title of this book has changed to Symptoms of a Heartbreak, and it has a new goodreads page here:

    Thank you for all of your support!

    Sona

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    FACT: I watched Doogie Howser, when the episodes originally aired, and I was totally fascinated with his trials and tribulations as he attempted to navigate the adult world as a teen.

    My love of Dr. Doogie drove my desire to read Symptoms of a Heartbreak, and I throughly enjoyed the new life Charaipotra breathed into this concept.

    Being a girl genius seemed kind of like a blessing and curse for Saira. Here she was, 16 years old, and a medical professional. She was responsible for making life or

    FACT: I watched Doogie Howser, when the episodes originally aired, and I was totally fascinated with his trials and tribulations as he attempted to navigate the adult world as a teen.

    My love of Dr. Doogie drove my desire to read Symptoms of a Heartbreak, and I throughly enjoyed the new life Charaipotra breathed into this concept.

    Being a girl genius seemed kind of like a blessing and curse for Saira. Here she was, 16 years old, and a medical professional. She was responsible for making life or death decisions for her patients, but she could not get the other doctors to take her seriously, AND she still had to abide by her parent's rules. This was something Saira struggled with in the book, and I felt like Charaipotra did an admirable job capturing Saira's emotions and reactions to many of the situations that arose because of this. In the beginning, she showed her age, but slowly, I saw Saira growing and maturing and becoming more professional, and learning that certain things need to be earned.

    This book was on the lighter side, and there are many, many fun, sweet, tender, and amusing moments, but Saira was an intern in the pediatric oncology ward, so there were some heartbreaking and painful moments as well. Be prepared. I know I shed some tears.

    But never fear, because I was also treated to an adorable romance. Saira's reaction to Link was so sweet, and gosh darn it! These two were precious together. Their union was filled with many complications, but I was still all in on this pairing.

    Here's a quick list of other things I adored:

    • Siblings - Saira and her sister shared some really special moments.

    • Dadi - You know I love grandmas, and Dadi not only was a hoot, she was wise.

    • Food! - There was a LOT of amazing cooking and eating in the book.

    • Central NJ - It's so rare to see books set where I live, and I will always get excited about this.

    • The Ending - I don't want to give anything away, but I was happy with it.

    • Family - Saira's family was fantastic, and I loved what a prominent role they played in this story.

    Overall, this was a wonderful, touching, and heartfelt read, which made me laugh, and also bought me to tears, but mostly, it made me cheer for this fierce and fabulous girl genius.

    *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    At sixteen, Saira Sehgal is the youngest doctor in America. Dubbed "Girl Genius" by the media, she's been selected to be one of three interns at a prestigious new program in the pediatrics oncology ward. But despite her intellect and her accomplishments, Saira has a lot to learn—and realize that she might be a doctor, but she's still a teen.

    June has been a month of reading books that are conflicting to rate.

    At times, I

    this book. At others, I just wanted to smack Saira

    At sixteen, Saira Sehgal is the youngest doctor in America. Dubbed "Girl Genius" by the media, she's been selected to be one of three interns at a prestigious new program in the pediatrics oncology ward. But despite her intellect and her accomplishments, Saira has a lot to learn—and realize that she might be a doctor, but she's still a teen.

    June has been a month of reading books that are conflicting to rate.

    At times, I

    this book. At others, I just wanted to smack Saira and shout, "WTF PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!"

    However, Saira was very much a teenager

    a doctor. Her emotions and inability to set aside emotion for logic were frustrating, but made sense because

    , and as intelligent as she is, she still has teenage hormones. While much of her interactions with Link made me roll my eyes (particularly in the beginning where she continues with her lie of omission—like, girl, this is

    going to end well), and her continued relationship with him made me physically pained, particularly since doctor-patient relations is such a huge taboo—her interactions with the other patients, her passion for healing and her desire to make things less awful were wonderful to read. I also painfully related to her reluctance to drive—because getting your license is scary and can be a step into adulthood that's really hard to take, particularly when you were forced (or chose) to grow up way too fast.

    I also loved pretty much the entire supporting cast, and how the subject of childhood cancer and the realities of having a child with a slowly murderous disease were depicted with compassion, empathy and also a healthy dose of reality at the failures of the healthcare system (it can be better!) and the sacrifices that families make to save their children. This book

    for it without becoming tragedy porn, and I was really grateful for that. There is hope, there is failure, there is healing, and there is also reality that sometimes dying is a release from pain for both the patient and the family.

    To the supporting cast. There is a lot of diversity in the casting (woot woot desi rep!), which was awesome to see, particularly since medicine is diverse. Plus there was a lot of LGB rep! Everyone felt so fucking real

    , even if sometimes they could be a little one dimensional. Saira's huge extended family was very well done, and the patients and their families and conflicting motives and fears and hopes.

