Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler // Book Review

Rating: 4/5; really liked it.

Release Date: December 27, 2011

I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

I was very excited to get this book because it is written by Daniel Handler a.k.a Lemony Snicket (I love the story in A Series of Unfortunate events and the fun way it was written).

Why We Broke Up is a 300+ letter written by Min, a junior in high school, to Ed, the jock guy that is her opposite and the person she is breaking up with for several reasons including the big one: he broke her heart. This book is pretty much about first loves and heartbreak. For Min and Ed, they lasted about two months, but those two months meant a lot to her. In her letter to Ed, she describes numerous significant objects that she will put in a box (along with the letter) to explain to Ed why they broke up.

The main reason I liked reading this book is how it is written and how the story develops. It's basically written in a way where you know how it will all end, yet you still hope that things end up okay. You get inside the head of this fangirl of old movies who falls for this guy who also falls for her. You get to be in every step of the way there with her and you get crushed when it ends. Well, almost crushed, because honestly, I would have liked to get to know the characters more. I felt like they needed to be more developed in order for me to really connect with them.

I recommend this book, just know what you're getting into or you may not enjoy it. It could go either way on the like or dislike scale.

The lovely illustrations by Maira Kalman add so much to the story and really help you picture more of the story. You get to see firsthand what Min found so important during her time with Ed a.k.a the jerk jock.

I was not a fan of how Min treated her mother. *possible spoiler* she actually called her mother stupid and said f*** her several times and for no apparent reason. Her mom just asked about wanting to meet Ed, yet throughout the very few interactions involving the mother, Min had nothing but extremely negative things to say. I need an explanation as to why that was. Just teenage angst? What? Without that explanation, I felt that Min was somewhat of a horrible human being so it was hard for me to like her that much.

Min's relationship with her best friend Al is pretty cute. You can clearly see why they're best friends. They're both huge movie buffs and just get along well. My beef though is how she handles certain situations with him. It seems like a jerk thing to do. The heart is a delicate thing, she should know. *shrug* Some conversations between them are weird is all I'm saying. Weird as in inhuman almost. Maybe I'm crazy?

Ed's mom - what's up with her? Is she sick? I don't get it. Not enough was explained about her. I have zero clue as to what is going on with her. It bothers me to the core. Almost as much as the Min-mom relationship.

The writing - some people strongly disliked the page long run-on sentences. I didn't have an issue with it, but many grammar "freaks" might have an issue getting through the book. Please also note that her voice, to me and many others apparently, seems unlike that of a junior in high school. Again, this wasn't an issue for me, but might be for you.

The big thing at the end, to me, came out of nowhere. Not completely out of nowhere, but somewhat out of nowhere. I was thinking "hmm that's a bit suspicious" when it came to a certain character, but I thought the way Ed thought of everything was out of nowhere. As his personality was explained, I didn't get a hint that he would act in certain ways. I guess that just shows you how things can be in real life though, which I liked even though I disliked that it occurred.

Be sure to check out the following site:

It's AMAZING! Reminds me of post secret.com in a way. I've literally spent hours on WWBP. People anonymously submit their break-up stories. Warning! Some are very, very sad!

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan - the quick and fun relationship
500 Days of Summer - also about heartbreak
The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin - the quick and fun relationship. Also about how opposites attract.

~~T.V and Book Addict~~

2 Pages Flipped:

Scumbag Sam said...

Why we broke up sounds brilliant! I need to grab me a copy!

Also, I tagged you in my blog - just a silly meme, but there you have it :P


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm really beginning to think I should read this. Great honest review.

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