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  • Published: New York : Little, Brown, 2011.
  • Year Published: 2011
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 354 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 980

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780316127257
  • 0316127256


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Why we broke up

by Handler, Daniel.

There are currently 3 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction, R Printz Honor 2012

Available Copies: Downtown Teen, 3rd Floor, Pittsfield Teen, West Teen

Additional Details

Sixteen-year-old Min Green writes a letter to Ed Slaterton in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.

Community Reviews


It had an interesting idea,but the main character rambles and often times the book is slow and hard to get through.

Perhaps better with some distance?

Min Green has a broken heart. It was broken by her ex-boyfriend Ed, and she wants him to know exactly why they broke up. In order to accomplish this, she is leaving a box on his steps with every physical reminder of their relationship in it, along with a letter for each item explaining how it relates to their breakup. By turns sad, funny, and poignant, Min is an incisive narrator who catches readers up in her remembrance of first love while allowing just a little more emotional distance than she herself has. Kalman’s color-saturated illustrations of each object adds to the emotional impact of the book and provides good pacing, as Min tells the story behind the physical remnants of the relationship. Due to the first person narration, readers get only occasional glimpses of Min and Ed outside of their relationship- family troubles, school work- but within the letter-writing format, it works. Readers will love this book for its writing and for its air of mystery- readers don’t really learn why Min and Ed broke up until the last few chapters.

In reading the comments above, I agree- the reader doesn't get a sense of Ed. And I think that's purposeful. Min as narrator was, and is, so consumed with the relationship itself and being in love that Ed as a person was more a placeholder for the relationship than a person in his own right to her. Not to mention, she is speaking through grief, which tends to do away with the most levelheaded of us. As a reader who has been there, done that, I appreciated this and knew what was going on, but perhaps one needs one or two doomed and failed relationships under one's belt to find this aspect of the book compelling.

Why We Broke Up

This was an okay book. Agreeing with Caser's comment below me, I wanted to like it more than I actually did. The illustrations and overall feel of the book was great. I just thought the story was a little dull. I didn't fully understand it, but it was a good read. I'm not sure if I would read it again.

Tried to like it

It's a good premise: teen girl, Min, sends a box of things that represent her failed relationship to her ex-boyfriend, Ed, and the book is the super long note to him that explains what each means and why they broke up. The illustrations of the items in the box start each chapter, and they are well done, but not essential to the story.

The biggest problem is that 'super long' part. Min writes in long sentences, long paragraphs, long winded ideas that should've been half as long. Her incessant references to old movies (that don't exist in the non-book world) don't rate with audiences as well as author Daniel Handler thinks they do.

Also, I have no idea what Ed even looks like. He's a stereotypical basketball playing jock whose most interesting feature is he is actually good at math. Otherwise, he is as interesting as lined paper. Aside from him supposedly being really really ridiculously good looking, there is no real reason for her to fall in love with him. I never got the spark.

I really wanted to like this more than I did.

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