Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman (Illustrator) | Book Review

Min and Ed’s story of heartbreak may remind you of your own.

Before I begin, I would like to say that this book sucked me in to major nostalgia! Like dating someone famous would boost up your status from ‘Nobody’ to ‘Co-captain’s new girlfriend’, or friends who despise your current boyfriend but has no-opinion whatsoever since you’re dating him anyway, or keeping small memorabilia in a box of every event that you spent together but ended up returning it to him because he fudging screwed you over and broke your heart. Yep, this is the story of Min and Ed, and why they broke up.

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 motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Long before I started dating at a very young age of thirteen, I knew then that girls should ALWAYS get the upper hand when breaking things off in a relationship. To me, it’s a ‘gentlemanly’ gesture to let the girl do the dumping than the other way around. However, I came to learn that this does not work in a relationship doomed from the very start especially when friends and family starts to meddle in. But who cares, right? I didn’t care what they said about him, whatever-his-name-was because at that time my love for him was so strong that I even fought with my mom, telling her that I’m not a kid, that I’m not stupid (oh, you know, where mom-slaps-daughter-and-calls-her-ungrateful-and-daughter-rans-away scene). But after all those drama, it wasn’t a happy ending at all. As it turns out, I was stupid, I was still a kid, and my mom was right. He. Does Not. Deserve. Me! Sure, I spent sleepless nights loathing him, loathing myself, missing him, and whatnot. But as I look back, I laugh at how ridiculous and childish I was before.

Min returning Ed’s stuff is one way of letting him go… completely. Although I can feel Ed’s love for Min but it wasn’t enough. In the end, he still betrayed her (you have to read the book to know the reason. And no, he wasn’t caught having guilty intercourse with another girl).

I do have some minor complaints with this book though. I don’t know if the narration is intentional or just some editing errors (I don’t think so). Cause some words are all jumbled up. Repetitive. Annoying! And what’s with the old movies? Are those made up? I haven’t heard any of them, to be honest. For one, I’m not a film major, and two, if the movie DO exist its too ancient for me to know. Thank God I’m done with the book. I couldn’t take any more annoying misplaced, misused words.

Highly recommended for teens or avid young-adult readers who recently had failed relationship (it’s NOT over, okay?), and those trying to move on.

Enjoy the book!