Customer Review

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A witty retrospective of star-crossed love, December 16, 2011
This review is from: Why We Broke Up (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Ed Slaterton and Minerva "Min" Green make an improbable couple, star-crossed lovers, even. He is the dashingly handsome co-captain of the basketball team and a senior. She, a junior, is... "different". He listens to mainstream music. She watches movies only if they're art house or foreign enough. But as unlikely as their relationship is, as doomed as their affair surely must be, they find themselves thrust together at a party. Thus begins a whirlwind romance destined for heartbreak. "Why We Broke Up" is a lengthy post-break-up letter from Min to Ed. She returns all the mementos of their time together (artistic renderings are provided of each) in a box left at his door and explains their significance and illuminates how they presaged the tragedy that would inevitably ensue.

As expected, Min has a flair for the dramatic. The melodramatic tone of the beginning gives way to real drama in the climax. If Min takes herself too seriously, her feelings and flaws are so starkly exposed that the reader warmly empathizes with her by the novel's conclusion. She is unabashedly pretentious and superior (mainstream is bad, different is inherently good) yet endearingly vulnerable. In a hail of "no offenses" and "whatnots" and oddly placed adjectives and "-ly-less" adverbs, by turns snarky and sincere, Min lays her heart bare. She provides an anecdotal retrospective of their month-long relationship.

Though Min takes center-stage, the story is populated with quirky characters. Whether catty ex-girlfriends, disapproving friends, or protective family members, Handler creates minor characters of depth and resonance. Some of the best one-liners, humorous moments, and poignant scenes are owing to them.

"Why We Broke Up" is heartbreaking yet humorous and ultimately hopeful. Handler vividly captures the essence of high school romance (love? crush?) with his trademark wit and creativity. Minerva Green is wonderfully human - from the height of haughtiness to the depths of humiliation. Her story is touching, entertaining, and told in a beguiling if pretentious voice. The book's 350 pages flow effortlessly. The artwork included enhances the experience and is used effectively throughout.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2012 8:50:37 AM PST
Jon Parker says:
I marked this as helpful, but it would be really nice if you would paragraph more. A minor, but I think useful criticism.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2012 7:11:53 PM PST
K. Sullivan says:
Jon, thanks for the helpful vote and the constructive criticism.
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