Why We Broke UpWhy We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

If you’re incapable of suspending your disbelief long enough to believe people can write novel-length letters, then this is not the book for you. Flip through to look at the pictures and then step away. If, like me, you were raised on a steady diet of novels pretending to be letters or diaries, complete with detailed recreations of dialogue, you just might enjoy the ride.

Everybody thinks that Min is ‘arty’ or ‘different’ (well, she thinks they think ‘arty,’ but they always say ‘different’) and she is a bit different – she’s obsessed with old movies that you’ve never heard of (because Daniel Handler made them up) and she doesn’t buy in to mainstream high school culture. But a lot of these ‘different’ things about Min are surface, and as the story goes along I got more and more tired, as did Min, that people looked at her that way.

The story felt believable as a brief, slightly disastrous high school romance. What I just didn’t see (and maybe this is adult perspective) was why Min loved Ed so much, at least at first. In the middle part of their relationship, I began to see his appeal to her. The ending, sadly, felt inevitable – not sad because they broke up, but slightly predictable.

I enjoyed Min’s somewhat run-on style, her constant references, and the combination of images and text. I loved the way she ended each chapter with a variation on “and that’s why we broke up.”

Source: my public library

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