Book Review 2012 #1: Why We Broke Up

First book of 2012 – YEY! :)

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Anyway, on to the review— 4 out of 5 stars.

I like books that enable me to feel — anger, irritation, happiness, love, confusion. This book did that for me — I was angry at Ed, I was irritated at Min, I was happy at their relationship (it has its moments).

The good thing about this book: I liked the illustrations (they are by Maira Kalman) and how they help the narration along. I like the run-on sentences, the monologues… overall the ‘voice’ in the story. I liked Min’s weirdness and Ed’s openness to a ‘different’ girlfriend, but in the end he wasn’t able to keep up with it. I liked the things they did while they were together. I liked Al and the mere presence of the best friend (who usually harbors unrequited love, HAHA–every story HAS to have one, huh).

The bad thing about this book: I am not a movie buff. I haven’t watched any classic movies (though I do want to), and sometimes it was tough for me to keep up with all the movie mentions and the description of everything else.

The middle ground: I’m on the fence if I want to know Ed’s side of the story, and how he reacts to all the items in the box. It’ll be nice to have Ed’s POV on why he and Min broke up.

FAVORITE PARTS / LINES (in no particular order):

  • “It didn’t last, it wasn’t clear for much longer, and that’s why we broke up, but when I close this book to give it to you, I don’t think about that, just us holding the book in our hands to buy it and take it here with us, because damn it, Ed, that’s not why we broke up. I love it, I miss it, I hate to give it back to you, this complicated thing, it’s why we stayed together.” -Min
  • “Twenty-six…. One for each day we’ve been together, Min… And I hope that someday I’ll do another something stupid and I’ll have to say it a million times because that’s how long it’ll be, together with you, Min. With you.” -Ed [I freakingtastically loved this part.]
  • “I gave you an adventure, Ed, right in front of you but you never saw it until I showed you, and that’s why we broke up.” -Min
  • “That night it felt that somehow by flicking them off the roof, the matches would burn down everything, the sparks from the tips of the flames torching the world and all the heartbroken people in it. Up in smoke I wanted everything, up in smoke I wanted you, although in a movie that wouldn’t work, even, too many effects, too showy for how tiny and bad I felt. Cut that fire from the film, no matter how much I watch it in dailies. But I want it anyway, Ed, I want what can’t possibly happen, and that is why we broke up.” -Min
  • And oh — that part where Ed tells Min the first time those three words

Next book (or books, for that matter): The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (I’m 3/4 done with this one, Why We Broke Up was just so tempting so I ended up finishing it first) & The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

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