04 April 2012

Why We Broke Up

 by Daniel Handler, art by Maira Kalman

Hardie Grant Egmont. Young Adult. Paperback RRP $24.95

Reviewer - Barbara Brown

A very interesting tale of love, lies and deceit. It’s a wonderfully written, quirky novel that is easy to read.
Girl meets boy. Boy likes girl. Boy and girl start dating. Girl thinks it’s a long term relationship. Girl finds out there is another. Girl dumps boy. The end.
Or is it?
The book begins with Min and a box of things she is delivering to Ed’s place. Each chapter starts with a wonderful illustration of the next item in the box and the next item in the relationship. Every item has a story and the items are in chronological order so we, the reader, get to experience the relationship of Min and Ed from flourishing, awkward beginnings to brittle, upsetting end. Some chapters are complicated. Others funny and brief. But to sum up a relationship in a box is brilliant.
Handler’s use of very old movie metaphors in all the actions Min does is somewhat confusing since I’m not a movie buff however, it makes me understand Ed since he has no idea what Min is on about in the beginning. That is why he falls for her and the reader starts to understand her personality. Kalman’s artwork is simple and colourful and every piece could be torn out and framed.
A great book that was fun to read.

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