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Why We Broke Up Hardcover – 6 Aug 2012

27 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 6 Aug 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Electric Monkey (6 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405261366
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405261364
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 3 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Readers are taken beneath the surface of what will no doubt be one of the most talked-about romances in teen literature...A poignant, exhilarating tale of a love affair gone to the dogs" - Kirkus Review

About the Author

DANIEL HANDLER has written for grown-ups under his own name and for younger readers under the name Lemony Snicket ('A Series of Unfortunate Events' and 'All The Wrong Questions'). He was dumped at least three times in high school. MAIRA KALMAN acclaimed artist and designer, has created many books for both grown-ups and children. Her heart was broken in high school by a boy who looked like Bob Dylan.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SJH @ A Dream of Books on 22 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is simply gorgeous! Written by Daniel Handler, author of the fabulous Lemony Snicket series, it is beautifully illustrated throughout by Maira Kalman. When it first arrived, I spent ages leafing through it just looking at all the lovely art. This book is so lovely that you'll want to have it sitting on your shelves so that you can pull it down and show it off to all your friends.

The premise of 'Why We Broke Up' is to chart the end of the relationship between Min and her boyfriend Ed. At the very start, Min returns to him a box full of items which are connected to the time they spent together and then proceeds to tell him through a series of letters which make up the book itself, why each of these are significant to the reason they are no longer a couple. I thought that their story was uniquely told by Handler, who takes us back to show us the start, middle and end of their love and the pain felt by Min over their break-up.

Min and Ed are an unusual couple because he is your typical jock, sometimes more interested in playing basketball than in spending time with her. She's the polar opposite in so many ways. She's extremely cultured and loves old films (a passion I share with her!). She has a few close friends, such as the fabulous Al but isn't part of the social scene in the same way that Ed is and so the two come across as not having many mutual interests. I liked the way that she tried to always remain true to herself, even though she's often being pulled in different directions by her feeling for Ed.

The story itself started off well, but I thought that it started getting a bit repetitive in the middle and I seemed to be waiting for something more to happen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cowbridge School Library on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
Review by Pippa - Year 9

Why We Broke Up is about a high school girl, who loves `arty' films, giving back a box of mementos to her Ex-Boyfriend, who is the stereotypical jock. As she goes through the mementos she recalls the relationship and how it all went wrong. The setting involves the main character, Minerva, sitting in the back of a truck with her best friend, Al, writing down all the highs and lows of the relationship, revealing the story behind each object in the box.

My favourite part of the story was probably when Al confesses his feelings. I also really enjoyed the ending because it wasn't what I expected at all. The revelations were a surprise adding to the enjoyment of the story overall. With new issues developing as the plot wound its way through a great many twists and turns, the tension and interest level of the story never ceased.

My favourite character would have to be Al; his dry wit and sarcasm added a lighter tone to the story.

The one major drawback of the book was its reference to so many `arty', classic movies. The target age range for this book would not be familiar with most of these movies, actors or scenes therefore, it did little to aid the world building or storyline. It made it harder to connect with the story, especially when you can't fully grasp the meaning of the similes. I also think that the story as a whole could have benefitted from a shorter introduction, the lengthy introduction served to delay personal involvement in the plot. I felt that a lot of people would be put off reading the whole book based on the first chapter. It takes perseverance to continue with the book but worth it in the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Lester on 5 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Min, (Short for Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom), is a movie loving, 'whatnot' saying girl who begins this story by dropping off a box at Ed Slaterton's house with a THUNK! Within this box lays their relationship from start to finish, each item a part of their journey, and the words on the pages are the extended letter Min encloses within the box, telling the story of why they broke up.

I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this book, the actual release date being tomorrow (6th August), so I finished it just in time.

I didn't quite know what to expect with this story and, to begin with, I found the voice of Min and the style in which it is written somewhat jarring. But within the first few paragraphs I became hooked on her and her story. There was something so refreshing in the voice, the way that the book is essentially one great big letter and it is told as such. There are parts where Min rambles, where she shoots off on tangents and reveals a little more about her world, there are parts where she simply relays a conversation and it becomes something so magical and clever.

Ed Slaterton, while completely flawed, becomes rather loveable around the middle of the story, despite the complications between him and Min's other friends. There are moments where the romantic gestures are practically cinematic and I felt like I could reach out and touch them.

Other characters within the story, Al and Annette for example, are told with such a bold honesty that I half expected to see them around afterwards, once I closed the book. It is a testament to the talent that Handler has that he has created such vivid characters that I want to hang out with and get to know a little more.
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