The Yelp

A Heartbreak in Reviews

When Chase Compton met the love of his life at a dirty dive bar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he had no idea how far from comfort the relationship would take him. Their story played out at every chic restaurant, café, and bar in downtown New York City. Ravenous hunger, it seemed, was their mutual attraction to one another—until suddenly the appetite was spoiled, and Chase was left to pick up the pieces of a romance gone wrong.

Left high, dry, and starving for affection (and cheeseburgers), Chase turned to an unlikely audience in a moment of desperation: Detailed in the Yelp reviews is the story of how to survive a broken heart. Every meal and cocktail shared is a reminder of times spent with the ever elusive “Him.” In recounting the bites devoured and the drunken fits of passion that propelled the relationship, the author chronicles his whirlwind relationship with the man of his dreams, revisiting the key places where the couple ate, drank, and fell in and out of love in the West Village and beyond.

The Yelp is a memoir of personal transformation and self-realization, or more simply—a memoir of food and love, played out on a map of modern Manhattan’s culinary scene. The book includes the original twenty-eight Yelp reviews, with interwoven narrative chapters that provide context, insight, and delight to Chase’s story.

  • Type: Non-fiction, Adult
  • Original Publication Date: Sep 2016
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

What people are saying:

This transformative memoir tells the story of heartbreak by taking readers to the places where a love flourished and fell apart. The Yelp: A Heartbreak in Reviews blends narrative chapters with reviews that provide a roadmap to author Chase Compton’s heartbreak. Compton meets “Him” in a Manhattan dive bar, and the two devour their love for all its worth in numerous locations across New York City. Compton brings readers to many of those locations—Café Mogador, the New York Public Library, 124 Old Rabbit Club—through his untraditional Yelp reviews, exploring the food and the moments that stole his heart and left him struggling to reclaim the scraps. More than anything, this is a memoir about surviving the kind of heartbreak that tears a person apart, leaving an empty pit in their stomach.

What makes this memoir standout is its original method of storytelling. Compton’s use of Yelp reviews is strange and almost nonsensical, but it provides an interesting outlook on him as a person. The locations he reviews become characters of their own as readers learn about Compton and the man he only describes as “Him.” At times this memoir almost feels too dramatic, but this is all part of Compton’s genuine exploration of heartbreak. His candor is what makes the book relatable. At times his pain is accompanied by an entertaining moment of laughter or joyous remembrance. All of this emotion comes alive with vibrant writing and Compton’s honest, entertaining voice.

The Yelp is also about more than Compton’s love affair with “Him.” It’s about his love affair with New York City. That love affair comes across best in the Yelp reviews; in fact, the Yelp reviews are the foundation that this memoir stands upon. The narrative chapters are strong, but it is the reviews that readers will find themselves rereading. The places Compton visits are full of atmosphere and character, and the distinctive way he shares his heartbreak makes this memoir well worth the read.

  • — 100 Story Reviews, Daniel Brount

Written By:

Chase Compton

Lover, yelper, and usually hungry for cheeseburgers.

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