Book Review: Zoë Foster Blake’s Break-Up Boss is like a sassy big sister for the broken-hearted

Beloved Australian author, Zoë Foster Blake has become an authority on dating and relationships. The former Cosmopolitan columnist wrote Textbook Romance with Hamish Blake, the man who would one day become her husband. Now she delivers us Break-up Boss, a rather joyous but realistic pocket guide to break-ups and its companion piece, an eponymous app. Like Meshel Laurie’s Buddhism for Break-ups, it offers up lots of useful hints and tidbits for those people going through a break-up.

This book is structured around a “Feel Wheel.” This may sound a little bit new agey but it actually gets the reader to stop and consider their current emotional state from “WTF Just Happened,” “I Can’t Do This” and “I Hate Them” to “It’s Really Over” and “I’m Feeling Okay…!” Consider this a millennial’s answer to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief.

The prose and hot pink design here is obviously aimed at younger women. Foster Blake keeps things quite informal and conversational. She tends to paint herself as the supportive, older sister who will mend your broken heart and inspire you to turn this into an opportunity for change and to feel better. The “inspirational” part comes courtesy of a number of famous people’s quotes and this supports Foster Blake’s opinion that this period in your life can be an opportunity for self-empowerment and modification. As someone who’s been there – just as Foster Blake has in the past – I can tell you she’s absolutely right.

Older readers may take offence at the colourful language and profanities used here. Others may find that while this book has it’s useful moments, it can’t replace the advice and support of trusted family members and friends or indeed, a professional psychologist or counsellor. One things for certain, illustrator, Mari Andrew and Foster Blake are your confident guides through a period that can be trying but doesn’t necessarily have to be. Oh and Andrew’s illustrations are as cute and fun as Sonny Blake (refer to the Blake’s Instagram pages if you don’t believe me!)

Break-up Boss is a no-nonsense guide that you can dip in and out of in order to deal with the different stages and emotions involved with a relationship break-up. It’s a handy little pocket guide designed for young women (just a pity that there isn’t a book for the boys) with some sage advice found between its covers. With Foster Blake at the helm of this title you know you’ll be back on the relationship horse before you can say “Relationships? Neigh!”

Zoë Foster Blake’s Break-Up Boss is out now through Penguin Random House.


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