Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review of Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman

Little Brown Books for
Young Readers
Why We Broke Up
by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
5 Stars

Walk into any high school in America and you can find a couple who really don’t seem to “fit” with one another. Min and Ed Slaterton are like this; Min is an artistic film fanatic, and Ed a handsome and athletic football God.  Everyone is shocked when these two hook up. But when the two start dating they fall hard for one another, and despite their differences it works. It really seems like Ed and Min will make it. That is, until they break up. Now Min is ready to return the box of mementos she’s kept during her relationship with Ed, and with that box, she’s writing him a letter. Once he reads it he won’t have any questions about just exactly why they broke up.

In the past I’ve had reservations about reading a book by two authors. Lately, books like this one have completely changed my mind. Min’s character is so relatable and loveable. She’s your sister, your cousin, your best friend; and, while you can see that perhaps she might be wading into treacherous waters with Ed, you want her to be happy and so you cheer her on, hoping against hope that the splashing motions she’s making after diving in the water aren’t the signs of her drowning. And although I have to say that Min’s constant allusions to vintage films are a bit annoying at times, I completely get Min’s personality and I love her for her quirkiness. Perhaps that’s what Ed feels about Min too—all the way to the bitter, bitter end. This is a realistic story about a girl, who like so many of us girls, sees the best in everyone, or perhaps wants to see the best in everyone, or maybe just wants to see an inner character that matches outer beauty. This is a cautionary tale about sexuality, about passion, about emotion, and about sex. Every girl who has even considered giving her virginity to a boy should read this book. This is a happy tale about friendship, kindness, and about what a boy who loves you is really supposed to be. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a story about what true friends do when they see you drowning—they might go down with you—but they still jump in to save you.  This is perhaps the finest novel about teenaged relationships I’ve read this decade. Read it—and maybe you won’t get caught flailing alone in the deep end.

To share your break up story, check out Why We Broke Up Project here: http://whywebrokeupproject.tumblr.com/share-your-breakup

No comments:

Post a Comment