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Why We Broke Up Hardcover – Dec 19 2011

4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (Dec 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443401897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1443401890
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Handler?s genius is to make us hear those minor-key notes as if they were playing on our first?and last?dates, too."
- Booklist (Starred Review)


About the Author

DANIEL HANDLER is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth and, as Lemony Snicket, the bestselling collection of children’s novels entitled A Series of Unfortunate Events, which has sold more than sixty million copies worldwide, has been translated into thirty-nine languages and was adapted into a feature film starring Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pipedreaming on Jan. 29 2012
Format: Hardcover
Whoa. Just, whoa. Reading Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)'s latest offering, a searing YA break up story, I feel like I have been transported back in time to my high school days*. Is there nothing the man can't do? Handler is in top form here, completely inhabiting the head space of his smart, angry teenage female narrator, Min Green. There isn't even the hintiest of hints of the author who brought snark and irony to contemporary children's literature. His sharp words are well tempered by Maira Kalman's bright illustrations of all the relationship relics Min has included with her epic break-up letter.

The book, while about love, is fueled with lots of rage. Min is smart, clueless, and completely heartbroken. Her narrative is breathless and feels like a cross between a diary rant and literary stream-of-conscious writing. The dialogue, as recalled by Min, is awkward and uncomfortable and is therefore spot on. Handler's teenagers do not talk like the kids on Dawson's Creek, or even the kids in a John Green novel, who are authentic, but loquacious. These kids say the wrong thing, stumble over their words, and are spot-on depictions of teenage awkwardness at it's best (or worst?). The juxtaposition of such literary narration and banal dialogue was fascinating.

I loved Min's friends, who throw theme parties such as a 'Bitter Sixteen' party in which all the food is so bitter it is basically inedible. I loved Min's mild hero-worship of Ed's older film-student sister, with whom she huddles in the stands at Ed's basketball games and learns to cook with in their warm, cosy kitchen.
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Format: Hardcover
oh my gosh i kinda feel like i just went through a break up. the writing was amazing. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler is such an amazing book. ALL OF THE FEELS. The illustrations compliment the story perfectly and make it easier to visualize the events in the story. At first I shipped Min and Ed but as the story went on I realized that they didn't really make the greatest couple. I really liked Min, she was very real and straight up in her letters to Ed. I did like Ed through 98% percent of the book and then at the end I really didn't like him because of a certain something.

Near the end, when we found out the big reason why they broke up I was like


But seriously, this book is definitely one of my new favourite contemporaries. Daniel Handler did an amazing job showing the ups and downs of a relationship and first loves. I would recommend it to everyone, especially if you are looking for a unique contemporary that doesn't fluff up high school relationships.

Shoutout to Daniel Handler for creating such a beautiful, heartbreaking story and PUTTING MY HEART THROUGH HELL.

Also s/o to Maira Kalman for the kick ass illustrations, YOU DA REAL MVP
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Format: Hardcover
To be completely honest, I was so excited to read this book and really wanted to love it. If you weren't aware Daniel Handler is a very famous author who wrote 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' under the pen name, Lemony Snicket. This series happened to be one of my favourites as a child, so I couldn't wait to read a novel with new ideas and characters from a beloved writer. It's very rare for me to not finish a book. Often times I will actually force myself to read the entire thing even if it is awful but I just couldn't with this book. I unfortunately put it down half way through because I could not handle reading any further.
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By dara on April 29 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this for a book club. 1/9 girls liked it. Very disappointed. It was a good concept, but overall not satisfying nor engaging.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 196 reviews
61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Evocative story of young love Nov. 11 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'm a fan of Lemony Snicket and his A Series of Unfortunate Events books, and I'm a fan of Maira Kalman's work. I had never read any of the books for adults by Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket). The blurb on "Why We Broke Up" says it is for "Ages 15 and up," but it was an excellent adult read.

The story is told in the form of a letter Min writes to break up with her boyfriend Ed. In addition to Min and Ed, Min's friends Al and Lauren, and Ed's sister Joan were all vividly drawn, primarily using dialogue. I enjoyed their witty banter as well as their more serious talks. Handler perfectly captured the feelings that go with being a teenager, and with being a teenager in love. Maira Kalman's illustrations perfectly match the tone of the book.

One of the book's many strengths is the handling of the character Ed. Handler makes Ed likable, and the reader roots for Ed and Min's relationship, even though Min's break-up letter makes it clear there is something to be angry with Ed about.

