When I first saw this book at the book store I was automatically intrigued. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of books with pictures in them, however, I could not walk away from this book. While this book was a little pricy, I had to buy it.
Why We Broke Up is an epistolary/ stream of consciousness novel that follows the cliche teenage relationship of Min and Ben. The entire book is made up of artifacts of their relationship with the text explaining the significance behind them. I don't want to give too much away, but although the title of this book is Why We Broke Up, I kept reading and hoping that everything would work out for these two in the end.
I know, I know, the track record for teenage relationships is not great, myself included, however, the deepness of Min and Ed's relationship brought me back to how important these things were when I was at the ripe age of 16. What I loved most about this book was the intertwining of pictures and text. We all know we had that box of treasures from the days of our relationships that we all wanted to think of as love. Each artifact had me thinking about how everything meant something when I was young and "in love."
I also love books that keep me wondering after the last page has been read. I fell asleep last night still thinking about Ed and Min's relationship and wondering what Ed would do after he received Min's box of artifacts that she is spitefully returning to him. Most importantly this book reminded me that teenagers, since this fall I will be working with hundreds of them, are most of the time not focused on what we teach them in our classrooms, but are focused on the relationships that are building and crumbling around them. I was reminded how sensitive we can all be when faced with what we think may be the love of our lives.
As I mentioned earlier, I really was rooting for Ed and Min's relationship to pan out and was hoping Handler was just tricking me with the title of his book. However, this is not the case and if you are someone who is disappointed when books don't end with a happily ever after, you probably shouldn't read this book. However, if you are someone who likes to reflect on the years of your own adolescents, this book holds many treasures. If Ed and Min were real, I know Min is living happily with a man who was right for her, not some trivial high school relationship. I am so glad I picked up this book and devoured it in one sitting. I will be thinking about this one for awhile and look forward to the time when I can re read it again.
This book also was a Printz honor award for 2011