As soon as I heard about this book from American book reviewers, I began wishing that it'd be released here in the UK. My prayers were answered by Electric Monkey and I was so unbelievably excited to start reading this book as soon as it came into my home! I didn't know all that much about the book - the short blurb doesn't give that much away, but I liked it that way - It was fantastic to discover more about Why We Broke Up as I worked my way through the book.
Sleeping is my favourite thing to do, yep - even more so than reading. However, this book stole my sleep from me. It takes quite a lot for me to stay up flicking through pages, but this one managed it. There was something about this book that was just so compelling and made me want to keep reading just one more page. I wanted to know what happened next, what Min was feeling, just exactly why they broke up.
The book is written as a letter from Min to her ex-boyfriend, Ed, explaining why they broke up, using a variety of objects (illustrated by Kalman). It is a very simple concept, but I absolutely loved it. It really made for an interesting and heartfelt story. I did connect with Min, though I did have my reservations about Ed from the moment they entered a relationship. The reason why Min and Ed do break up is quite predictable but to be honest I don't think that matters because, in truth and as Min explains, there were several things that contributed to their eventual split.
The characters that were included in this book were very strong - even those who were only mentioned sporadically. I really liked Al and Lauren, Min's closest friends. It was interesting to see how her relationship with Ed affected her friendship group. I really loved the bond between Min and Al and I really felt for Al as he became distanced from Min. He is genuinely one of the nicest, kindest characters I have come across. I did like Min too - I thought she was quite easy to connect with - she was a generally likeable character. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it!) I didn't really fall for Ed - although to a lot of people he may seem near perfect, he just didn't sit right with me and I found him to be a bit immature.
If you've gone through a break-up as a teenager, then I think you'll appreciate this book. It feels real and although it doesn't feel overly intense, there is definite feeling behind it that runs quite deep, the fact that it is written in epistolary form only adds to this feeling. I think that the emotion behind this book is very interesting, though hard to put into words. It is quite easy to relate to, in my opinion, though I think every reader will have a different experience with this one.
I haven't read any of Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket)'s previous books, but if he does write more young adult contemporary reads like this one, I would definitely pick it up. I also really enjoyed the illustrations - they simply added some extra enjoyment to the reading experience. I have found this book difficult to review as I do think it's really quite personal - everyone has their own individual pasts and I think that will affect how you read this book. For me, this book was addictive, different and extremely enjoyable.show more