Why We Broke Up
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Why We Broke Up

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  29,710 ratings  ·  4,269 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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2012 YA Contemporaries
18th out of 284 books — 2,447 voters
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10th out of 213 books — 1,290 voters

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Community Reviews

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Why We Got Together by Reynje

Dear ‘Why We Broke Up’,

It wasn’t that long ago that I thought I would be writing you a break-up letter. A terse, thanks-but-no-thanks, it’s-not-me-it’s-you-now-kindly-get-lost note. I can be acerbic when I’m annoyed and there it is, the admission, the honest truth that I thought you would annoy me.

It makes me wonder why I buy books sometimes, whether it’s truthfully the book itself I want or the simple act of acquisition I crave. Is it the words I tell myself I need...more
Dec 29, 2013 Bern rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with feelings.
I'm going to tell you something, whoever-is-going-read-this-review,

if anybody will be reading this piece of junk that I am writing as I go at all. I'm going to tell you something and you better believe me because if I bothered to tell you this, it's because it has to be true since I'm not one to give advice to strangers. I don't know how personal this might get or how convoluted and confusing the message i'm going to attempt to convey to you will be, but I guess it's what some people say, right...more
First, here's just one elided line—not even the most wonderful line, just a lovely one—out of a million beautiful lines that encapsulates why Daniel Handler is the most wonderful startlingly unique best ever: "You snacked away into the other room, and the rubber band sat in my hand, a loose worm, a lazy snake, a wide-open lasso ready to rodeo something." Who writes like that? Who is more fantastic than Daniel Handler? No one, no one, no one. Holy goodness gracious this book is so good.

Another t...more
Nov 11, 2011 Tatiana rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tatiana by: Kirkus
This breakup story has a nice premise, but the narrator, as written by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), is too artsy/quirky/hormonal/annoying for my taste. Her penchant for run-on sentences and pages-long angst-filled paragraphs is hard to appreciate. The dialog is mostly annoying too.

It is worth mentioning though, that this book got starred reviews from pretty much every major professional review publication. So I am clearly going against the grain here.
Tiphanie Neely
Let me tell you, book, why we broke up.

You were in first person, the narrator being a girl who (constantly, constantly) was being called arty, different, and who always hated it, who always repeated herself and wrote in run on sentences like it would sound different. And that's why we broke up.

Her boyfriend, this different girl's boyfriend, is a jock, and quite clearly from day 1 an asshat and a loser, and yet she dated him and loved him within two weeks of ever knowing him, and it was such a...more
 Imani ♥ ☮
I did not finish this book.

Nor, do I have any intention of doing so.

I don't pretend to be an expert on Lemony Snicket or whoever. I did not read that 'series of unfortunate events' series and frankly, never plan on doing so, either. But I can say, that this author, has-theoretically-disappointed me.

It's not that the plot was bad...necessarily.

It's just that...the whole thing was very annoying. I didn't like the main characters. I didn't like how every little thing of every thing someone did had...more
Jun 05, 2013 Jon rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who want to tear their eyes out
My old review was pretty terrible so one of these days I'll rewrite it!
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I feel like I just went through a break up.
God. Damn.

How smart and clever does a person have to be before the rest of us revolt and rip him to shreds, shamelessly holding on to the hope that we’ll each get to eat one of the pieces? I’m going to be completely candid here: I want to eat a piece of Daniel Handler.

There should, I think, be an award given for voice. Creating a unique voice for a character, something that makes her stand out, is incredibly difficult. But Handler does it without effort. I think the way Min thinks/talks will pu...more
Nov 12, 2011 Alexa marked it as didnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, borrowed, tour
I read up to page 41 in Why We Broke Up, and I could not bring myself to read more. I felt like the story was going so fast, and I got irritated with Min's voice (the story is a letter Min wrote to her ex-boyfriend, some jock guy from her school called Ed). And Ed? Who? I couldn't even picture him in my head. Seriously, I just saw a blob. I even skimmed to see why they broke up, and it was very annoying. If I actually read the entire book, I'm pretty sure I would have gotten a headache.

Now, with...more
Feb 12, 2013 Ariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Wow. I haven't read something I so enjoyed in quite a long while.

I read this book with my friend Jesse. Every day we would set a target and read up until that point, sharing what we thought of that section, gushing or ranting. That experience was so much fun and it definitely added to the reasons why I loved it - it was something I shared with a friend.