    I also liked the hospital staff, especially José, who was Saira's one-man hype team (and sayer of truths). And Howard and Cho, who I wish had more page time to really develop their bond with Saira a bit more instead of the constant Link focus. And Dr. Arora, too, to see his mentorship abilities in greater practice. I did not like Dr. Davis at all, but I understood her reactions towards Saira, because damn was that kid rude AF. Like, I get that you're a genius and are tired of constantly proving yourself to the adults in your life but figure out the fucking chain of command? Overall, I wanted more of the hospital staff interactions, and wanted to see Saira's relationship and skills develop and grow more—and see how Howard and Cho reconciled their longer hours with Saira's shorter time.

    Instead, much of the book was about Saira and Link and their we-can't-but-we-are relationship. It was a lot of YA insta romance, and I didn't feel their connection? Despite everyone in the book talking about how obvious it was that they liked each other. I just felt that the romance was thrust in there as reason for Saira to go above and beyond for

    , as she constantly thrust herself into his life and tried to save him despite his repeated iterations that he wanted nothing to do with her after learning that she had lied to him. I wish that there had been a bit more realization on Saira's part after Link told her how her deception made him feel, and that she really did realize that she

    understand Link and the other cancer patients because she

    . Sitting with your dying friend and becoming a doctor doesn't put you in the same world as the kids who actually have cancer and are experiencing the treatments and the fracturing of their families.

    Additionally, there was some talk about childhood vs growing up, and the real conflict of what being a Girl Genius actually means for kids who skip ahead in their lives. Just like the cancer patients, Saira's friends don't understand what it means to have to watch her steps at every moment and not take risks—and Saira doesn't understand what it means to be a teen and a child,

    . I did like that Lizzie and Saira realize their differences and how selfish they were towards each other, and that Saira finally realized that she had been taking Lizzie for granted, and that relationships were a give and take instead of just assuming someone would be there to help you. I kinda wish that Vish had had the same realization, even if his situation was completely different and his hiding more necessary.

    Anywho.

    To wrap up this incredibly long review.

    Why you might want to read this one:

    1. Great depiction of what it means to be a Girl Genius (constantly proving yourself, teenage hormones/development, being kinda alienated from kids your age, learning to emotionally detach, etc)

    2. Amazing diverse cast with a desi MC

    3. Working in a pediatric oncology department and the emotional toll it takes, without being tragedy porn

    4. The complexities of the healthcare system

    5. Engaging family dynamics

    Why you might want to skip:

    1. Lots of revolving subplots and characters, which can be kinda underdeveloped

    2. MC you want to smack at times

    3. Instalove

    4. Childhood cancer (because this book WILL make you cry)

    Overall, I really enjoyed this one, despite the things that frustrated the hell out of me.

    I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

  • Lauren

    (4.4*)

    This is one of the best debut YA books I’ve ever read. I’m just gonna start there. I know that I just read the galley, and that it is not out yet, BUUUUT I can wholeheartedly say that it is definitely one of my FAVORITES. I love how cultured, nerdy, and “romance-y” it is. Great book to read during this Asian Heritage Month, really. I feel like if a book is able to at least get me to feel mixed emotions all throughout (happiness, sadness, anger, loss, love, etc.), I can formally dub it a “

    (4.4*)

    This is one of the best debut YA books I’ve ever read. I’m just gonna start there. I know that I just read the galley, and that it is not out yet, BUUUUT I can wholeheartedly say that it is definitely one of my FAVORITES. I love how cultured, nerdy, and “romance-y” it is. Great book to read during this Asian Heritage Month, really. I feel like if a book is able to at least get me to feel mixed emotions all throughout (happiness, sadness, anger, loss, love, etc.), I can formally dub it a “favorite of all time”. And it did. It was cute and memorable. GREAT JOB, SONA CHARAIPOTRA, now one of my favorite new authors :]

  • Kelly  (UnshelvedEdition)

    Every now and then I need to press a little reset button. When I start getting lost in a world of thriller/crime novels, I like to throw in something a little lighter to pull me out of the darkness

    Symptoms of a heartbreak was a lovely read about growing up fast and growing up early. While a lot of Saira’s life is not something realistic or normal (being a teenaged doctor) there are a lot of challenges she faces that remind us it’s not always easy to be a teenager and sometimes we do need to grow

    Every now and then I need to press a little reset button. When I start getting lost in a world of thriller/crime novels, I like to throw in something a little lighter to pull me out of the darkness

    Symptoms of a heartbreak was a lovely read about growing up fast and growing up early. While a lot of Saira’s life is not something realistic or normal (being a teenaged doctor) there are a lot of challenges she faces that remind us it’s not always easy to be a teenager and sometimes we do need to grow up a little faster than normal

    While reading this story, I was preparing myself for heartbreak, I mean it’s in the title. While there were some parts that hit you in the feels, they were not the parts that I was excepting. While there are some fluffy happy endings in this book, thats not all you get. There are moments that are raw and emotional which gives the story unexpected depth

    The main character, Saira, is often a little frustrating and makes a lot of dumb mistakes but that balances out the realism of this story and brings you back down to earth

    See more reviews on instagram @unshelvededition

  • kav (xreadingsolacex)

    by Sona Charaipotra is her solo debut that follows the story of Saira Seghal, aka Girl Genius, a 16-year-old doctor who starts an internship at her mom's hospital and just happens to fall for a patient.

