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Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler- Review

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I finally read Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler illustrated by Maira Kalman.  I read it for my Young Adult Book Club's pick this month.   Let's be honest.. this book took me way too long to read.  I just wasn't that into it.  Here's the goodreads description:

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. 

This book is written by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket),  but was just not my cup of tea.  I don't know what it was... I just didn't get really into it.  I liked the whole idea of teens dating in high school and breaking up.  That was a good idea.  It was written in a letter format with Min breaking up with Ed.  She had saved several things throughout their relationship and is putting them all into a box to give to Ed. Min also includes a long letter explaining why they broke up, which is what the story is. 

I liked the art, a lot. The art is of all the items that Min kept from their brief dating period.  I remember when I was a teen I would save things from relationships too.  In fact, my husband and I dated way back then and I remember breaking up with him once and bringing a bag of his stuff back to his house and dumping it off.  I had a friend bring it to his door.  LOL.  So this is a big teen thing to do.  I went through a few of the things that Min went through.  Though I never did get to date the popular guy.   

Sometimes in the story though I couldn't understand what Handler was writing.  I was confused.  He writes in this odd style and sometimes you are guessing what is meant.  This book is also heavy people!  HEAVY.  I went to take it in my purse to read if I was out and about and put it in my purse and was like whoa!  The pages are really nice and glossy, so the cover has to be bigger to support it.  

This book is instalove.. but when I was a teen that was something that could happen.  I love all my boyfriends and yet being 16 did I really even know what love was??  I really didn't understand why Ed broke up with Min or why she never saw the signs.  Since we only read the book through her eyes  we never really know how Ed was acting.  In the story one minute it's lala land and then boom he's a jerk and dumping her. I mean love is blind right?  We only see what we want to see.  


And the movies... God the movies!  Min is constantly comparing and watching old movies.  OLD movies.  Because of this I felt a little detached.  I haven't seen any of these movies so I really didn't totally get all the references.  I know they were supposed to be sweet and romantic but eventually I got tired of reading about them. It seems like Min really only lives in her dreams of these old movies too, which sadly real life is way more disappointing (actually I just read that these movies were made up by the author).  Also when I googled the movies I saw a link that says there is going to be a movie based on Why We Broke Up?? What? 

There is a fun website for the book where there are break up stories written out.  I do remember high school break ups being awful.  My first boyfriend showed up in school one day after we broke up holding the hand of another girl.  That hurt so bad.  Of course now I look back and then all those relationships weren't that important and why did I stress so much.  Though I do think all the boyfriends I had I learned lessons from and knew eventually the type of guy I wanted to marry.  I don't think I have read any other Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket books.  So I am not sure if they are all written similar to this. 

The crystal ball says: 
 



Thunder is booming!! Run inside and don't bother reading!
 
 


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13 comments:

  1. Too bad this was such a disappointment! I do like the illustrations though!

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    1. This book is a total pass!! I mean... I just didn't click with it. The art though was neat.. it was cool to see the things Min saved from her relationship drawn out. It reminded me of the dumb things I saved back in the day.

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  2. I am sad to hear to hear this book wasn't good. I enjoyed A Series of Unfortunate Events so much.

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    1. I think maybe he is not a teen writer. I think I read a couple of those books and enjoyed them but it was back in 2006-2007 when the movie was coming out and I wanted to read the books before hand. This just want disjointed and I didn't care for it at all.

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  3. I had a hard time getting into this as well, so I put it down for a bit. I think part of it is that it was an ebook I'd checked out, so I might try again in print as I so very badly want to like this!

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    1. I wanted to like it too... especially since I have been wanting to read more stand alone books. I have too many series going on. I need more stand alone books in my life!

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  4. I actually read this a while back because I just picked up the paperback edition (with the lovely cover art!) I actually enjoyed it quite a bit considering I rated it a 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed how the story was put together and even though it was pretty cliched, I loved how the story played out.

    Even though when the MC started talking about movies it dragged a bit, it was nice that she had such a passion for film--and sharing that with the reader gave a more pleasant than unpleasant feeling to me.

    Wonderful review, Angela! ^^

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    1. I know a lot of people enjoyed this book (I could see from reviews). I wanted to get into the movies... I really did. I even thought I would look up a few and check them out (till I found out the author made them up).

      I will say though it did really put me back into my high school loves. I don't really think it's plausible for the quarterback to like some average artsy girl but a girl can dream. I of course always wanted to date a jock.. hell be asked out on a date ( I never was in high school even though I had boyfriends... not until college.) I did have bags of boys stuff and love letters and all that jazz. I liked how the story did bring out those memories.

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  5. This book was one of my biggest reading disappointments of 2013. I really wanted to like it because I loved the Lemony Snicket books, but this one just .... well, it was blah for me. I think it was doubly disappointing because I had been looking forward to reading it so much. Great review.

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    1. I thought it wasn't that great .. I mean... really the writing was confusing. Statements just thrown in every now and then out of no where and made me think I was missing something and I would take the time to stop and look back to see. By the end of the book I just didn't care anymore if I missed anything or not.

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  6. I couldn't get into this book either - and guess what - all the old movies are fake! They aren't real! Honestly, I can't imagine that a book about a BRIEF relationship in high school could be that important - and it wasn't.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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