27 July 2011

Why We Broke Up; Daniel Handler

Why We Broke UpWhy We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All traces of Lemony Snickett are gone from this story, which is to Mr. Handler's credit. Here, he gets the teenage girl angst/heartbreak right - it's almost like he was one once, himself.

Min is "different" or "arty", depending on to whom you're talking. Ed is co-captain of the basketball team, noted for a string of ex-girlfriends and famous outside school for his basketball prowess. They meet at Al's Bitter 16 party (Al being one of Min's BFFs, Ed crashing the party because he could). The next few weeks are filled with dates, basketball games, parties, getting to know each other and ultimately breaking up.

I knew far too many girls who gathered up a box of "his" stuff and burned it in an exorcism rite. Min chooses instead to return everything to Ed, with a long, long letter explaining what each item meant and why they were breaking up. Now, in the real world, Ed wouldn't even look at the letter and the box might be pawed through in search of something he could give to his next girlfriend. We have no idea if Ed is that boy, or if he reads this: our only experience of Ed is through Min's eyes.

ARC provided by publisher.

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