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I'm curently going to school for Writing, Literature, and Publishing. Reading is my biggest passion and I have dedicated my life to books.

Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler



Title:Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler
Artist: Maira Kalman
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Year: 2011

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Summary: 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. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10798418-why-we-broke-up)

I would like to start off with, CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS BOOK IS?? The illustrations by Maira Kalman are so beautiful and fun to look through. The version I had had thick white pages, full page illustrations, a brightly colored dust jacket, and a thick, white hardcover sprinkled with red rose petals. I had to take a few minutes to admired the book before I even started reading. As you can see, I held a bit of a photo shoot earlier...

As for the story itself, I loved it.  As Goodreads describes, the book is one long letter that Min writes to her exboyfriend, Ed. Mixed in are Kalman's illustrations of each item that Min places in the box that she is delivering to Ed. As you read you discover what each item represents and it's quite entertaining to follow. I loved being able to see the story of their relationship unfold from start to finish and there was not a moment where I was bored with it.

As I read I really felt like I was Min. Handler does an amazing job of creating her voice, jumping from thought to thought, describing each emotion, and pulling off a teenage girl in love. The style he used in this book did take a bit to get used to, mostly because he uses a lot of stream-of-consciousness writing, which I grew to like because it felt more authentic. If a teenage girl is writing a long emotional letter to her ex-boyfriend while sitting in a dinner, she's not going to stop and revise once she's done, she's just going to write everything that's on her mind and be on her way.

 I also loved Min's obsession with film. It reminded me of Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which I still hold near and dear to my heart after finishing it last month. I want to go back and write down every film Min mentioned and watch them even though that isn't necessary to understand the book, Handler politely described the importance for readers like me who have no clue. If you love film and are knowledgable about some older classics you might enjoy the book for that reason alone. 

Source: http://bookventures.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-we-broke-up-by-david-handler.html