Why We Broke Up is a story told as a long letter and with pictures of memorabilia left over from the relationship between Min Green (the letter writer) and her now ex-boyfriend, Ed Slaterton.
Min likes old movies and coffee shops. Ed is popular and on the basketball team. He notices her at her best friend’s Bitter Sixteen party, asks for her number, and, to her surprise, calls. Their first date is to an old movie where Min is convinced the star, now an old lady, is in the audience with them and convinces Ed that they should throw her a party for her upcoming birthday. Ed, falling for the girl who is different from any other girl he’s dated, goes along with it.
Each chapter of the book starts with a drawing (illustrated by Maira Kalman) of an item, which is followed by the story of that item’s importance to their relationship. Most chapters end with something along the lines of “and that’s why we broke up.” It wasn’t just one thing; it was all the things that didn’t work when trying to meld a relationship between two people from such different worlds.
I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the unique style of narrative, and I enjoyed Min’s telling of the story. For those of you who are interested, the author, Daniel Handler, is better known as Lemony Snicket, writer of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Rated: High. This is definitely for the older young adult. It includes a lot of language, specifically the F-word. There are also teenage drinking and moderate descriptions of sexual fondling and teen sex. Min seems to take the idea of losing her virginity seriously, but when it comes down to it, her relationship with Ed is very short but their intimacy still happens.