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Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up
By Daniel Handler
Art By Maira Kalman
Little, Brown

Source: Library
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:

"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."

The ending of the book is in the title, which doesn’t help Ed’s case. Immediately, I did not like him. He crashed a party and uses the word “gay” like it’s the only adjective he knows. An objective person can tell right away that Ed is a jerk, but Min overlooks that because he pays attention to her. I am sure the author wanted me to hate him, but I think I would have liked the story better had Ed been a slightly better person. He has the potential to be a great person, but he has a lot more growing up to do. He also has the potential to be a life-long jerk. I would have liked to have known how he ended up.

The whole time I was reading, I was yelling at Min, “What are you thinking?” If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, she is a teenager and doesn’t know these things yet. One thing I liked about Min was that she liked movies. The downside to that was that the author did not use real movies or songs in the book. I am sure that was to make it easier to publish, but I think it definitely took something away from the story.

Personally, I could see the ending coming from a mile away, but it was still enjoyable to read. It’s not something I would usually pick, but I liked the idea of it. I haven’t read Thirteen Reasons Why, but the two stories seem similar to me. I would have appreciated less objects. The book was well-written, but seemed to drag at times – especially during the page-long paragraphs. I skimmed some of those.

Overall, it was good but I wish my first review book hadn’t been such a downer.