I was on a YA high when I decided to give this book another chance. Although it hits a little too close to home, I have to admit Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up perfectly illustrates the overthinking and mild psychosis as each relationship ends, whether it was just a budding romance or dinner-party-planning-a-month-ahead kind of thing.
Min Green is breaking up with Ed Slaterton and it has to be the longest, most honest, and slight incomprehensible letter I have ever read. It is also the rawest.
She was the arty (artsy, excuse you) and different girl, while he was the co-captain of the basketball team. She inhales coffee while he sleeps in till noon. It was an assortment of opposites, but somehow it made sense. That little thing called love doesn’t make sense to the mash up made sense that it didn’t make sense.
And the entire book one run on sentence after the other. At some point, while reading it, I had to pause and catch my breath. I was reading it aloud, at least in my mind, and if you follow the punctuation, it would really feel like you’re breaking up with Ed Slaterton.
If read in any other way, I guarantee you’ll find it annoying.
When I said that the book hit too close to home, I meant it. Before Le Beau, I too had to pack up things from a previous relationship. It was far longer than Min and Ed’s but nonetheless, it fit in a box. You will then come to realize no matter what it is — relationships, life, careers, education — or how long it lasted, when the end has come, everything fits in just one box.
Why We Broke Up is a heavy read, especially when you take on the persona of Min Green. But Maira Kalman’s artwork becomes the much needed humanity in all the craziness that is this breakup.
And of course, I won’t leave you without a really damn good quote.