Why We Broke Up Hardcover – Dec 19 2011
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
After Min dumps a huge box of momentos at her ex-boyfriend's house, she narrates the tale of how they broke up. She goes item by item (we get to see the illustrations) reminding the reader that saying goodbye takes time because some memories take longer to fade.
I often praise authors that can write great dialogue, but it's Handler's narration that takes the cake. He portrays the feeling of loss and culpability that we've all felt as human beings in love because let's face it -- love is blind. And a doomed relationship can sometimes makes us feel unlovable.
''I'm not a romantic, I'm a half-wit. Only stupid people would think I'm smart. My clothes are a joke, my jokes are desperate and complicated and nobody else laughs.''
So, stop burning your exe's momentos (I promise never to burn a jacket again), fill a box and dump it at their house. Better yet, throw it through their glass window.
Near the end, when we found out the big reason why they broke up I was like
WHAT THE HELL
OH MY GOD
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