Title: Why We Broke Up
Author: Daniel Handler
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Hardcover: 354 pages
Is There a Pooka in This Book?: No, but there’s an igloo made of square hard-boiled eggs. Which is almost as special.
This whole book, all 354 pages, is a break-up letter from a girl to a guy. I’d say what type of girl and what type of guy, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not why they broke-up. It’s a break-up letter from every girl to every guy, the ending to every first love. And that’s why they broke up.
I dare you to read this book and not travel down memory lane. Not think of your first heartbreak.
It’s done in this wonderful stream-of-consciousness style, which makes you think of every unspoken conversation you’ve ever had in your head, imagining the other person’s response, since you’ll never actually hear it.
I have no idea how Daniel Handler, the author who usually goes by the pseudonym “Lemony Snicket”, for God’s sake, did it – got into the brain of every teenage girl in the world so accurately. And that’s not to say that his protagonist isn’t well-crafted and eccentric and effervescently likable, even in her gloom, because she is. It’s just to say that when it comes to a break-up, there’s a pervasive, universal feeling that Handler captures so rightly.
Then, it makes me think, too, of how I would’ve felt reading this in high school, after a break-up. I can imagine it’s cathartic, therapeutic, knowing that someone feels the same way as you. And therapeutic to hope that Min won’t get back together with Ed. Hoping that she’ll move on to someone better. Because if you can hope that for her, you can hope it for yourself. I wish it had been out there when I was 16 and sad.
These thoughts are disjointed and blippy, but somehow that’s okay. It fits.
This is my last review for the 48 Hour Book Challenge, and is therefore, by necessity, short. It’s 6:29 in the morning, and I still have to post on the Finish Line and calculate my hours. So all the more I can do is rate the book (and maybe write a proper review later).
Pooka Rating: 4 out of 5 Nibbles