Customer Reviews for

Why We Broke Up

Average Rating 3.5
( 132 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

A great letter to your Ex

Why We Broke Up is the letter that everyone who's every had there heart good and truly broken dreams of writing to their ex. I had heard this in other reviews, but then experienced for myself just how wrong for each other Min and Ed really are. There is no chemistry, no...
Why We Broke Up is the letter that everyone who's every had there heart good and truly broken dreams of writing to their ex. I had heard this in other reviews, but then experienced for myself just how wrong for each other Min and Ed really are. There is no chemistry, nothing in common... I had a hard time understanding why either of them wanted to be with the other. I absolutely loved Daniel Handler's writing, his soft and highly intelligent voice of Min. Each character had a unique way of speaking that really showed their individual characters. The art was cute, with simple lines and easy colors, but wouldn't have worked any other way. So while the actual relationship between Min and Ed was horribly boring and didn't make a lot of sense, this book was still quite entertaining.

posted by ChelseaW on December 21, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

31 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Maybe the only negative review you'll see for this one.

So Daniel Handler's alter ego is Lemony Snicket which, believe it or not, explains a lot. The writing in this novel, Min's letter to Ed explaining why they broke up (I know, a total shock based on the title . . . I kid), has a lilting, lyrical quality readers will recog...
So Daniel Handler's alter ego is Lemony Snicket which, believe it or not, explains a lot. The writing in this novel, Min's letter to Ed explaining why they broke up (I know, a total shock based on the title . . . I kid), has a lilting, lyrical quality readers will recognize from the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Unfortunately, as it did in those books, the tone does more to distance readers than draw them in. The Baudelaires never felt like authentic children and Min doesn't feel like an authentic teen.

Numerous times while going through this novel I had to stop and confirm it was in fact a YA novel because the writing, the tone, even the whole premise of the story felt decidedly adult. The object-as-explanation device is similar to the box of tapes Hannah Baker leaves after her suicide in 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Still, even with the addition of lovely illustrations by Maira Kalman, the idea never quite works here.

Min is not very likable. Ed is very, very unlikable (I mean, Min did break up with him after all) and never feels like a character in the plot, acting more as a inanimate object in Min's story than a real part of it. And then there's Al--an innocent bystander to this relationship train wreck. (To be fair, I also couldn't get past the big-book-length-breakup production for a relationship that didn't even last two months--I mean, really?)

Novels written as letters are hard. Love, Stargirl is one that worked well drawing readers into the story and the characters. On the other hand, with her sendoff to Ed, Min pushes everyone away.

posted by MissPrint on February 28, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Interesting concept, dull execution

    I was intrigued by the title as well as the form of the novel, but the writing threw me off. It's written in a stream-of-consciousness, lyrical style that may be hit-or-miss with readers. I usually like this type of writing, but I didn't like it in this novel. Min tends to babble a lot, and though I get that she's passionate about films, I think it just distracts the reader and slows the pace down considerably. That Min highlights contents of the box and that they follow the course of her relationship with Ed is interesting but, like someone else mentioned, it gets predictable.

    My biggest issue with this novel was that although Min brings you into her memories, you never really get a lot of depth--it's all on the surface. I never felt a deep connection with Min, and it was hard to get into her head and truly feel what she was feeling. This novel touched me at certain points, but I think it was me doing the work. After all, the topic of the book, falling in and out of love, is something a lot of us can relate to.

    I wouldn't recommend this book because you're not going to get a lot out of it. I think the author had a great idea, but there isn't enough depth in the writing for it to have a powerful impact on the reader.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    The Book as a whole was good. However, somethings were unclear a

    The Book as a whole was good. However, somethings were unclear and in the book there would be pages of a self monologue that just seemed like babbling. The concept however is great. The book is really just a long letter to a terrible boyfriend. Min's character is one that I have never seen before she's ....different :) but that's a good thing. Daniel was able to express the thoughts of a  not-so-ordinary teenage girl in a very realistic way. The book was good and bad, some chapter's in my opinion could have been left out, however, this will not stop me from reading any more of Daniel's writing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2012

