Bad Breakups in Teen Fiction

Breakups are always painful, no matter the circumstances. But sometimes, even the worst endings can lead to unexpected beginnings. Whether or not you are ready to believe in love, I can guarantee you will root for the protagonists of these romantic comedies.

Never Vacation With Your Ex: seems like an easy problem to avoid, right? Unfortunately for volleyball superstar Kaylee, her family spends every summer with the Freeman-Yus in Malibu... and Kaylee just unceremoniously broke up with Dean Freeman-Yu. Determined to avoid awkwardness during the one time each year she can relax, Kaylee coaches Dean through her heartbreak survival guide. But they soon learn that even the most clear-cut rules are meant to be broken.

Breakups don’t get much worse than Samaya’s. Not only does her boyfriend dump her, he sabotages her summer job, runs off to India and starts dating her frenemy. In an effort to come out on top, Samaya convinces cute hockey player Daniel to be her fake boyfriend in exchange for helping him with his homework. But in How to Win a Breakup, the outcome isn’t as straightforward as the title makes it seem.

At the beginning of Blaine for the Win, Blaine is excited to celebrate his one-year anniversary with his wealthy and ambitious boyfriend Joey, who dreams of being the first gay president. Then, to Blaine’s shock, Joey breaks up with him over dinner for not being serious enough. To prove Joey wrong, Blaine decides on a Legally Blonde-style comeback: he will run for president too. Class president, at least. But when Blaine's campaign starts to go better than expected, he has to figure out what he really wants.

In most situations, baked goods are a surefire cure for heartbreak. But in The Heartbreak Bakery, they’re the cause. After being dumped, baker Syd (no pronouns, please!) accidentally infuses a batch of brownies with heartbreak and confusion, causing everyone who eats them to break up, including the owners of the Proud Muffin bakery. To fix this magical mishap, Syd must team up with cute delivery-person Harley to salvage the ruined relationships and, maybe, start a new one.

Friendship breakups can hurt just as much as romantic breakups, and that is exactly what happened in Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute, when Brad ditched Celine to hang out with the popular kids years ago (or at least, that’s how she sees it). They couldn't be more different: Brad is a star football player, and Celine runs a popular conspiracy theory TikTok. So, when they end up in a scholarship competition together, their first instinct is to fight. But what if they do better as a team? 

Do you have a favorite heartbreak story? Let us know in the comments!