Reviews, Young Adult

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler


Title: Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler

Illustrations: Maira Kalman

Goodreads Plot: 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.

My Thoughts: 

I think this is a great book, and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed the classical story of the misfit, theater girl who falls in love with the jock. However, there were several things that did bother me about the book. I got really annoyed with the two main characters for several reasons. Min: I think she was slightly pretentious. I got the sense that she thought she was smarter (dare I say better) than Ed. Her decision-making at times was not sound and very frustrating. I understand that she is a teenager, but she was still slightly annoying. I still felt really bad for her at the end. Ed: I feel like he was portrayed unfairly. I understand that he turns out to be a HUGE jerk at the end, but he was portrayed as the typical jock. Charming, slightly stupid, didn’t think that all societal rules applied to him, and entitled. Also, it would have been interesting to see his perspective in this whole break-up. I felt bad that we only got to see one side of this break up. Overall, I enjoyed the book. The artwork was beautifully done, and I would actually buy this book in physical form (I borrowed it from the library).

My Rating: 7/10

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