    Confusing. I'm staring at the rating I gave this book. I keep st

    Confusing.
    I'm staring at the rating I gave this book. I keep staring at it because I'm not sure I want to give it three stars. Let me start with how I felt when I started reading this book.
    I opened the book on iBooks and started. By page 65, I wanted to give up on the book. The sentence structure was confusing, and how it read was boring. The story was messed up because since it was a letter, Min was writing it in the present to Ed, who knew the whole story. As I read it, I did not know the whole story and I got confused a lot of the time. Not only that, but the sentence structure (it bears repeating) was confusing. So very confusing. Commas where there weren't supposed to be commas. No commas or periods when there should have been commas or periods. When I was reading it I kept re-reading to make sure I understood. By that point, I was sure I was going to give this book two stars. Maybe 2.5 stars, but no more.*
    I forced myself to keep reading. I had to. I've never not finished a book and I wasn't going to start now. I'm glad I didn't—because something interesting happened: I got into it. I wasn't completely sucked in or anything, but I actually started to enjoy the story. (Maybe it's an acquired taste? You have to get used to the writing style to like it?)
    Before (and sometimes after) each chapter there's a picture (illustrated by Maira Kalman) that is one of the objects in the box that Min is giving back to Ed. That chapter then describes what was happening when she acquired that object, and therefore shares the story of their relationship and why they broke up. I really liked this because I could go back to see that object she was talking about when she was talking about it and because I'm somewhat of a visual person.
    Min and Ed aren't your usual high school couple. They come from different...worlds, I guess you can say. Ed is your standard jock, and Min loves films and is kind of...nerdy (I really can't think of another word to describe her). I liked Ed in some chapters, hated him in others. I really hated him in the end.
    So, you're wondering, why did I give this book three stars instead of the two I said I was going to give it? Because after around the middle of the book, I really enjoyed it. The sentence structure was still messed up (maybe that's the point?) but I got used to it and liked it. Unfortunately, I didn't like it enough to re-read it, because I really was confused during most of the beginning. I must confess: I skimmed over a lot of it in the beginning.
    It was a nice story to read once you get into it, and it's an ok read for those of you who have time to kill. But hey, don't take my word for it. Give it a try—see if you like it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting premise

    Minerva (Min) is sending Ed, her ex, a box full of momentos from their months together; the story is her commentary on each object and the place it had in the relationship. The audio version includes sound effects when the items are thrown into the box, which added to the story. The bottom line--they broke up because they were from completely different worlds and there was too much space between those worlds for the teens to meld together. Min is into old movies and Ed is into sports. Both are surprised that they hit it off. My main problem is the whining by Min; she doesn't own up to being the source of many of the problems when clearly, she needs to step up to the plate. More appropriate for older teens (ages 14+) due to teen drinking, language, and sex.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Wolf

    Unsheathed his sword and stabs cole in the head

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Funny, witty, and entertaining. Min was a very likeable charact

    Funny, witty, and entertaining. Min was a very likeable character and really made this book come to life and the artwork is very cute.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Glad

    Im glad I read the sample before buying it. This book isn't interesting, for me that is. I didn't like and didn't think it was worth my money to buy. I don't recommend you buy it but if it looks interedting to you I suggest reading the sample first.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    It was like reading every break-up letter i wanted to write... a

    It was like reading every break-up letter i wanted to write... a stream of thoughts, often changing subjects unexpectedly. I felt as though I was in Min's head watching her write this sad and angry story to a boy who broke her heart.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    It was hard to get into.

    Normally I know if i like a book right when i start reading it, but this one was different. Up until the last pages I was still unsure if I liked it or not. It was an interesting book, so I would tell someone to read it... but don't expect to like it in the first five pages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    I didn't love this book. While it was interesting I kinda got bo

    I didn't love this book. While it was interesting I kinda got bored with it at times. I do think a lot of people can relate with this book, because almost everyone has had that one guy who left them heartbroken.

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  • Posted June 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I first picked up this book because I saw how popular it was and

    I first picked up this book because I saw how popular it was and how much B&N people loved it, but when I read it I didn't really get what was so great. As expected, they broke up (title?) The tone of the book made it a little boring, and the plot wasn't much to help. Everything was one after another, expected, in a sense. I wouldn't read this if I were you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    Funny, Honest, Raw

    After finishing this book I was reminded of how passionate first love can be. There is no real reason for Min and Ed to be together and that’s the point. They both have something the other needs/wants.

    I’m a big fan of Maira Kalman and the illustrations make a wonderful companion to the text.

    Min’s letter to Ed is the one you always wanted to write to your ex after he/she ripped your heart out, but you just didn’t have the guts, sanity, or strength to pull it off. Part of me kept hoping that Min and Ed would work out and I had to keep reminding myself of the book’s title that it wasn’t ever meant to be. This book isn’t for everyone, but if you can handle a big dollop of brutal honesty, this book is for you. -BUT- if you’d rather not go there, read something else.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 16, 2014

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    Posted January 27, 2012

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    Posted December 8, 2012

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    Posted December 26, 2011

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    Posted July 23, 2013

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