Amy Reads Books

Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler This book had a substantial amount of buzz around it within the YA book community when it was released. Largely, this was because Daniel Handler is probably known better as Lemony Snicket-the writer of The Series of Unfortunate Events novels. Why We Broke Up is aimed at older readers and is exactly what it says on the tin; the story of why Min Green and Ed Slaterton broke up.I'm a big fan of unusual romance stories, for instance, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is borderline perfect and is a really unique love story. Therefore, I was really intrigued by a story that appeared to be told in reverse. On the whole, I really liked Why We Broke Up, and it's certainly a new voice within Young Adult ouvre. For instance, it was good to see a relationship that isn't apparently ~true love~ even if that's what it feels like when you are in the relationship. Maria Kalman's illustrations throughout the novel are beautiful as well.In terms of character voices, Handler really embodies a teenage girl's voice, Min-despite being called 'different' by almost everyone-has a really relateable quality throughout the novel. Some reviewers have described the characters as unlikeable, but it is worth remembering that we're reliving events through the benefit of hindsight. Min isn't going to be describing Ed as perfect after the end of a relationship. I also really liked the presence of a male/female friendship with Min's friend Al-it's rare to see that without it becoming some kind of love triangle in novels for any age group so I was pretty pleased. I will say the one thing I disliked about the narrative style is that occasionally it became too pretty and seemed at odds with the rest of Min's thoughts and beliefs and at least for me removed me from the main story.There were also some plot choices that I didn't love; especially the main event that triggered Min and Ed's break-up. It just seemed a little bit of a kick in the teeth for one of the better female supporting characters, a character that I quite liked. I question whether it was really necessary; it seems as though the break-up could have happened without that reason.Overall, Why We Broke Up is a pretty good read that makes me interested to see what other Young Adult books Daniel Handler produces.