Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman Appeal Characteristicshigh school, friendship, relationship, drama, angst, identity, coming of age, heartbreak, love

3.5 for how I felt about it...4 for the format of the book :P

I had mixed feelings about this book. They go deep on many levels. I tried to take my own personal feelings aside and think “I was young and stupid once” “I’ve made mistakes dating before” “I’ve gotten my heart broken before...” yet...(I might seem cold) I could not sympathize with Min. When she first described him at the party... I was like “STAY AWAY, JERK ALERT! JERK ALERT!” I mean the fact that jocks in h.s. are usually never portrayed as the nicest guys in literature...movies...or about high school life (and not to over generalize...i’m sure there are some nice guys out there) I was immediately like get with your best friend Alec, and lets call it a book. Buuuuut noooooO! She plays with fire, and gets burned.

Let’s talk about why Ed was a jerk. One conversation and you could see he was jerk material. From he uses of language, to his covering his “smartness” to just how he was at parties with girls...and I’m like she’s that naive? Really? I mean he has been putting out all the wrong signals since the beginning of time...but she kept describing how beautiful he was... was he really that good looking? Maybe, I need a SUPER good-looking guy to make me forget all about any good sense my momma gave me. I was just going... how many signs will she ignore until she breaks up with him. I mean, honestly, you can say the authors were good by having you stay around 250+ pages because all I wanted to figure out was...why did they break up? I felt it was predictable because...I guessed it right when I thought up the top 3 reasons...any high school romance wouldn’t last.

Again, I’ve anguished over guys...but none of them had EVER (especially if they do the unthinkable) been worth the time to write a book about all the stuff we had together in order to get over someone. My longest relationship was 3 years, and when we broke up, I was like here is all your stuff back, lose my number. Yes, I cried and was blubbery and furiously deleting all the pictures of us...but I wasn’t going to waste my time explaining why we broke up...WHEN I KNEW HE WOULDN’T GET IT!!!

Then let’s talk about character development. I mean, Min kept denying she was artsy. YET---she would frequent coffee shops, avid movie goer...AVID FOREIGN FILM MOVIE WATCHER....she used avant garde occasionally, and was obsessed with Lottie Carson. She was going to have a movie party and was in some other crazy high school stuff...but wanted to deny the “label.” No sweetheart, there are labels for a reason. Then I thought maybe she was going through that identity thing...which could have been the whole point of this book as teens navigate through all those seas to see where they fit in. I think I was more concerned to how she would cope afterwards...would she become bitter, would be be clingy in college, would she move on? I mean she spent a WHOLE 300 pages on why they broke up. That’s dedication right there. I just hope her next relationship she realizes that...don’t let them waste another minute of your time if it’s over.

Snark aside-- I love the format of the book. I like this new medium of graphic novel-esque book. It was sorta like a Brian Selznick work meets an Indie film turned book meets Dawson’s Creek high school drama. I think I liked the supporting cast a lot better than Min’s own voice. I just hope she learns her lesson: sometimes knights are just losers in aluminum foil.

Red Flags: Language, Sexuality, Adult Situations, Alcohol