Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Saturday, March 17, 2012

Plot Summary:
Min has decided to return all of the mementos and memories to her ex-boyfriend Ed. Along with these items, she has written a letter, telling Ed, exactly why they are breaking up. Although her best friend Ed and Lauren, don't understand why she has to put the time, or effort, into returning everything to Ed, they support and comfort her through the process. In her letter, Min explains why she has to return everything from the bottle caps, movie tickets, a cookbook, and a poster to show him that he never, ever considered her feelings and interests. Throughout this story, Min does not pull out the stops in this letter and tells him exactly why they broke up and how she made the mistake of not doing it sooner.

Critical Evaluation:
In this tale of heartache, a girl not only explains the faults in her relationship, but offers a real portrait of herself. Although this story was written by a man, Daniel Handler provides readers with an honest representation of a person falling in love and having their heart broken. Since Min is not the average teenage girl, her obsession with old time films and lack of filter, pose a challenge for the stereotypical teenage boy that is Ed. Clearly, when readers learn how different these two characters are, it's predictable that this relationship won't work. However, both Ed and Min provide readers with a type of hope that "opposites attract" when they allow each other to become vulnerable with one another. In fact, when they admit that they love each other, readers have the right to hope that it will work between them. However, when reality sets in, and Min learns about Annette, her world comes tumbling down and the pain of betrayal strikes every part of her being, which resonates with every reader. When we found the real reason as to why they broke up, readers will be crushed, but, like Min, we will get over it and move on with out lives. The point of this story is that we will all love and lose, but we always have the future and hope that we will find the other half of soul.

Information about the Author:
According to Barclay Agency, Daniel Handler was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. After graduating from Wesleyan University, he founded the magazine, American Chickens, with his future wife, Lisa Brown. After moving to New York City, he wrote, and sold his first novel, and worked as a film and book critic. Again, he returned, with his wife, to San Francisco where he now currently lives. Handler has worked in film and music, an accomplished accordian player, and well known Children's, Young Adult, and Adult novelist.  Why We Broke has earned him the 2012 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Teen Contemporary Fiction, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Why We Broke Up:
Awards & Recognition:
  •  2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Winner
  • Booklist Starred Review (11/1/11)
  • School Library Journal Starred Review (11/1/11)
  • Kirkus Starred Review (11/15/11)
  • Bulletin for the Center of  Children's Books (11/15/11)
  • Horn Book Magazine Starred Review (1/1/12)

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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