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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Break Up Letter Ever
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...
Published on Jan. 29 2012 by Pipedreaming

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1.0 out of 5 stars bleak
Purchased this for a book club. 1/9 girls liked it. Very disappointed. It was a good concept, but overall not satisfying nor engaging.
Published on April 29 2012 by dara


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Break Up Letter Ever, Jan. 29 2012
This review is from: Why We Broke Up (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. But the section that sticks with me the most is when Min takes issue with the fact that her ex-bf and his friends thing of her as different or special, and then lists all the insecurities and fears that she feels make her, in fact, embarrassingly average. This rant made me cringe, ache, and left me feeling raw.

My feeling is that people will have strong reactions to this book: you will love it or you will hate it, but it will definitely get under your skin and force you to feel something strong one way or the other. It has already received 5 starred reviews, but you can expect even more big things from Why We Broke Up: it deserves it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars bleak, April 29 2012
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This review is from: Why We Broke Up (Hardcover)
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Slow, and a complete waste of time., Jan. 31 2012
This review is from: Why We Broke Up (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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Why We Broke Up
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (Hardcover - Dec 19 2011)
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