Why We Broke Up

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Why We Broke Up

by Daniel Handler
Illustrator Maira Kalman

HarperCollins | January 21, 2014 | Trade Paperback

Why We Broke Up is rated 4 out of 5 by 3.

The lavishly praised Printz Honour Award winner, now in paperback

Min Green and Ed Slaterton have broken up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they brokeup. A movie ticket from their first date, a comb from the motel room they shared, and every other memento 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.

Why We Broke Up is a sincere and moving portrait of first love, first heartbreak and all the firsts in between. Min’s smart, sharp, devastatingly honest voice is one of the most memorable in contemporary young adult literature.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.13 × 5.75 × 0.88 in

Published: January 21, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1443401900

ISBN - 13: 9781443401906

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Why they broke up When I started reading it and realized that this whole book was a letter she was writing to her now ex boyfriend about why they broke up and weren't even together that long to begin with, I thought "Oh god, why did I buy this book?" But because the author is so creative and some passages were jut so relatable, and you grow to like these two completely opposite characters, I ended up loving the book. A fun, easy and quick read, brightens up your day and warms your heart. I give this one two thumbs up!
Date published: 2014-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is why they broke up My heart has gone through a cycle from being mushed and inflated up, to being stabbed a thousand times over, then left to mend slowly but surely. Okay, that has been exaggerated, but reading "Why We Broke Up" definitely elicited similar emotions close to that magnitude. Using various keepsakes from a box, Min Green writes to Ed Slaterton about each artifact explaining where they came from and why she's returning it to him. It paints an overall picture of a relationship - the kindling of a crush to a full-blown romance, and ultimately, the despicable demise of a short-lived courtship. These objects are the relicts of a passion set up to fail, and these objects are why they broke up. "Why We Broke Up" reminded me of David Levithan's "The Lover's Dictionary" where a love story is told through the A to Z of a dictionary. Insightful and creative, these two books are great companions to each other. The thing with "Why We Broke Up" is that I can see how schmaltzy and predictable it is but hardly bothers me at all. It is the novelization of the 90s cult tv show "My So-Called Life." It is the story of many teenagers and their first foray into love and sex. Predictable is sometimes fine, so long as that predictability is executed to the best it should be. "Why We Broke Up," with the stirring words of Daniel Handler and the striking illustrations by Maira Kalman, is one that achieves the best it should be.
Date published: 2014-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Broken as a fallen teacup Dumped. Like a dump truck. Like the cover of the teacup falling and then broken into pieces like this relationship. Sad and witty which made me wonder what could lead to such a “breakup”. Of course though, it would be bound to happen. Although I loved it, there were times when I thought to myself what am I getting out of this or searching for a purpose to follow along? WHY did they break up???! And in the spirit of really admiring Lemony Snicket from my childhood, there were also scenes that made you feel. When she looks at him, when he said I'm sorry (how many times? I don’t spoil). It's just beyond cute. It's something I would read in today's world and loved some little scenes. It made me reconsider maybe 4.5? But there wasn't enough to make it that rating so 4/5 it is. There are many sprinkles of what young adults are today and sometimes I wonder did teenagers do this before and still continue? It’s quite a great read, especially since it’s at the next level of Lemony Snicket’s children’s books. In fact it gets very sour, even to point of being very lemony.
Date published: 2014-07-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I can see why they broke up. Daniel Handler (also known as Lemony Snicket) wrote my childhood favourite read “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. So when I found out that Daniel Handler was actually Lemony Snicket, I figured I’d give this book a shot. It was unique in that it was a YA book with illustrations, but it felt like I should be doing a read a long with a teacher holding up the book so all the students could see the illustrations between each page. The cover features a teacup falling and the moment is captured with the teacup in mid-air, which is a perfect intro because this is the story of a relationship as the readers look back to what brought us to the defining moment when the teacup smashes and the relationship ends. This whole book unfortunately reads like one giant teen movie cliché. We’re first introduced to Min (Minerva) Green who is the embodiment of a member of the outcast artsy (no matter how much she says she isn’t artsy, she freaking is, especially with her obsession with “classic” movies) group, independent and a somewhat naive girl. Then we meet her friend Al who is the utterly perfect but unappreciated best male friend. Then there’s Ed, who is the classic homophobic jock “player” who might as well get tested for STI’s as a hobby. So artsy girl and jock date, she sacrifices things to be with him, he tries to change to fit in with her, they both alienate themselves from their social groups, everyone tells them it won’t work, they try to ignore everyone and declare their love for each other, but instead of a love overcomes all happy ending, we get a flaming pile of heartbroken teen angst that you could see coming a mile away. If you think I ruined the book for you, I really didn’t. Seriously, if you’ve ever seen a teen movie for example “She’s All That”, this book reminds me of that movie. If you haven’t guessed already, I didn’t enjoy the book. It was predictable, and whenever Ed opened his big jerkish mouth, or Min made a really clingy girlfriend move I would inwardly groan and tell myself “I CAN SEE WHY YOU BROKE UP!!”