Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up
Daniel Handler
YA Contemporary
Published: 2011

Author Daniel Handler is the real name of Lemony Snicket, so you might be familiar with his children's novels. This one is Young Adult with an interesting take on the break-up story: the main character Min (short for Minerva) is essentially writing a letter to her ex telling him all the real reasons they broke up. She has a box of stuff related to their brief courtship: movie tickets, trinkets, earrings etc. that relate to aspects of their relationship, that she plans to give Ed along with the letter.

The storytelling method is a bit uncoventional, which is kind of fun, but also may be the sources of the book's faults. The story itself can be challenging at times because from page 1 (actually from the cover) we know that Min and Ed break up. You can tell from her rants -- which are frequently hilarious and spot-on if you've ever suffered a break-up in high school -- that Ed was never a good fit in the first place. Her friends tell her Ed's not a good fit. His friends don't understand it either. So, the fact that everyone was right and it doesn't work out makes it a bit painful at times to get through. At least it's funny, with some great snippets of angst and reflection that feel genuine. Min has some sidekicks who make the journey worthwhile. Her guy friend is clearly everything Ed is not, and I would expect every reader would want to slap Min upside the head until she realizes the guy for her is right there all along.

Recommended if you like unconventional storytelling, well written YA angst, or you're a Lemony Snickett devotee.

1 comment:

  1. I was looking at my bookshelf and saw this one on it. I've been meaning to get to it forever. You may have just motivated me to bump it up. :)


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