Monday, January 9, 2012

Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up
Daniel Handler
354 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: purchased

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I ordered this book and it arrived today.  I immediately opened it and started reading it (well, okay, I took a shower and got some lunch first) because it seemed like it was going to be such a great book.  I thought it was going to be a five star-er.  I was wrong.  Three stars.

Why We Broke Up is written entirely as a letter written from Min to Ed explaining, obviously why they broke up.  The letter accompanies a box of items that Min has collected throughout their five week long relationship.

The pluses:  I loved the concept of the book, going over each little thing about why Min and Ed Broke up.  I liked that Min was essentially giving her stuff back to Ed along with the letter.  I really liked the illustrations that went with the novel, as well.  If Ed and Min can see the physical examples of why they're breaking up, I'm glad I was able to see them, too.  Completely unrelated to the plot, I liked the way the book was printed on really nice shiny paper, which made the illustrations look spectacular.  Drawback: it was super heavy.

The minuses:  They only dated five weeks.  Why was Min so invested in Ed, especially knowing his past with girls?  Maybe I just don't remember what it's like to date when you're sixteen.  You probably feel like you're in love with your boyfriend after just five weeks when you're only sixteen years old.  What I really don't understand though, is why Min felt the need to write Ed this letter in the first place.  The way he was portrayed by the end of the book, I couldn't picture him caring at all.  I wonder if he even would have read the whole 300+ page letter.  Another minor annoyance - no one writes letters that long.

More minuses: I couldn't follow Min's obscure movie references and I watch TCM a lot.  Also, she spoke and acted nothing like a teenager.  On the whole, I found more than just a quirky teenager still doing the teenager thing; I found her pretty unbelievable.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the book and I'm sort of glad to have read it, it just didn't completely sit right with me.

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