. All the references to fictional old time black and white “classic” films were cute and clever at first, but after a while I just didn’t want to go on anymore - this also reinforced my aversion to watching real old “classic” films even more. I considered not finishing it, so I started skimming, and then my eye would catch on a really really interesting picture and I would want to find out more about it, which led to me reading it. Before I knew it I had read through the whole thing. So I will give credit to Maira Kalman for doing a brilliant job illustrating this book! It was the saving grace! Each “chapter” if you will, is separated by an illustration of an item and the anecdotal story behind it, which made it easy to start and stop between chapters for a light quick read. I have to admit though, there were some genuinely great moments between Ed and Min, where Ed was this whole different and more sensitive guy and the main reason why they broke up and how it was revealed was pretty epic! However, if I was Ed (and knowing the type of guy Ed is) and my ex wrote a 300+ page “letter” chronicling the difficulties of our relationship, and then threw a box of junk on my doorstep I’d probably skip reading said letter (it’d end up in the trash or as fire kindling) and then proceed to laugh because I’m a jerk like that.
Date published: 2012-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Min Green...you will be a fantastic director. I almost don’t know where to start. Although, apparently Min had a pretty good idea where to start when she started writing this letter to Ed. So here I go. I felt like they were Romeo and Juliet, but they had nothing in common and were doomed from the start. Like Romeo and Juliet they do not end in some fairytale romance. Its about the harsh realities of life in our present day society. The book cries out about the different cliques in high school and how everyone is against them from the start because they are so “different”. I was captivated by Min’s letter, which really seems more like a rant, speech, and even her way of getting over things. I couldn’t help but love this book as it caught me from page one telling us about a love that she would remember, that ended and why it ended. It’s about all the little things in a relationship that you should pay attention to instead of waiting for the one really big thing that promptly ends it. Or is it about trying to make things work not matter what? Or should you always listen to your friends even when it means potentially missing out on the love of your life What I struggled with the most is whether there is the message of “it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” or if we should cut the strings that we know just won’t work out and forgo the experience. I have a feeling that Min would side with the first. And then, I guess, there is the question of whether or not each love will only open us up to the next until we find the one we really wanted all along. Ou….this book brings out some really good emotions and questions and captivated our heart with the modern day version of two star-crossed lovers. Good: The emotion. You could see it all over the writing. You could see Min poring her heart into the letter and sometimes getting frustrated with Ed, herself, and just what happened, while other times falling completely in love again and remembering how beautiful some things were. Min: probably the best story teller. The way she can describe something providing a vivid picture of her meaning, intent and some much more with so many words is entrapping. I do want to say that she is Artsy as she sees everything through the eye of director’s chair—hence her passion and her career choice. She manages to make everything come alive like we are sitting there in the coffee shop watching as she ferociously writes this extremely long letter while picking things out of the box, while Al watches on and lets her do what she has to do. Everything. It was fantastic, unusual, emotional…real. Bad: Ed: Although I found myself falling in love with Ed the same time that Min does, I found myself also warning her along with her friends, seeing all the faults, and seeing the large differences that were destined to set them apart and keep them apart. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall...I loved it. I did find some of the writing confusing but it’s written in thought form. Where it is all the ideas and emotions that were running through her head at the time, and if anyone has every stopped to think about what they are thinking about they know that things thought can lead down winding roads and lead to something that is almost complete unrelated, and eventually even cut off completely. View more of my review and others at my blog: www.mynotsovacantshelf.blogspot.com
Date published: 2012-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This why we broke up Ed. Growing up I loved the works of Lemony Snicket- I would devour a book a day, always eager for more. When I first discovered this book I was overjoyed, finally a novel by the man who was-but wasn't really, Lemony Snicket. As a child you knew in the back of your mind that Mr. Snicket was just a pen name, but you never had any proof so you just believed it. "Why We Broke Up" did not disappoint. It was like reading works by an old friend-an old friend with a new hair cut and a new taste of clothing but the change doesn't bother you because you like it. ( however, just as a word of warning, do not pick up this novel if you only want another story identical to that of the Baudelaire siblings) The art work in this novel was a perfect accompaniment. The pictures helped to make the words make sense and they added colour to this novel that could be seen as slightly depressing. After all in the end-as the title suggests, the love story of Min and Ed we watched unfold breaks into pieces, until all that is left is a box dumped at Ed's door with a thunk. I plan to recommend this novel, and it will have a place of honour on my book self (and not just because of the brilliant red cover).
