Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Book: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Genre: YA 
Rating: ***
For: Fun (to keep up with award winners!)
From: the library

This book recently won the Printz Honor Award. So of course, I put it on hold at the library, and wow, it actually came to me! My first impression of the book, it's HEAVY! My second, it has beautiful slick pages with fun pictures! I could tell right off it's not your normal sort of book.

Written by an author most of us know better as Lemony Snicket of Unfortunate Events fame, this book IS very different. It's not funny, like the Unfortunate Events, though it is very clever. Actually, it's very far from funny, it's really quite sad. It's about a girl who is breaking up with her boyfriend and she's writing him a letter to go with the box of all the mementos she's collected during their brief courtship. She's writing as they (she and her friend) go to the guy's house and her plan is to dump the box and letter on his porch. The letter, of course, contains all the memories of their time together, which we are privy to... from the first moments of love and wonder to the event that breaks them up. For each memento she mentions, there's a picture to go with it. Very fun... and different especially for a teen/YA book.

This makes for a very interesting POV for this book. Much of it is in the YOU form, since she is writing to the kid. You said this, and you did that... and I did this and I did that. So it's both second person and first person. Sometimes that confused me actually, but you kind of get the feel of it after awhile. But it is very different.

It's also written in a very stream of conscious style... lots of run on sentences that go on and on and on. However, I liked this. But.. it's very different.

Another impression I had was all the talk about strange obscure movies. (This girl, Min, is very much into the old movies.) In fact, I'm wondering if the movies referred to in this book are real or made up. Anyone know? It bugged me but I was too lazy to actually look it up.

So, this is a strange book for me to review. I liked it because of it's differences and uniqueness. But at the same time, I was bugged by our characters and their choices. You know, I didn't really like them! Many things rubbed me the wrong way and made me cringe at times. I don't know... it's a strange strange book!

Bottom line: I enjoyed the experience, but I would be wary of who I recommended this one to!

Other Reviews:

That's What She Read
A Novel Source
A Musing Reviews
The Story Siren


  1. I haven't read it but am curious about your obscure movie question. Hope some one can help you out.

  2. I read an interview he did about the book and he said he made all the movies up specifically to match the story. (I had been curious, too, but not enough to try to look the movies up) :) I loved the pictures in this and how unique it was, but I agree it's not for everyone.

    1. Kathy: That is most irritating actually.... this made up movie thing!

  3. I've seen this around, but yours is the first review to make me curious to read it.


  4. Um so would you recommend it to me? ;)

  5. I will probably read this eventually because it won the Printz. I need to get back to reading some of them.

  6. Great!

    Get The Florida Standard
    This is a wonderful online magazine.

  7. Hi Suey, I've read mixed reviews about this book and I can't wait to read it for myself. I'm a huge Snicket fan (I have all 13 books of unfortunate events), but I also sensed that this one is way different from the Baudelaire's tale - although equally brilliant, I would suppose. This book is very popular in our libraries, it's always out or on hold. Hopefully, one of these days, I get a chance to actually see it in our bookshelves.

  8. I loved this book!!! I never knew it won the printz award... =)

  9. I really enjoyed this one, although I wouldn't recommend it to a couple in their first flushes of love!

    Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting



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