Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (5 stars)

Why We Broke Up

by Daniel Handler

 

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316127257
  • Publisher: Hachette Book Group
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 474
  • Age range: 15 – 17 Years
  • Lexile: 980L (what’s this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)
Summary:
This book is a long letter from Min explaining to Ed why the two of them broke up. It comes with a box that is filled with all of these random items from their relationship and Min goes through the memory that comes with each piece. Through this, we learn about Ed and Min’s relationship. We learn about the rip of a poster that ended up with a first date, some bottle caps, a book of matches, and books that Min has kept as mementos of the relationship. Everything is accounted for while Min purges her memories onto the page of her letter to Ed. I’ll give you a brief summary of the torn poster story, but honestly, this is a book where everything chains together to have the reader infer and use their own judgment more than pointing out every single thing that happened. Anyways, Min is helping her best friend Al hang posters advertising for Halloween events. She promised him, so she needed to make sure she lived up to her responsibilities even though her head is filled with puppy love la-la. While she is hanging posters, Ed comes over to her to talk for a few moments. When he needs to give her his phone number, he rips a piece of the poster that had just been hung and writes on it. At the time, Min doesn’t think much about it, but after the breakup she notices that it was something she should have cared about because her friend had spent a lot of time on the posters. It was just one of a ton of things that showed how different Ed and Min were from one another.
My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was fun and different. I was able to learn about the plot and the characters in a new way, and the little props were adorable. Ed was not a unlikeable character and Min never makes him out to be a horrible guy. He just has different priorities than Min has, and I think Min realizes that as she goes through each story. Min is not your normal teenager. She has a niche that she is really into, old movies, and she goes on tangents from time to time about that interest. I really enjoyed that, but I’m not sure it will keep the interest of my high school students. I’d just hope that the interactions between the characters would keep them interested in spite of the diatribes.
Since we come into the book already knowing that they broke up, I did not expect to like Ed at all. I assumed that it would end up being a broken-hearted ex-girlfriend rant, like the ones where the girlfriend tares everything to pieces and throws everything around. Min is tossing the box at his front door, but she is actually pretty balanced between showing that Ed should be sad about things more than calling him a jerk. I was pleasantly surprised with every aspect of the book, and would love to recommend it to more people to read.
* 5 Stars

 

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