Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: Why We Broke Up

I've seen this book at the bookstore, the library, online, for months, and when I found a copy at the local library the other day, I thought I'd give it a try. This YA novel reminded me of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in that it's more interactive than just any book -- vivid illustrations (by the gifted Maira Kaiman) accompany the text. This brings this unique tale to life in glorious ways. I had such a great time with this book that I blew through it in about three days.

We've all been there, on the giving end or the receiving end. This book works so well because it's so easy to identify with a bad break-up. I never received a box from any exes containing items used or bought while we were together (although I do have some items at the bottom of a shoebox in my closet from a previous relationship that I intend to look at again one day), but I could put myself in the shoes of this guy Ed, who had no idea what was coming to him. The novel includes mini-stories in between the beautiful illustrations that are very funny and very unusual and sometimes very sad. They're also, always, insightful. The book is nearly 400 pages but it just flew on by.

Where We Broke Up is the newest book I've read that was nominated for the Michael L. Printz award, and it's the latest confirmation that anything with the Printz mark is worth checking out -- I haven't been disappointed by one title yet. Why We Broke Up is a unique idea executed beautifully, and it makes me want to check out author Handler's other books, most notably those Lemony Snicket adventures (which he writes under a pen name). I'm also excited to see what is done for the feature film version, which is currently in development with Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) in the lead. Great!

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