Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Release Date –  December 27, 2011
Publisher Website –  HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages -    368 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**Obtained from Book Expo America for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 am sure we've all been there. You've just ended a relationship and would love to the person why. Min does exactly that by writing a letter to her ex and including items she kept during their brief relationship.

The premise of this novel, the telling of a relationship through objects meaningful to the couple, was unique and drew me in right away. I liked trying to guess what each object could represent, and how it factored in to the reason why Min and Ed broke up. 

Min and Ed may seem like a mismatch. They are very different. Min is artsy, where Ed is athletic. Min is considered “different", where Ed is part of the popular crowd at school. At first glance you may expect the relationship to fail and for it to be obvious why they broke up. However, it’s because of these differences that they are attracted to each other in the first place. The whole opposites attract scenario works in this novel, and you understand how they came together. 

The relationship felt pretty authentic to what a high school relationship could be like. The final catalyst causing the split is something I didn’t see coming, and is huge compared to the smaller, sometimes silly reasons Min gives in the book

I didn’t feel like I had a clear picture of the characters. Maybe it was the letter style layout, or the narrative of Min, but I couldn’t connect to them. The letter is filled with run on sentences that could be distracting for some readers and made it harder to connect with Min.

I did enjoy Al, Min’s patient best friend. I ended up feeling sorry for him quite a bit during the novel, and was happy whenever he stood up for himself.

The reasons why Ed and Min broke up are plentiful, and exploring a relationship through objects is an interesting twist. I think this is a book that will have people relating  to the story, maybe not the characters though, and the journey is one that is quite familiar. 


  1. I have been really intrigued by this. Like you said, it's such a unique way of telling the story. I also love that they're opposites, it's always so fascinating to see how those differences in one another fit together. Shame about the lack of connection with the characters, but at least you can connect with the actual journey.

    Fantastic review, Kathy! Interested in checking this out when it's released next year in Aus.

  2. Sorry to hear you couldn't really connect to the characters. I really hate it when that happens. This is the first review I've read of this book. It sounds pretty interesting. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I may have to check this out. :)

  3. This is YA? saw 'school' so I was just wondering


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