2012: 19. Why We Broke Up

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"Dear Ed, In a sec you'll hear a thunk."

Why We Broke Up, Daniel Handler & Maira Kalman

      Why We Broke Up is the story of a high school relationship - well, a breakup - told through a letter that the protaganist, Min, writes to her ex, Ed.  Each chapter starts with a picture of an object, and Min explains the role that the object had in the relationship, and the subsequent crumbling therein.  What makes the book is Min, who is a great character - artsy and quirky, but real, not some manic pixie dream girl.  And she's realistically dim about people - realistically a teenager who is too wrapped up in her own issues to see what's going on around her until the very end.  Handler, who you might know as Lemony Snicket, manges to create a teenage girl who is believable, and to create a teenage relationship that even adults can be interested in.  And all this despite the fact that Ed (a total prototypical jocky type) is the WORST.  Or, maybe he's just the worst as related through Min's eyes…*  Because, I think, the point of the book isn't really their relationship, per se, as it is relationships generally, and break ups generally.  And it's refreshing to read a YA book that isn't about tru luv, but is about the reality of young relationships - which is that most fail.  

Categories: Fiction, YA, Library Book


*nope, he's actually pretty lame and not good enough for Min.  But that's not really the point of the story 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017