Title: Why We Broke Up
Author: Daniel Handler
Release Date: December 2011
Published By: Little, Brown
Goodreads Rating: 3.62 stars
Review: Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min wrote Ed a letter to be delivered in a box. In that package are an assortment of seemingly random items gathered over the course of their giddy, intimate, and heartbreaking relationship. Each item is followed up with a detailed explanation of where it's from and how it fit in with their odd, doomed-to-fail-but-what-the-hell-let's-try-it-anyway relationship. And at the end, when all is said and done, the box will be dumped.
Oh, WHY WE BROKE UP, how I love thee? Let me count the ways. Oh, wait, I can't because there are too freaking many. And you know why? Because this book brims with awesomeness. I mean, you can already tell it's going to be epic because, well, I'm willing to bet everyone of you knows who Daniel Handler is... or perhaps, you know him by his pen name. Lemony Snicket? Ring any bells? Yup, I thought so. So as you can see, it's no surprise that from the creator of A Series of Unfortunate Events came this stunning masterpiece.
The format of this book was incredibly unique, and when that happens, it either ends up working really well or failing horribly. As you've probably gathered from this review so far, this novel fell squarely in the former category. There were spectacular drawings interspersed throughout the pages, depicting various items relating to the story, and Min discussed each one in a novel-length letter to Ed. I know some people didn't really enjoy this type of format that much, but I thought it worked fantastically.
Of course, it wasn't just the artwork that was gorgeous - the writing was beautiful as well. Emotions were laced straight through the words, practically bleeding through the page, and I found it very easy to get sucked in to this book and emerge in that hazy, reading-too-long state. I'm not going to lie, there were several places that had me tearing up.
All in all, WHY WE BROKE UP was a unique and heartbreaking story told through an intriguing format that certainly gives it a lot of weight - both figuratively and literally. The writing was lovely and the art was gorgeous. If you're a fan of Stephen Emond's Wintertown, then you'll almost certainly love this book. And even if you didn't like that book too much, you should still give this one a try!
I received a free copy of this book for review. This in no way affected my review.