However, this book didn't need that added loveliness for me to give it five stars. The biggest point of WOO for me is the writing. Daniel Handler...more
I have never experienced a break up.

You know, one of those, ‘she doesn’t have to have her fresh young fellows tape back, but there’s not a long of things that she’ll take back’ kind of break up or the ‘And I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away-It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me’ angsty throw yourself across the room break up. Or the pathetic ‘It’s been seven hours and 15 days / since you took your love away’- no… can’t say that I have… unle...more
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I read this novel last week, so I don’t remember much of how I felt while I read it, except from what I have to go by from my notes, but I do remember thinking, the very moment I finished it, that I hated it. I hated this book with a passion. Ironically, it wasn’t even because I didn’t like it – it was because I liked it so much, I was so sucked into this tale and its characters and wrapped up in this crazy, beautiful, teenage dream that was the life of the main character...more
This is a book where describing what happened kind of misses the point, because it's not really about that. But, I've gotta start somewhere, so ... it's written as an angry, passionate, heart-broken and heart-breaking letter, from Minerva Green, a quirky off-beat cinephile, to her former boyfriend, king jock and jerk, Ed Slaterton. The letter accompanies a box, filled with "the prizes and debris of this relationship, like the glitter in the gutter when the parade has passed, all the everything a...more
Raeleen Lemay
This book was BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING, but something that bothered me was how some of the things Min talked about made me think the book should have been titled Why We Shouldn't Have Dated in the First Place . You can see how these things about Ed bothered her right from the beginning, but she just went with it anyway. grrrrr.
I have to begin of with saying that the book was different and that's what caught my attention in the first place. It was interesting, it kept me reading.

Each souvenir, I guess I could say that Min collected each time she spent with Ed or spent doing something for Ed has a story behind it, and that is this story. After they broke up Min sends back each of them back to him along with a letter and so the story unspools to the reader.

It speaks about how fragile a lust-driven teenage can be. The st...more
2.5. This one is difficult for me because as I was reading this book I HATED it. Seriously, passionately, vocally. As a book of my memory, my hatred is softened, but still present. However, and this is a big however, I'm not convinced it's a bad book. I didn't like it, but I think it's a taste issue.

The narrative style is interesting and it seems like he spent some time thinking about the mechanics of it, but ultimately decided to make the reader suspend a certain amount of disbelief. I was una...more
Eileen Daly-Boas
Ehhh, this didn't do anything for me. I finished it only to find the predictable ending did actually happen. Maybe it's just too much like high school, which I didn't enjoy all that much in the first place. I could imagine my 15-18 year-old self liking it perhaps. Seemed just a bit too long...there's only so much self-involved teenage angst one can reasonably be expected to read. Handler does a good job with the voice though. The fake movies the main character cites get annoying after a short wh...more
There are two ways you can look at Why We Broke Up--okay, there’s probably lots of different ways, dammit, but I’m narrowing it down to two.

First off, we have

1) Are you fucking kidding me? This entire (ridiculously wordy) book is a goddamn letter? A single breakup letter? About a relationship that only lasted two months!? GIRL! GET YOUR PRIORITIES IN GEAR! NO ONE GIVES A SHIT!!

This, I’ll admit, is kind of how I approached the book initially. I was very much on the I don’t have time for this kin...more
Apr 01, 2014 Mel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
“Y comencé a hacer planes, pensando que llegaríamos tan lejos.”

Qué complicado explicar esto, ¿no? Primero parto de lo básico, las cartas escritas por Min están muy bien escritas, me gustó mucho. Y que se acuerde de cada diálogo, cada frase y cada momento, creo que si yo hubiese sido ella (y con mi memoria a corto plazo), le daba los recuerdos a Ed con un “Te quiero, te quise, te odié, te odio” y listo. Pero acá no hablamos de mí, sino de Min.

Los dibujos de Maira Kalman son muy lindos, me enca...more
Obsesiva y cleptómana niña hipster con severos problemas psicológicos conoce a descerebrado y homofóbico macho alfa. No encuentro otra manera de describir lo que acabo de leer.
Me encantó el arte del libro y su premisa, pero no, no y no. No puedo creer lo que leí. ¿Qué es lo qué está pasando con los libros YA actuales? ¿En realidad así son las chavas ahora? Lo único que pude sentir es que la morra es una verdadera psicótica.
¿Escribir una carta de despecho de no sé que tantas páginas para un wey...more
So this is it. The definitive breakup story. The ode to all those who loved not wisely but too well and were caught like a deer in headlights by some hackneyed plot-twist, irony, that everyone could see but them.

