Author: Daniel Handler
Illustrator: Maira Kalman
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Release Date: January 2012
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 had been dying to read Why We Broke Up for a long time before I finally nabbed a copy of it. Why We Broke Up is a refreshing, riveting, and awesome read. This novel is full of descriptive and colorful writing, realistic characters, and it was in a cool letter format making the read all the better.
Why We Broke Up first stole my attention because of the awesome cover. The cover is very intriguing because of the falling tea cup and the imperfect font of the cascading words. I also like the simple red background. Anyway, onto the book.
I loved the letter format of Why We Broke Up. The main character, Min (short for Minerva), is writing a Dear Johnesque letter to her boyfriend, Ed. Throughout the whole book Min is writing to Ed, so it seems as though Ed is the one the book was written for. Reading this novel was more like listening to a conversation than reading a book which made the read different and interesting.
I also loved that the entire plot was about Min's break up with Ed (judging from the cover, that's pretty obvious). This book could have been 100% sappy and cliche, but the way Daniel Handler wrote the novel + the pictures made the book entirely unique. I loved that throughout the letter Min referenced items she had kept through the relationship, and how they contributed to the reason that she broke up with Ed. The pictures in this novel were simple, yet very cool.
Another thing that I liked about Why We Broke Up were the characters. I liked how realistic Min was. She was headstrong, yet had human weaknesses. She was head over heels over a boy, which caused her to ignore some obvious red flags in their relationship. Ed was also very realistic in his arrogant super star ways. At some points the book was easy to relate to because of how realistic and human the characters were.
I was thoroughly entertained by Why We Broke Up, and would suggest this novel to any teen or adult looking for a refreshing read!