Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

9781611132960_1681X2544.jpgI will tell you this: I was not expecting this book to affect me the way it did.

My reaction to Why We Broke Up is different, I think, from any other book I have ever read.

First of all, what’s it about?  The book is essentially the main character Min’s letter to her ex-boyfriend Ed, detailing all the items she is returning to him in a box and thereby explaining why they broke up.

The book was terrifically well-written.

It was so true to high school.

And I think that’s what killed me.

While reading(/listening to the audiobook), I re-lived the experience of watching one of my high school best friends lose her innocence.  It’s been nearly 15 years since then, but it all rushed back like this ugly wall of emotion.  I kept getting this sick feeling as I revisited my own heartbreaking experience of watching her get steamrollered by bastard high school boys looking for sexual pleasure.

Ed– the ex-boyfriend in this story– is an ASSHOLE.  I’m not sure if it’s easier to see that from the beginning since you know the entire time that they have broken up.  He has his moments, for sure, but mostly he’s a prick.  JUST LIKE SO MANY REAL HIGH SCHOOL BOYS.

Here’s the thing, friends:
* I am not against sex scenes in YA lit, but Min and Ed’s experiences (though not explicit at all) still made me ill.
* I am not against sad books.  I like them!  (Hello, Book Thief!  Hello, TFiOS!)

This book just suckerpunched a part of my psyche that has been asleep since high school, and it was a rude awakening.

The book is beautifully written.  The characters were great.  The premise was fascinating.  It was true to real life.

Too true to real life for this girl.

Make of that what you will.

P.S. to R– I wish I could have protected you.  I don’t think you’re sorry– but I am.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

  1. Interesting! I’ve been staying away from this book for some reason, but hearing your thoughts REALLY makes me want to read it now and see how I feel.

  2. Pingback: Best New-to-Me Authors of 2013 | Lights All Around

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