I don't know how Daniel Handler learnt to use language: I don't know if it comes easy to him, or if it's a struggle: I can't even begin to imagine how his mind works. Suffice to say, I love how his mind works. I love the way he manipulates language and that it submits so beautifully to his will.
OK, that was a fan gush! 'Why We Broke Up' is an extraordinary voyage into a place YA books rarely go. You know, that place where the feisty independent and free-thinking main character breaks up with the selfish jock and it takes all of two paragraphs, or maybe two pages. And then, the novel begins. That place? That place is this whole book.
And I know we know that Min is too good for Ed, and that the way he treats her is cruel and hurtful, and we should be glad that she finally sees the light. But. But for a goodly part of this book, we see Ed the way Min does: when they are initially attracted to each other; When they try to listen to each other; When they try to fit in with each other's friends (ok, Ed is spectacularly bad at that)...
Meanwhile, we can see the pain that will eventually crush Min. We know it will happen and Min's retelling of those events is both heart-breaking, and freeing. But oh man, Ed, you are one nasty piece of work.
This book got to me. Think you can tell.