Daniel Handler has written some of my all time favorite books – The Series of Unfortunate Events series, so going into WHY WE BROKE UP, I had high expectations. I should have stopped myself because high expectations are always the downfall for books when it comes to me, but I didn’t. And WHY WE BROKE UP ended up being a disappointing read.
The thing about WHY WE BROKE UP is that I had no idea what the characters were talking about half of the time. I followed along for the most part, but there were just so many of them that I couldn’t keep up. And then I couldn’t get it out my head that the main character, Min – wouldn’t like me because I don’t understand them.
I really enjoyed the way the book was set up. It was basically one very long letter to Ed from Min – detailing the reasons for their relationships demise. She begins with when they first met, all the way to their break up. It was interesting and definitely a unique way to set up a book. This was actually where the illustrations came into play – she had this box of all of these mementos from their relationship and she talked about that particular event and how she should have known they wouldn’t work out. It would have been fantastic had it been executed in a slightly different manner.
The writing in this book was incredible – there’s no doubt about that, it’s just. The whole thing felt extremely awkward, and I just couldn’t get into it. Aspects of the story seemed forced at times, and I’m almost positive that the reason why i didn’t like this book was purely due to personal taste.
Min was definitely a character that i could have grown to like under different circumstances. I like to believe that the reason why i didn’t connect with her character was because what she was doing didn’t make sense – and that she was suffering from a momentary lapse of reason. I enjoyed seeing her go back and realize that her relationship with Ed wasn’t all she’d cracked it up to be, but I couldn’t connect with her due to the way the story was told.
WHY WE BROKE UP wasn’t a bad book – it just wasn’t my type of book. If you’re not into books with obscure references and one being told in letter form and flashbacks then I definitely wouldn’t recommend this one – and if you’re looking for another Series of Unfortunate Events than this isn’t the book for you. However, if you’re looking for a unique contemporary than I’d say give this one a chance.