27 February 2012

Book Review: Why We Broke Up

Book Details
Author: Daniel Handler
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 27, 2011)


Min, precocious and equally obsessed with classic cinema and good coffee, broke up with Ed, a popular math-loving jock who secretly carries a protractor. Daniel Handler weaves this heartrending story of first love and other powerful firsts as Min reveals, item by item, what's in the box she's leaving on Ed's doorstep. As readers learn why these two unforgettable characters broke up, the significance of these simple love tokens, beautifully illustrated by Maira Kalman, charmingly unfolds. Written with an emotional depth that allows both adult and teen readers to revisit memories of heartbreak and find pieces of themselves in Min--and maybe even Ed, Why We Broke Up will leave you wondering how Handler knows exactly what it's like to be a teenage girl in love. --JoVon Sotak

Rating: 3/5

Let me tell you why the book, WHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler, a book I have been anticipating since its release in December of last year did not meet my expectations.

The story started with Min making her way to deliver a box-filled with memento to Ed, her ex-boyfriend. With each of it served as a chapter, she reveals their short-lived relationship and enumerated the reasons why they broke up. 

Min was described as pretty, but not beautiful. Ed described her as either “arty” or “different” – this is the reason why she caught his attention. She wanted to become a film director and often aligned her daily life scenarios on several films which are very unfamiliar to me or perhaps most of the readers since almost all of them were shown in the 1920s. While Ed is your typical jock – and although Min was not the type of girl to sit on the bench and cheer, she begins to spend time in the gym and watched Ed practice. Although Ed is way out of her league, he makes her feel loved and special. Joan, Ed’s sister who seems to be fond of Min warned her about his brother right away. Saying that she’s too mature for him – well, Min is too mature for a YA heroine.

She may be in high school but her thoughts, speech and action is akin to someone who grew up in the early 20th century. Now, how does this intelligent girl make all those bad decisions on love? Well, perhaps love has its way of making the most intelligent among humankind dumb? People make mistakes and not-so-smart decision when it comes to love but when you are as wise as Min – I think you would be more careful and logical with your decision. In between reading all those reasons why they break up, I wonder, a lot of times why Min stayed for him for a long time since he is obviously so wrong for her? They don’t even have anything in common.

The story is written by Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I adore The Series of Unfortunate Events, and of course, I was hoping I would like this one too. I like it at some point, I appreciate the illustrations and all those quirky reasons why Min broke up with Ed. But at the end I got bored, and that, Mr. Handler, is why we broke up.

Favorite Quotes
"Put your hair up, Min. The secret ingredient is not your hair."

"If he’s not gay and he hung out with you the whole time, he wanted to be. It’s boyfriend or want to be boyfriend or I guess gay. Those are the choices."

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