Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why We Broke UpWhy We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
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.

The book is interesting in that it combines images with the story. Min is writing an explanation to her ex-boyfriend. She is dropping a box off at his house that includes the sacred relics of their short relationship. Each picture represents something significant to Min about the relationship she had with Ed.

The book is written the way a teenage girl talks. She rambles, repeats herself, she doesn't finish sentences and she makes connections where no connections can be understood. She is obsessed with old theater which few people are. In other words, the reader is always on the outskirts of an inside joke. So I felt perpetually lost in the run-on sentences of a teenage girl, trapped in her angst and not understanding the segues she had with specific old movies and actresses. My guess is that it is symbolic but I just felt lost.

Language: Strong
Dialogue: Strong
Sex: Strong
Violence: None

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