31. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Courtney, Teen Books

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, Art by Maira Kalman, 354 pages, read by Courtney, on 07/26/2012

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been dumped; most of us have probably dumped someone. We know the pain and humiliation. But no matter how many generations of us go through the heartbreak of teen love, every succeeding generation will fall prey to the same scenario. This is one of those stories. It is, in fact, a long letter from Min Green to her now-ex-boyfriend, Ed Slaterton. Min is quirky and smart. Ed is a classic jock. Different social circles and everything. They had 2 months together before breaking up. Min goes through her box of relationship ephemera (each item illustrated) and sorts through the memories of their brief, but intense couplehood.
I get where this is coming from and Min’s voice does ring rather true. I feel as though Min is actually more in love the the idea of love than she is with Ed. Just as she is more in love with the idea of the lady from the movie theater being the star of a classic film than the potential reality that she really is just a random elderly film aficionado. Ed, on the other hand, comes across as someone that would drive me absolutely crazy (and not in a good way). It’s clear that this is one of those relationships that can’t possibly last, but it is interesting to see how it worked, even briefly. Min and Ed do have their moments, but Min clearly has more faith in Ed than I and perhaps that’s supposed to be the appeal of the book. Ed has some really unpleasant moments and his friends aren’t much better. Min and her friends seem pretty cool, but everyone is so blind to their own circumstances and feelings that you want to shake them and holler to them what is so obvious to you. But I suppose that’s life. This wasn’t really the book for me, but there’s a definite audience for it and they will love it.

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