Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Meet Min (short for Minerva, Roman Goddess of wisdom) who has a penchant for saying "whatnot" and for old films. Meet Ed, co-captain of the basketball team who has a penchant for all things jock and for saying "no offense" - an annoying habit if there was one. This treasure of a book is their breakup story, told through the articles of their falling in love story. Min's voice makes this journey worthwhile - the voice of a teen girl who is just beginning to know what she thinks, despite not knowing as much as she thinks she does.
Published by Little Brown and Company, the hardback book is a treasure in itself for the silky pages and color graphics of all of the "items." More fun is found on the web page, which possibly helps first timers (or repeat timers) get through the break up, and the rest of us to laugh and smile in relief that the past is the past and we've all been there done that, but yes, we'll all do it again because it is soooooo worth it.
Daniel Handler is the author of the Lemony Snicket books: "A Series of Unfortunate Events." But I hope teens don't pick it up for that reason because this little book has some real treasures of its own and should be enjoyed just for the purpose of the first love break up story. (Also, warning to parents, while this book doesn't describe sex it also doesn't sugar coat or hide it's existence. In fact, the should we- shouldn't we part of sex is very much a part of the story. It's not appropriate for pre-teens).
Min conjures up that whole first love thing. For example, Min, writing of their first real conversation, says: "After a few minutes, we'd stop rattling, we'd adjust, we'd settle in, and the conversation would speed into the night. Sometimes it was just laughing at the comparison of favorites, I love that flavor, that color's cool, that album sucks, I've never seen that show, she's awesome, he's an idiot, you must be kidding, no way mine's better, safe and hilarious like tickling. Sometimes it was stories we told, taking turns and encouraging, it's not boring, it's OK, I heard you, I hear you, you don't have to say it, you can say it again, I never told this to anyone, I won't tell anyone else. You told me that time. . . I told you that time. . . . That time. . . . That time. . . ."
I'm glad Min survived the breakup, may we all do so well.
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