Why We Broke up by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), illustrated by Maira Kalman is exactly what the title denotes…a story of a break-up. Quite a painful one at that. The intensity, the pain, the regrets…it is a typical high school break-up, but written so perfectly you’d think Handler was a 16 year old girl and not the 40-something author.
The story of the “different” Min and the basketball team co-captain, jock, jerk-extraordinaire Ed is well-written, but rather odd at the same time. What I mean is…the dialogue is abrupt and jerky, and somewhat difficult to follow when the conversation is really heated or excited. Regardless, I enjoyed the book and the story is one that is worth sharing. I will definitely recommend it to teenaged girls and adult women who enjoy YA romance/break-up lit. I don’t really know any boys that would be interested in this…so I wonder if it will be known as something other than a Printz Honor Book.
It could be more than that, though, because the Why We Broke Up Project on Tumblr is really cool. Authors and celebrities submitted their break-up stories to Handler and he posted them on his Tumblr account. You can even share your own breakup for the rest of the world to read. Should I add my text-message break-up story? (Yup! I did! And it was really therapeutic and he totally deserved it!)
(Some of) the writing is truly exquisite. I’d like to share a couple lines with you:
“So it all went into the box and the box went into my closet with some shoes on top that I never wear. Every last souvenir of the love we had, the prizes and debris of this relationship, like the glitter in the gutter when the parade has passed, all the everything and whatnot kicked to the curb,” -p.3
“I gave you an adventure, Ed, right in front of you but you never saw it until I showed you, and that’s why we broke up,” -p.31