Date published: 2012-02-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from disapointing i thought i would love this book while it is a very beautifully illustrated book, i kept waiting for something more to happen, at time i was confused as to who was talking, things were overly described that weren't necessarily vital to the plot ion any fashion i expected more from the author, who writes under the wonderful pen name ... Lemony Snicket (series of unfortunate events)
Date published: 2012-01-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I expected Having read other reviews I thought that I would be riveted to my chair. However, I found that I grew very tired, very quickly of the authors endless descriptions and comparisons. Within the first few chapters, I was already bypassing a lot of the storyline.
Date published: 2012-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching and Heartfelt It is novels like Daniel Handler's Why We Broke Up which remind me why I love reading contemporary fiction so much. Within a few pages, I was completely lost in the story of Min and Ed– of how the unlikely couple met and quickly fell in love, and then ultimately, broke apart. And really, I don't think I would have enjoyed the novel as much if it weren't for the unique writing style and letter format, as well as Maira Kalman's accompanying illustrations. The special touch to every aspect of Why We Broke Up made everything about Min's letter to Ed seem all the more real and personal. There is something so refreshingly honest about Daniel Handler's Why We Broke Up that I can't quite put my finger on. It felt like Min was my best friend and all I wanted to do was warn her about Ed and the heartbreak he would only bring... but I also knew it wasn't really in my place to say anything. I had to let Min make her own decisions and mistakes. Min and Ed had such different personalities; Min was a dreamer and a creative individual with a passion for old classic movies, while Ed fit under the typical jock category. Yet, reading Min's thoughts as she took us on the journey of recounting how she first met Ed and started having feelings for him, you still can't help feeling secretly hopeful they'll beat the odds... even if you're also really wary about what's to come. Why We Broke Up is a touching and heartfelt account of a teenage girl recovering the pieces of her broken heart with one long letter and a box filled with memories. Daniel Handler has done a wonderful job capturing the whirlwind of emotions that every relationship brings, from the happy and giddy times to the sad moments filled with regret and pain. Even if you've never been in a relationship before, Min's story will effortlessly resonate with readers. You can also read this review at: http://midnightbloomreads.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-we-broke-up-by-daniel-handler.html
Date published: 2012-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from brilliant, quirky & brutally honest - a flashback to first love and first heartbreak This story sucked me back into the drama and pain and beauty and passion of first love and first heartbreak. I picked up this advance copy and read the first few pages out of curiosity and didn't put it down all night. In the form of a teenage girl's post-breakup letter as she returns a box of relationship mementos, it read exactly like the melodramatic, rambling, soul-bearing, flinchingly vulnerable correspondence I still have from my teen years. The voice of this character is so witty and funny and real. Like in my own embarrassing teenage manifestos, now folded in shoe-boxes in the garage, her words are naive yet profoundly wise, so cringe-worthy and gut-wrenchingly raw. She dissects every intimate, intense moment of her time with Ed, which made me feel like I was reliving my own private memories. Any girl in a first relationship will absolutely relate to Min's story, and, I was surprised to learn, any girl long past her first love might as well.
Date published: 2011-12-06

– More About This Product –

Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up

by Daniel Handler
Illustrator Maira Kalman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.13 × 5.75 × 0.88 in

Published: January 21, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1443401900

ISBN - 13: 9781443401906

From the Publisher

The lavishly praised Printz Honour Award winner, now in paperback

Min Green and Ed Slaterton have broken up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they brokeup. A movie ticket from their first date, a comb from the motel room they shared, and every other memento 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.

Why We Broke Up is a sincere and moving portrait of first love, first heartbreak and all the firsts in between. Min’s smart, sharp, devastatingly honest voice is one of the most memorable in contemporary young adult literature.

About the Author

DANIEL HANDLER has written for grown-ups under his own name and for younger readers under the name Lemony Snicket. He was dumped at least three times in high school.

MAIRA KALMAN, acclaimed artist and designer, has created many books for both grown-ups and children. Her heart was broken in high school by a boy who looked like Bob Dylan and then by one who looked like Leonard Cohen.

Editorial Reviews

"A poignant, exhilarating tale of a love affair gone to the dogs." -KIRKUS REVIEWS (STARRED REVIEW)

"Like the perfect breakup song, this turns the searing experience of losing your heart into a cathartic work of art." -THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS (STARRED REVIEW)