    This was certainly a very

    by Sona Charaipotra is her solo debut that follows the story of Saira Seghal, aka Girl Genius, a 16-year-old doctor who starts an internship at her mom's hospital and just happens to fall for a patient.

    This was certainly a very cute and entertaining debut - I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this, but it was one I had a couple of issues with.

    But let's start with the good things:

    I honestly want to emphasize how

    of a read this was. While it wasn't brilliant and marvelous and moving in every which way, it was fun and sweet and I loved that it integrated humor and was truly just enjoyable to read.

    I also really, really loved how seamlessly Indian culture was incorporated into this novel. Saira's family bleeds Indian culture - from the overly involved extended family to the constant emphasis, I could really relate to her Indiannness, and I think that just increased how enjoyable it was to read because there were so many things I found humorous that might not apply to non-Indian readers, but it was super fun nonetheless.

    And then, there was the romance. I'm actually conflicted on the romance because I thought it was exceptionally adorable and the connection between the two was so incredible, but I also think this was an occasion where I would have preferred no romance. The romance really wasn't the forefront of the story, and I realized that I would rather it not be there at all. I loved Link's character and would have been so happy with him being a friend and this narrative really just focusing on Saira and her journey.

    Then, my biggest issues with the novel came in the second half. I actually felt this was a solid 4 star, but the last 50-100 pages lessened that quite a bit.

    I was quite disappointed with the queer representation in the novel. There are two queer characters in this novel, and I was initially really excited for that, but I was quite disappointed with how their narratives played out.

    Firstly, one of the characters was gay and closeted. However, his closeted sexuality was used as a plotline to further Saira's journey. His need to be quiet about his sexuality was treated as a "secret" and Saira would occasionally discuss how it was hard for her and there was even a point where she became the "bad guy" which almost pressured him to come out. A character even got upset with Saira and was essentially upset with her for not outing the gay character???

    The other queer character was basically the villain of this novel whose grief was used to excuse her inappropriate workplace behavior which just...really upset me.

    This was a very cute and fun novel and I do want to celebrate that, but I feel that it could even better with a few improvements.

  • Emilia

    It was a slow start, but the rest was pretty good!

  • Patty (IheartYA)

    I expected a cutesy-wutesy contemporary but you won't find that here. Real world drama lies in these pages, and one character I wanted to smack silly. I was a little lost on some of the language and cultural references that weren't explained well if at all. It felt unnecessarily long with some lulls in pacing. Overall, 3 out of 5 stars. Not terrible but not memorable either.

  • Syl

    Actual rating:

    Follow my blog:

    This is one of the debut YA books that show the great potential of the author.

    I actually very much enjoyed the story of Saira Seghal, the youngest doctor in the United States at the age of 16 years.

    Can you imagine ?

    At this age it’s absolutely normal

    Actual rating:

    Follow my blog:

    This is one of the debut YA books that show the great potential of the author.

    I actually very much enjoyed the story of Saira Seghal, the youngest doctor in the United States at the age of 16 years.

    Can you imagine ?

    At this age it’s absolutely normal that Saira is immature in many ways. She makes plenty of mistakes and errors in judgements(that really annoyed me), but it’s clear that she cares about people and that her heart is in the right place. She is the type of girl that would do anything for the people she loved the most and so this aspect in her character outweighs her bad characteristics in my opinion.

    The romance story was cute. Nothing more and nothing less. I just didn’t feel this very deep emotional connection to the romance story of her and Link. I feel like Teen readers will enjoy watching her fall in love for the very first time and then mess things up. But true love always has its ways and so maybe she can find a way to make everything right with her cute love interest. ;)

    Even though I didn’t particularly fall in love with the romance in this book, I definitely adored her relationship with Vish and how they were faux-dating so he could come out on his own terms.

    She never revealed his secret and that shows what a great friend she is.

    The highlight of this book has to be Saira's whole huge family. Her mother was adorable to say the least. Almost every supportive character (apart from Davis) was amazing. There were a lot of cultural references that made the book more authentic but weren’t explained well or at all. And it was easier for me to understand because of my cultural background but even I didn’t understand everything. For other people it would be harder I imagine.

    Another amazing thing in the book are the delicious descriptions of Indian food,- you start craving indian food while reading.

    Let’s talk about the emotional part of the book. The story shows how a family should „treat“ their child or any child at that who is sick with cancer,-with compassion and empathy.

    The books also shows the reality of the failures of the healthcare system, which I appreciated.

    The topic of cancer is sad but in this book you don’t get tragedy porn, and I was really grateful for that. Sure, there were moments where I cried at this unfair world. But then I remembered that there is hope, there is healing, and there is also the reality that sometimes dying is a release from pain for both the patient and the family.

    In the end I did quite enjoy this book but there were many things that could have been executed better. The romance story wasn’t well developed and Saira sometimes disappointed me. And of course there are characters (one character in particular)you want to smack. You will cry, you will laugh and you will enjoy this story though.

  • temi ★

    i just read the excerpt and UGHHHHH I’M SO READY

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