Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Read This: Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up
by Daniel Handler

The Short Story
 Min and Ed had a short, sweet, bitter, and everything in between high school romance. Now that they've broken up, Min decides to send Ed a letter and a box containing every trinket she ever saved from their relationship. Each piece tells a different part of their story, and ultimately why it didn't work. A unique read that kept my interest, but did fall a little flat at the end.

Come for the....
most realistic YA female written by a man. You might recognize Daniel Handler more easily by his alias, Lemony Snicket. And, while I'm not interested his more well-known books, I have to say he does an amazing job with Min. She felt like such a realistic character to me; the way she kept little mementos of her relationship with Ed; her long, stream of consciousness descriptions of him and her and how she felt; the use of the word 'swoon.' I think the only way Min would be different if she were written by a women would be that she would have sworn less, and maybe would have been more concerned about whether or not she had shaved her legs. 

But for all Min's realistic-ness, if you don't believe in her relationship with Ed, the story won't work. Like 500 Days of Summer, you know this isn't going to end well. And as I read I could see how Ed and Min were not well-matched. There are parts where neither one is being honest, or both make incorrect assumptions. But part of the reason I enjoyed the story so much was that there are moments when you see the good in their relationship. Ed and Min have some incredibly adorable times together, and some awful ones. The complexity of their relationship was one of the best parts of the book. Unfortunately the story ends up going the very, very cliched route, but the rest of it is so good that I still recommend it.

Stay for the
illustrations, which weren't all finished in the ARC, but based on what I saw will be amazing; the postcards that come with the book; the fact that it's a stand alone.

Don't Think About This Too Hard
  • A simple google search would have solved one of the issues that comes up in the end. I can't decide if this is just sloppiness in the plotting, or if it's another example of not wanting to know, and the idea being better than knowing the reality.
  • Min gets a little wordy in her monologues. I'm hoping some of that will be trimmed in the finished copy of the book.

The Big Three:
Language: frequent profanity, including the f-word (somewhat regularly)
Sex and Stuff: There's a lot of this, and described more than I cared to read
Violence: not an issue

Just So You Know
I read an ARC of Why We Broke Up as part of Around The World ARC Tours.
Why We Broke Up will be released on December 27, 2011.


  1. Sounds intriguing. Do you think it would appeal to male readers?

  2. LOL, I know some girls don't care about shaving their legs but I HAVE too. I'm actually surprised a guy author wrote about a girl who didn't care about shaving her legs...he must have known one of "those" women. ;)

  3. Juju, I actually don't think it would. Like at all. Min is fairly bitter, especially at the beginning of the book. And it's pretty one-sided, in that it's mostly the boy's fault why things didn't work.

    Jenny, I guess I worded that a little misleadingly... It's more that the girl regularly does stuff that involves no pants, but doesn't give any thought to if she's shaved or not. Maybe it was just me, but I thought it was something I would probably consider. :)

  4. I didn't realize it was by Lemony Snicket! Now I want to read this even more than I already did. I've been super curious about this one actually, and I think yours is the first review I've read for it--so thanks!