Monday, June 25, 2012

Review of Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Title: Why We Broke Up
Author: Daniel Handler
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Published by: Hachette Audio
Length: 6 hours, 32 minutes
Source: Own
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Original and completely fun.

Why We Broke Up was definitely one of my favorite reads this year.  The concept of the story being a letter from Min as she explains each item she is giving back to Ed was phenomenal. We are reliving their relationship and the reasons they broke up through Min's memories and get to see both the high points and the low points.  I have not read any book like this before and it's originality and creativity were a wonderful change.  The writing was captivating and I had a hard time turning off this audio.  The narrator was excellent and I really felt as if I was listening to Min as she was pouring out her heart in this letter. 

Min is one of those characters that you can't help but like.  She's creative and individualistic.  Of course when the "artsy" girl gets the popular guy you can't help but cheer, but their relationship is not as it always seems.  The one thing I wasn't found of with Min is that she tends to forget all about her friends when she starts seeing Ed.  I don't think she was actually a very good friend.  I also felt she was a bit naive, but I forgive her for both of these because it was the first time she feel in love.   

I, however, wish I got to know more of the characters in this novel.  I think the author could have had more character development in the supporting characters.  You will come to know Ed and Min personally, but there were so many other characters that I wish would have received more depth. 

I did listen to this audio, but I also own the book.  While I do recommend this audio, I also think you should look at the book or the pdf that comes with the audio book because the illustrations are amazing.  I love that you get to see an illustration of every item that is in the box of stuff that Min is giving back to Ed.  The illustrator, Maira Kalman, did a fantastic job.   


  1. It sounds like a really original book and fun as well! I might actually get this one because it sounds so good!! Thanks for the review!!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. I love the idea for this book. You're right, it sounds completely original and refreshing. And I'm so curious how the items in the box relate to the break up. Sounds like it's an audio worth checking out.

  3. I have a copy of this book but for some reason I've always been hesitant to pick it up. But if it's one of your favorite books of this year is has to be good! :) Thanks for the review Lisa!


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