Why We Broke Up


How did I get it?:
I bought it!


“I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.” 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. In Why We Broke Up, international best-selling author of A Series of Unfortunate Events – made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey – writes about romance and breaking up in his first book for young adults with every bit as much skill as he does gothic humour.


I was recommended this book a while back, so decided to put it on my list of ten books that I wanted to read this summer. I’m glad I read it. It’s a beautiful book with some gorgeous illustrations.

Daniel Handler is a brilliant writer. He writes the female perspective really well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and finished it practically in one sitting. With Why We Broke Up he takes a common book theme, of a doomed relationship and makes it feel really fresh. I loved the illustrations by Maira Kalman, they were a lovely bonus and really made the book feel unique.

It didn’t matter that the reader knew that the relationship in question was over before they even started the book. I felt myself rooting for the relationship even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen. That’s testament to David Handler’s writing. He made me care for the relationship.

I really enjoyed getting to know the characters. The book built up to the obvious end well. I was expecting something a bit more shocking to end the book. Unfortunately I felt that the ending was a bit cliché, which was a shame, because everything else was so well done!

I think this book is well worth reading though. It’s an attractive, interesting and well written read. I think it is incredibly easy to relate to. It can be enjoyed by adults and teens alike.

Would I recommend it?:

Reading next:
Human Remains- Elizabeth Haynes.

14 thoughts on “Why We Broke Up

  1. Nice review! I loved this book! I was surprised by how well the author took on the voice of a teen girl — utterly convincing! The illustrations are gorgeous too.

  2. I had started reading this book and got distracted (I really need to finish it!), but I was MIND BLOWN when I found out that Daniel Handler is Lemony Snicket!! The writing style is so different (not to mention the audience and genre)!

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