Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

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Jeez, it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I actually began clearing some stuff on my phone and found this review I wrote up (in MARCH, mind you) and never got around to posting. Hopefully it’s a good one, but who even knows? I do remember enjoying this book, so that’s a plus. Here goes nada! 😉

Okay, when did high schoolers get so deep? This love (kind-of) story between Min and Ed was intense and confusing and thrilling and disappointing … basically how every high school relationship is. What blew my mind, however, was Min’s philosophical moments. This character was infinitely interesting, so eccentric, so fascinatingly bright, so artsy (inside joke between the readers and the author), that it actually made me resent her in the beginning. I kept screaming (silently) for her to act her age and not like an 89 year old woman trapped in a 17? year old’s body. Sorry. Done venting. Onto the story …

In a nutshell, the jock (Ed) unexpectedly dates the brainiac (Minerva), though she may not see herself that way. Despite the startlingly different “worlds” that they come from, they seem to find a balance that not only defies any social “rules” but also disproves everyone’s theories that there’s no way they could make it work until, of course, they break up. I didn’t give anything away kids; it’s all in the title.
The reason(s) however are none of which Min would’ve guessed. In a long letter she explains why, using bits of memorabilia to explain the highlights of their relationship. Because I spent a majority of the book rooting for Ed and wondering why Min was acting like such a brat when everything seemed to be wonderful, I was incredibly disappointed to find that Ed was NOT a good guy.

I was incredibly touched by the love story. I loved the common ground that they found and especially the innocently intimate moments that they shared. I seriously thought the title was throwing me for a loop and they end up happily ever after all, but no. My heart is broken by the end of it all. People stink and good things come to an end (especially
when those seemingly good things are sugar coated with awful secrets and lies).

Ultimately, the book is a good read. I would refer to the writing as stream of consciousness style (even though there is some dialogue). The story is read through Min’s perspective, alternating between bits of the letter and present day where she recalls “all the reasons why.” I know a lot of readers complain about the long drawn out sentences, as she literally went on and on and on about her thoughts (words … so many), but I really felt that they were important to relay her roller coaster of emotions throughout this short relationship. It’s so weird how important they seem at the time.

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