Leslie's Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman

book cover Hardcover: 354 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: December 27, 2011
ISBN: 978-0316127256

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.

Leslie's Review:
I'm going to say right now that I really liked this book--it was honest, vivid, relatable, and heartbreaking but sweet and true. I loved the characters--how they were all so real that I could imagine them and see them as real teenagers going to high school with me; how they were all both good but flawed. I also loved how the book was written as a personal letter from Min to Ed for it made the whole story all the more real and easy to connect to and get lost in.

I will admit that at first it was hard for me to get a hang of Min's voice in the beginning but it eventually got easier to follow and I ended up actually liking the style of writing. How the plot was laid out was also great. When I got to the end, I was totally amazed and speechless and couldn't believe how unexpected the events had occurred--until I sat and reflected. I realized that the clues were all there and I could have predicted what had happened if I read more closely but I was just too caught up in the story to do so--the book was so good and executed so well. I also enjoyed and love the illustrations (by Maira Kalman), they complement the narrative well and vice versa.

I really recommend Why We Broke Up to everyone because I think everyone will find something they will like in this book. You will laugh, cry, reminisce, sigh, then laugh again, as you read this amazing book.


  1. For me, I could not believe how intense the relationship got in the course of just over a month. That made it hard for me to believe even if some intense things happened during their time together.


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