Thursday, 9 August 2012

Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler



  Title: Why We Broke Up
  Author: Daniel Handler
  Publisher: Electric Monkey
  Publication date: 6th August 2012
  My rating: 3.5 stars

  
This is the box, Ed. Inside is everything. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket from Greta in the Wind, a note from you, a box of matches, your protractor, Joan's book, the stolen sugar, a toy truck, those ugly earrings, a comb from the motel, and the rest of it. This is it Ed. The whole story of how we broke up.

For the first time in forever we had beautiful weather in the U.K, so I decided to relax outside with this book. I didn’t really know what to expect when picking it up, but I was glad to be suckered in just by the first few pages. Why we broke Up is a letter which Min writes to Ed explaining why they broke up. The book doesn’t read like a letter at all, but is a well crafted story of Min and Ed’s relationship. Ed and Min were the sort of people you wouldn’t expect to be together. Ed co-captain of the football team and had been with every girl in school and Min; who’s different, arty some would say. Some would say they were totally wrong for one another, Min and Ed’s friends seemed to think so, but that didn’t stop them, because they knew the thing between them was right.

The strange thing about this book was that despite the glaringly obvious title I actually didn’t want Ed and Min to break up, their relationship though far from perfect with Ed having been around so much and Min not so much, so there was always the pressure on Min having to live up to the hype of his previous girlfriends also with people being constantly judgemental, what could be so different about her that she ended up with the Ed Slaterton? If we took these obstacles out of the equation their relationship was charming. It was obvious to see that they were both infatuated with each other. Ed totally had me with his sweet gestures and his oh so sweet lines. Seriously I totally fell for Ed Slaterton too, what wasn’t to love? He was gentle, confident but not cocky and always thoughtful when it concerned Min. The little mistakes he made along the way I completely overlooked especially when he was pulling out lines such as these;

“I’m sorry ... twenty-six you said. One for each day we’ve been together, Min... And I hope that someday I’ll do another something stupid and I’ll have to say it a million times because that’s how long it’ll be together with you, Min with you”

See their relationship looked and sounded so perfect. So you can see why I sat outside in the sun all day immersed in this book as I needed to know why they broke up!

The illustrations, by Kalman before each chapter of the items Min had collected over the course of her relationship with Ed I adored. Not only were they gorgeously beautiful but they made Ed and Min’s relationship seem that more real. Each item Min had collected had its own uniqueness and meaning behind keeping it in the first place. I enjoyed learning the back story of every item and how at the time they’d played a meaningful part of their relationship.

The writing at times I did find difficult to grasp, when Min was describing something her train of thought would carry on for ages that I was lost at times with what her original point was to begin with. But the fact the writing was beautiful, completely made up for it; it lulls you into a false sense of security that everything is going to be okay. That before I knew it I was falling hard and fast for the characters. Whilst telling the story, Min’s voice had such a heartfelt and strong essence about it, you could tell she was putting her heart and soul into the letter. The details and feelings she expressed made me feel as if at times I was going through the relationship myself. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending, even though I knew what was going to happen, it was an unexpected sucker punch at the end. I don’t know if I would have preferred to have been kept blissfully unaware just so that my impression I had of a particular character wouldn’t have to be tarnished.

Overall Why We Broke Up was a beautiful read, out of the several debut reads I have devoured this year, it will definitely be one of the most memorable.            


20 comments:

  1. If I remember correctly, this book was written by Lemony Snicket... some people find his writing atrocious but I've always loved it. Especially in a series of Unfortunate Events. I've heard a lot about this book as well. Going to add it to my TBR pile now :D

    Great review, Jasprit. :D

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    1. Hey yes I realised this too at the end, it took me by surprise. I adore his series if Unfortunate events series too! I know a lot of people really struggled with this book, but if you give it a shot, it definitely pays off! Hope you enjoy it :)

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  2. Lovely review, Jas! I heard a lot about this book when it first came out and have since forgotten about it but I deffo want to read it. And like you, I know that I already want them to stay together, they sound like a really sweet couple!

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  3. Oh illustrations!? I love books with pictures haha. I've heard a lot of good things about this one and been wanting to order a copy actually. I love the premise and the writing style you describe intrigues me. I'm also happy you finally had some sun! lol. Great review, chickie!!

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  4. I really enjoyed this one too =) I always wanted one more chapter though in Ed's POV. I would have loved to have seen his reaction to the box Min left. I agree about Min's train of thought. I had a hard time staying with her when she would describe movie type things. Awesome review!

