Why We Broke Up
by Daniel Handler
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Available as of December 27, 2011
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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 decided to read Why We Broke Up for the irony of my most recent break up. The summary sounded intriguing and I thought it would be a great read. Sadly, it wasn't as great as I had hoped.
This book is a letter. A super long letter that Min is writing to her now ex, Ed, detailing the numerous reasons for their break up. As she writes, she sees all the signs that they wouldn't last. She realizes how naive she was to think that Ed, the senior co-captain of the basketball team, her polar opposite, would be a good match.
Did I enjoy reading Why We Broke Up? Yes, but so much of the novel had old, obscure movie references that I didn't get. I loved the idea of the story, the reasons, and the illustrations. The pictures were gorgeous, but some things, such as Ed always saying "No offense," just grated on my nerves. Honestly, when someone says "no offense" they don't mean it. From page one I hated Ed, but he was painted, in the beginning, to be a sweet guy. Don't get me wrong, I laughed frequently while reading, but this book just wasn't for me.
Overall, Why We Broke Up was a decent read, but it took me a while to get into and in the end I was counting down the pages until it would be over. If you intend to read, I recommend borrowing.