Book Review - Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler*
"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."

Gah where to start with this review....
This book is so special, like 'one- of-my-favourite-books-I-have-read-this-year-kinda-special'.  When I love a book so much I find it difficult to put into words why I loved it.  But let me try...

The first thing that struck me about this book is the way it's written, it's so unique and different.  It's written as one long letter (broken up into different chapters) so it's all narrated by the main character Min.  I don't know if it's the fact that it has longer sentences than normal or just the wording that the author uses but it took me a chapter or two to get into the style.  At first I actually thought it would put me off enjoying the book because I had never encountered a book written like this before but by the  second chapter my brain had gotten around it and I was so into the story already and weirdly as the book went on one of the main reasons (apart from the actual story) for me falling in love with the book was because of the unique way in which it was written, I can't even tell you how much that brings to the book, it seems to draw you into the story so much more intensely and it really gives the story this quirky feel to it that I just fell in love with.

The story is just beautiful, simple but beautiful.  Boy meets girl and they fall in love, it's as uncomplicated and as complicated as that. 

When I was reading the book all I could think about was the movie (500) days of summer.  It just felt so similar, not anything to do with the storyline, it's completely different but just the vibe, the feeling of the movie and book were so similar.  You know that sort of off-beat vibe that the movie has, it doesn't follow a traditional set up of a movie either, like beginning, middle and end, it keeps going back and forth and jumping ahead in time.  Well this book is the same, it follows its own flow and doesn't conform to the normal set-up of a story and it left me with the same feeling the movie left me with a sort of it-didn't-have-a-happy-ending-but-actually-I-liked-that-better-type-of-thing, you know what I mean?

If you liked (500) days of summer, the movie Like Crazy or Eleanor & park then I don't have a doubt in my mind that you will love this book.

If you didn't like any of those movies or books or if you don't like really simple, minimal character led, strange but beautiful love stories then I think you should probably give this one a miss.

This book really, really made me happy reading it.  I don't say this lightly but it is honestly one of the top two books I have read this year.  It really is such a wonderful book and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Let me know if you've read it and if you loved it too?

You can buy it here on Wordery and get free delivery on all your orders.

P.s. The book also has this Tumblr to go along side it which I have just found, where people write in with their break-up stories.  I have just spent a pretty long time reading through a handful of them and am now fully obsessed with it.  So funny/cute/weird/amazing check it out HERE


Lucy Powrie said...

I've been putting off reading this book for so long because I haven't been sure if I'd like it or not, but I think I will now that I've seen your review. I'm glad to see it's one of your favourite books of the year!