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  5. This sounds like a beautiful book, Jasprit. This is actually the very first time I'm seeing this one. I'm intrigued by why Ed and Min broke up now thanks to you, so I'm probably going to have to get a copy for myself! LOL! :D
    Ed seems like a genuinely sweet guy. It's a little disappointing about the writing though. I would have been confused too I think.
    Still, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the book, Jasprit.
    Lovely review! :)

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  6. This sounds memorable, but probably not the book for me. I am intrigued about why they broke up though... and this ending you mentioned. Lovely review, Jasprit! I'm glad you enjoyed this despite some moments. :)

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  7. "I’m not sure how I feel about the ending, even though I knew what was going to happen, it was an unexpected sucker punch at the end. I don’t know if I would have preferred to have been kept blissfully unaware just so that my impression I had of a particular character wouldn’t have to be tarnished."

    Uh oh. This makes me so nervous Jasprit! I think I'd like to be left blissfully unaware despite the obviousness of the title, kind of like watching Old Yeller, stopping before the end, and imagining a new end in its place. I'm all flustered now. Is it cheating? I don't like cheating:( SEE HOW INVOLVED I AM ALREADY?!

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    1. hahah my lips are sealed Jenny, I love how some books managed to hook you in, this book was certainly able to do that! :)

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  8. I keep seeing this but I'm a bit reluctant to try this because, well, I love HEAs, and the title itself make it sounds like there isn't a HEA, is there? With the way you described Ed I think I would totally fall for him too. I'm totally intrigued why they broke up but I think I would be invested with their relationship too. Haha! But this one definitely sounds like a good read. Maybe I'll pick this up someday! Lovely review, Jasprit! :)

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  9. Glad that you ended up liking it and good to know it doesn't read like a letter. I am not sure how I would do with that.
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  10. This seems like a sweet read. I'm glad that the beautiful writing overtakes the digressions, and Ed sounds like a great guy. I don't know whether the title would have me too expectant of the end, though. Having said that, I am intrigued to know why they broke up and how everything in the box was a part of their story. Beautiful review, J! :)

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  11. Great review, Jasprit--I actually didn't realize it had illustrations! I will have to sneak a peek the next time I'm in a bookstore. Somehow I don't think this book is for me, but I appreciate reading your review. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  12. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! I've been meaning to read it for awhile, especially after seeing so many glowing reviews, but I've somehow never picked it up. I just went and picked it up from the library though because your review spoke volumes to me. I love how intense, raw, and truly heart-wrenching this story seems and the manner in which it affected you and how close you felt to its characters is something truly remarkable. Plus, I feel as if the emotions expressed in this story are so realistic! I feel as if we all go through similar types of relationships or at least stages of mourning after a relationship, so you've made me really want to read this one! Yet another absolutely amazing review, Jasprit! I think this is one of your most heart-felt reviews and I love it! :)

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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    1. Aww thanks Keertana you're so sweet! I'm happy that my review gave you the extra encouragement to pick this book up! I'm always in awe of your reviews, they're always so detailed and insightful :)

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  13. I've been seeing Why We Broke Up a lot recently, and it seems quite popular, so I really liked reading your thoughts on this. And the illustrations sound lovely! Not many of the books I read have pictures, so this would make a refreshing change. :) xxx

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  14. There's illustrations? I've always been a sucker for books with pictures... I've almost bought this book SO many, but I've never really been given that extra push in it's direction... I hope that makes sense! I'm EXTREMELY curious as to why they break up. Great review! You've sold me on this book. :D

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  15. I've heard some negative things about this but that doesn't mean I don't want to read it. I like the premise and the set up (with illustrations and everything) so I think I'd enjoy reading it. I'm curious to see what various things mean to this couple and just WHY they broke up as well. And when you said Ed's full name, I totally read Ed Sheeran. LOVE HIM. haha

    -Lauren

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  16. Glad you got some good weather Jaspirit. We had a fabulous day today so I headed to the beach with the kids, so no reading lol. Glad you enjoyed this one. It sounds like a sweet read but sad too because of the inevitable ending. After Beautiful Disaster though, I think I'll be steering clear of contemporary for a while. Lovely review.

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  17. I seemed to have missed reading this review and was brought over here after reading Keertana's review of this.

    I have to say between you and her, I really want to read this book now even if it's not a happy ending.

    As for sunny weather?! It's amazing to get a nice day, but we've had a few of those recently. Except maybe the past few days of rain. haha.

    Lovely review.

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