I don't know how 15-year old readers would view this book, but I suspect it would be a good book for an "arty" teenager.
48 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Didn't really get Min's character- not a typical high school student Dec 13 2011
By M. Fuller - Published on
Why We Broke Up- by Daniel Handler is a story about love, and then breaking up. Min writes a long letter to Ed to accompany a box filled with trinkets she has collected from their relationship. I loved the premise of this story, and I even liked the characters, Min and Ed, who are from completely different worlds- Film fanatic Min who is into gourmet cooking, old movies, and coffee- and Ed, the co-captain of the basketball team, and is wildly popular.

I really liked how they fell in love with each other almost because of their differences. Each one stretching the other past their usual boundaries (from watching classic films, or goofball movies to romping around in the park early on a Saturday morning) their love was strained because of their different groups of friends and natural tastes. I resonated with how quickly they fell in love, and what they were willing to sacrifice to try and make it work.

What I didn't like about this book was Min's voice. She would ramble for page-long paragraphs about old films and half the time, I had a really hard time tracking what she was saying, or caring about that side-note. She wasn't a believable high schooler- she seemed like a 30-something single. I will be surprised if many high school students pick-up and finish this book, though it does raise some great points about self-esteem, cliques, sex, and friends. I just couldn't get past the long rambles from Min to really bond with her though.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Didn't work for me Nov. 11 2011
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Unfortunately, couldn't force myself to finish this novel.

This breakup story has a nice premise, but the narrator, as written by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), is too artsy/quirky/hormonal/annoying for my taste. Her penchant for run-on sentences and pages-long angst-filled paragraphs is hard to stomach. The dialog is mostly annoying too.

It is worth mentioning though, that this book got starred reviews from pretty much every major professional review publication. So I am clearly going against the grain here.
92 of 127 people found the following review helpful
Imagine the most boring John Hughes film never made... Dec 27 2011
By Susan Tunis - Published on
"Dear Ed,

In a sec you'll hear a thunk."

So begins Daniel Handler's (AKA Lemony Snicket) latest YA offering, Why We Broke Up. The aforementioned "thunk" is the sound of a heavy box flung by Min Green hitting the porch of her ex-boyfriend, Ed Slaterton. The 350-page novel is comprised of the long, long, long letter that she includes as she returns to him the minutia of their relationship. This relationship is recounted from start to finish in the letter/novel through Min's apparently photographic recall. Scattered throughout the text are Maira Kalman's charming illustrations of the contents of the box, which range from bottle tops to ticket stubs to clothing.

With all the drawings and white space throughout the book, it isn't really a full 350 pages, and yet it felt longer. It was written as an angsty, teen, stream of conscious rant, and it was chock-full of pointless filler, such as detailed descriptions of dozens of fictional films, made by fictional people, starring fictional stars. You see, Min's the substantive one in the relationship. She's "different." Ed's a popular jock, co-captain of the basketball team. They're from different worlds, with different friends! And yet they struggle to make it work.

I've never been an adult that had the slightest problem reading and appreciating YA or children's fiction, but this was just an overly drawn-out, boring, and humorless waste of time. Ultimately, I found it unsatisfying on every level. And that, Daniel, is why WE broke up.

Note to parents: This novel includes frequent obscenities, underage drinking, references to drug use, lack of respect for parents and authority figures, and teen sex.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An uninteresting book with too much sex. Aug. 30 2013
By Steven Brandt @ Audiobook-Heaven - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This one is strictly for you youngsters. Many young adult novels can easily be enjoyed by us old adults as well, but not so much on this one.

What we basically have here is the story of a relationship; a high school relationship and a short lived one at that. The story is told in the form of a letter that the girl is writing to her soon to be ex-boyfriend. It details the course of the relationship: how they met, their first date and subsequent dates, and of course all the things the boy did wrong that caused her to break up with him. I can see where this might appeal to high school kids who are currently living in this world, but for those of us who have put all that behind us, it holds little insight. It's full of sports and pep rallies and gossip and, unfortunately, no small amount of sex. And frankly, some of the sex was a bit too descriptive for my taste. If you didn't already know, Daniel Handler has also written books under the name of Lemony Snicket, very good books too. Hopefully none of his younger audience will stumble upon this one.

In spite of the mediocre story, I enjoyed Khristine Hvam's narration. She became a good personification of the main character, providing a good voice and character for her. This is my second Khristine Hvam audiobook and I'm more impressed with her all the time.

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