Review: Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up

Title: Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler

Release Date: December 4, 200827, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 354

Source: Library

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.

2 out of 5 stars


Let me preface this review by saying that this was not really what I was expecting.

This story follows Min Green who is writing a letter describing the reasons that she broke up with her boyfriend Ed Slaterton. She gives him trinkets back that remind her of him or things that he gave to her with explanations of why the thing reminded her of him.

The concept for this book was very cool, but I think it was executed poorly.

I love that there were pictures/illustrations throughout this book. It was partly the main reason that I picked it up, but I honestly didn’t like much more than that. Sad but true.

I didn’t enjoy the characters, and I thought the fact that Min was so obsessed with Ed was hella annoying. I also don’t really get why Min liked him so much. He was so rude and was just so immature about some things.

Al, Min’s best friend, was there the whole time! Why not choose him? He was so obviously in love with her. Ugh. Come on.

The formatting of this book really annoyed me. There were SO MANY RUN-ON SENTENCES. I am not here for that. Come on, I do not need a full page paragraph that consists of three sentences. *might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist* The hardcover version also has the shiny magazine pages which are annoying to read, and as petty as that sounds, it did inhibit my reading experience with it.

I got quite annoyed with how much name dropping there was in this. Min loved movies and wanted to be a director. Great, good for you, but I don’t know all these silent films and indie actors and movies. I don’t want to see the names in quotations and italics because I just feel like I’m missing out.

The fact that Ed said ‘gay’ in rude terms made me angsty, also. Min calls him out, but he doesn’t even try and fix it at all. That should have been the first indicator that he didn’t really love her, but she was just blinded by wanting the idea of him.

There wasn’t really a plot to this, either. I get that it’s a letter to her ex, but why isn’t there a real story? It makes me so sad that she was so controlled in this relationship, but she didn’t realize it at the time.

All in all I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. Fun fact, though. Daniel Handler is Lemony Snicket from The Series of Unfortunate Events. Crazy stuff.

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