Where Did Your Heart Go? by Audrina Lane
Where Did Your Heart Go? by Audrina Lane is a sweet, sad, nostalgic reminiscence on teenage years and first loves. The novel’s premise involves Stephanie March, a mother whose daughter, Charlotte, has recently undergone a rough breakup, and her attempts to ease her daughter’s heartbreak through the use of a journal she kept during her first breakup. The book is largely told in flashbacks via Stephanie’s journal entries. Late 1980s music stars like George Michael and Berlin are explicitly referenced multiple times as both prophets of love and comforters of heartbreak. 80’s love ballads may seem comedic today, but Lane’s prose detailing Stephanie’s gawky and romantic teenage years make them seem as relevant to love and love lost as Regina Spektor’s soul-crushing “Us” at the beginning of the popular lonely hearts film “500 Days of Summer.” Breaking up, as we all know, is hard to do, especially that first love, on which this book centers. Even several years later, Stephanie cycles through love and hate for her very first love affair, James, with startling rapidity.
The differences that Lane brings to breakups during the late ‘80s and 2014 feel simultaneously valid and token. For example, she includes obligatory references to Facebook and Twitter regarding Charlotte’s breakup, yet Stephanie has kept a pen-and-paper journal detailing her lost love, something almost wholly foreign to youth in the digital age. The loss of that first young love is something that almost everyone can relate to. The concept of marrying a “high school sweetheart” that has entrenched itself into American love has fooled and depressed various 15-18 year olds across the nation, as has the addition of the “manic pixie dream girl” in films such as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and the aforementioned “500 Days of Summer.” First loves, sadly, rarely work in real life, and this book is a reminder of that sad, maturing fact of pre-adult life. Where Did Your Heart Go? is a book that will make the reader reflect on the loss of that first boyfriend or girlfriend that he or she really thought could’ve been something more. Not every novel will make you feel something genuine, but this one is almost guaranteed to do just that.
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