Thursday, 7 February 2013
Book Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.
Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.
Note: Daniel Handler is the author of A Series Of Unfortunate Events under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket.
I enjoyed this book to an extent. I felt it really captured the feelings of a romance between a teenage girl and boy today. Although there was a few things that made me drop a star from its rating.
Lets start with the negative and end on a positive note! The main character was a bitch. I'm sorry but I feel that is an adequate way to describe "Min". She was particular, condescending and often moody. The way she judged Ed when his music/movie taste was "wrong" was apart that really annoyed me. She looked down on everyone that did not fit into her way of watching indie classics and drinking coffee in secluded coffee shops. I honestly felt that if she tried harder to accepts Eds interests, they may have had more chemistry and not have broken up.
Another thing that lessened my enjoyment was the predictability of the novel. (I'm not going to spoil the novel) When it was revealed that Ed (noun) I sighed. When I read the title of the novel I pretty much knew that that would happen. It did let the ending down a little for me as I thought it would have been more a shock or a surprise. Also the minor character plot twist (trying so hard not to give spoilers) was obvious to me as well. I mean I don't know if the ability to guess books ending from the beginning/ middle of the novel is a gift or a curse !
Now to the good. The rest of the characters in this novel were enjoyable. Min's best friends were really interesting to read about and they seemed realistic too. Ed's sister was a really interesting character to read about too. I enjoyed the close relationship between Min and her mum, as it seems in YA that most protagonists do not even speak to their parents, so I liked the involvement of the mother.
The plot was interesting, although at times a little slow. You were driven by each anecdote and moment shared by the couple to find out the real and final reason as to why Min and Ed broke up (although I'd already guessed).If you've ever been in a relationship that ended, you get all the feels in this novel, like I did. It may be good if tissues are close by when you read this. The flow of the novel was really helped by the gorgeous illustrations in the novel by Maira Kalman. These illustrations were so beautifully painted and really captured the fleeting moments of beauty in the novel. I think these illustrations really brought the story to life and were my favourite part of the novel .
Overall a really good read, perfect read for valentines day hence my reading it in February. I would definitely recommend this , but maybe don't read it if you are in a relationship!
Also a Why We Broke Up movie coming 2014 !
Three & a Half Star Novel
* * * 1/2