Joella www.cinjoella.com's Reviews > Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
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Jun 27, 12

bookshelves: yalsa-best-of-the-best, young-adult, realistic
Read on June 26, 2012

This was my 24th book for the YALSA Best Books Reading Challenge. It won a Printz Honor.

Min (short for Minerva) and Ed have broken up. Min is dumping a box of "stuff" on Ed's door as a gesture of finality to their dead relationship. But she isn't just dumping the stuff. She is also explaining why each item is in there. The story behind the item and how the item tied the two of them together. And there are illustrations which show the reader just exactly what each item is.

This novel is well-done. I liked how to begin with I couldn't tell who had broken up with who (or if it was a mutual thing). The story unraveled itself item upon item as the relationship progressed. It is also fitting that a six-week high school relationship resulted in a box full of stuff. High school teens are not alone in tying relationship memories to various items. It feels almost like Harriet in Jane Austen's Emma who declares her independence from the memories of Mr. Elton by burning her random bits of junk that Mr. Elton once touched (or whatnot). Only Min gives the box of it to Ed. And the items are a little more tied to what many teenagers (and young adults for that matter) would get while in a relationship today. Everything from movie ticket stubs from their first date to a condom wrapper from close to the end of the relationship.

This is a well-writen journey of the take-off and crash landing of Min and Ed's relationship. And it kind of blew my mind that the author of the Lemony Snicket books was the one that wrote it. I'm glad he did.
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