height=  height=  height=

Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

In a sentence or so: On her way to deliver back a box of ticket stubs, bottle caps, a stolen sugar container and other mementos from their whirlwind relationship, Min writes a letter to Ed about why they broke up.

Min met Ed at a party for her best friend Al. Ed is the star of the basketball team and Min adores vintage films. Ed is part of the in-crowd with a bit of a player reputation while Min has a group of arty friends and hangs mostly on the fringes. She never thought he’d notice a girl like her, but he did. Ed never thought he’d buy a girl a camera just because she wanted it, but he did. Neither of them thought they’d be so head over heels so quickly…but they were.

Like all relationships, Min and Ed's brief courtship had highs and lows and everywhere in between. Min relives the best and the worst of them through her letter to Ed and patiently and passionately explains why they broke up.

I loved the concept for this book. You know their relationship ends, so reading about it from the beginning and knowing its doomed provided an original take on puppy love for me. Neither Min or Ed are perfect or blameless, which makes them authentic and relatable.

While at times the book felt like it was written from a much older perspective, I still loved the idea and execution of this story. I found this to be emotionally rich and invested easily with the characters. The fresh take on a doomed puppy love was absorbing and surprisingly fulfilling.

There are illustrations that create additional layers to the read that weren’t included in this ARC, but did come in postcard form. If you’re interested in getting one of these postcards from yours truly, be one of the first five people to leave a comment with your email address and I’ll contact you so I can send one your way!

Fave quote: "Here we are at the bottom, almost empty. It's like confetti, these dried remnants you find in the street for a party no one invited you to. But they used to be, I can admit, part of something beautiful." (pg. 325)

Fix er up: While I did enjoy Al as a character, I wasn’t a huge fan of the secondary role he played. I won’t spoil anything for potential readers by sharing further…but if you have read this, let me know so we can discuss!

Author: Daniel Handler
Illustrator: Maira Kalman
Publishing Info: December 2011, Little, Brown for Young Readers
Genre: Relationship, Romance

[FTC Notice: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through Amazon Vine. Thanks Little, Brown {much love AS ALWAYS} and Amazon!]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. This one has been high on my list since it won the Printz honor this year. Your favorable review is putting it back on my radar!

  2. That quote is awesome and has totally sucked me in! I definitely want to read this book something fierce. Doomed puppy love never sounded so good!

  3. Ooh, this sounds absolutely brilliant! I really want to read it now :)

  4. I love anything to do with classic films so I really want to read this one. Thanks for the review!

  5. Fun! I didn't know much about this book as I haven't read any reviews of it yet even though I knew it was out there. But you make it sound kinda like I might pick it up. Particularly since you uttered the word "illustrations." You know I have a fondness for pictures with my stories!!

    And yay for honors winners. Glad you liked this one.

    I love your thoughts, as always. And YOU. oxox

    1. Yeah, I only got to see a few of the illustrations when reading this. I did look up a finished copy when I was out and about and it looks FANTASTIC. Really well done with the illustrations, methinks.

  6. Don't include me with the post cards thing.

    LISA you have this magical power where you review a book that is chilling like a villain on my shelf that I never really took notice of and then your magical review makes me feel like I need to DROP EVERYTHING EVER and just read that book.

    Case in point, I almost walked over to where Why We Broke Up is sitting to go and read it. That's a magical power, yo.

    1. This is one of those that I think you either love or you hate. I think you'll be on the love train because the idea is so fresh and the writing just has this emotion behind it that transcends the page.

  7. I'm going to read this sooooonnnn! I need to for the AWR Challenge :) I'm happy you enjoyed it! I've seen a few people who didn't like it so much. Have you picked up a finished copy of the book? It is HEAVY as heck! lol. I will let you know about Al... :)

  8. I'm glad to hear you liked this one. I've heard some negative reviews so I've been hesitant to pick it up, but I'm excited for all the illustrations. I would love one of those postcards, if you still have any :]

    email: jasminerster(at)gmail(dot)com


Hey you! What do you have to say?