Handler could had written this book just for me. But not because I identified with his generic and lowest-common-denominator story of heartbreak, but because I am "breaking up" with one of my favorite authors who has released one of the most disappointing works of "modern literature" I'v...more
Jan 11, 2013 Monique rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tina

Originally posted here.


Ah, young love. The bliss, the contentment, the intoxication of being young and in love.

But when things don't turn out exactly as expected, there's the agony. The torment. The eventual depression.

Ah, to be so young and (already) jaded.

* * *

Why We Broke Up is actually a long-winded letter written by high school sophomore, Minerva "Min" Green, to her erstwhile basketball jock boyfriend, Ed Slaterton. (I am not enclosing the fact of their breakup in spoiler tags because l...more
Disclaimer: I'm a romantic and the plot of this book hit really close to home. I set myself up to love this book (I love the author, I love the illustrator, I practically tackled Mickie when she got the ARC), and I did indeed love it. I get why people found Min annoying, but I identified with her a lot. Sure, there were lots of signs that she and Ed weren't a good match, but I saw the story as a unique angle on the coming-of-age process: Min coming to terms with looking at things in a real way....more
3.5 stars

For the first time in forever we had beautiful weather in the U.K, so I decided to relax outside with this book. I didn’t really know what to expect when picking it up, but I was glad to be suckered in just by the first few pages. Why we broke Up is a letter which Min writes to Ed explaining why they broke up. The book doesn’t read like a letter at all, but is a well crafted story of Min and Ed’s relationship. Ed and Min were the sort of people you wouldn’t expect to be together. Ed co-...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I'd never realized I could rolercoaster through so many emotions during the course of a single book. I was probably around 20% through when I thought, this Min girl must be a bitch. Why did I think that? Because she was saying things like, "You just didn't get it, Ed, and that's why we broke up." Which, honestly, pissed me off because she sounded more and more like one of those snobby assholes who thinks other people are beneath them just because they have different interests. Then there were ti...more
Aug 20, 2012 Trudi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: John Hughes' fans

I've had this book checked out from the library for months. It's been sitting on my bookshelf at home, staring at me accusingly with an arched eyebrow: "are you ever going to read me? Cause if not sister, return my ass so that another (better) reader can." I got the message loud and clear. My guilt was starting to take charge. Plus, there's only so many times you can renew a library book and not feel like you've actually stolen the damn thing.

One of the reasons why I held onto it for so long is...more
I loved the premise of this novel. Absolutely loved it! I thought it was genius. I mean, didn’t everyone make one of those boxes full of all those obscure items from your relationship that don’t really many anything to anyone but you. I know I’ve burned a few of those. What can I say? I’ve had some bad break-ups. I think I was so excited about the premise of this novel that once I was done reading I felt very underwhelmed.

The only reason I kept reading is because I wanted to see why they broke u...more
I can’t say that I liked this book. I will say that this book affected me like no other and I am glad that I read it. It is simply a book of love and loss. It showed that teenage romances are not perfect and even if the two people involved are nice people things can always unfortunately go wrong. I wanted to hate Ed for what he did to Min but I found myself feeling sorry for him.. He seemed to really care about Min and I think he was just the typical guy in high school trying to figure everythin...more
O como convertir el típico chic-lit en una novela épica gracias al estilo tan cuidado del autor. Creo que pocos libros reflejan tan bien lo importante que puede llegar a ser para una persona el primer amor, la primera relación seria.

La voz de Minnie y la narración me han encantado, aunque el final es algo precipitado para mi gusto.

Muy recomendable :-)!
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Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs and, most recently, the Michael J. Printz Honor-winning Why We Broke Up, a collaboration with noted illustrator Maira Kalman. He also worked with Kalman on the book Girls Standing on Lawns and Hurry Up and Wait (May 2015). Under the name Lemony Snicket he has written the best-selling books series All The Wrong Qu...more
More about Daniel Handler...
The Basic Eight Adverbs Watch Your Mouth Y por eso rompimos - Episodio 1 Y por eso rompimos - Episodio 2

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“Stop saying no offense,” I said, “when you say offensive things. It’s not a free pass.” 564 likes
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