Why We Broke Up

First Lines: Dear Ed, In a sec you’ll hear a thunk.  At your front door, the one nobody uses.  It’ll rattle the hinges a bit when it lands, because it’s so weighty and important, a little jangle along with the thunk, and Joan will look up from whatever she’s cooking.

It’s good to see Lemony Snicket back in his alter (real) ego, Daniel Handler.  I was a fan of the Series of Unfortunate Events books until the last two or so.  Those were just weird.  Anyway, we’re talking about this, not those.

A protractor.  A movie ticket.  A toy truck.  A box of matches.  A note.  A stained towel.  An overcoat.  These are all that is left of Ed and Min’s relationship, the things in Min’s box.  Everything’s inside, and Min’s about to leave it on his doorstep with a lengthy letter as to why they broke up.

I liked it.  I thought there were some things that were…not vindictive, but close.  I mean, if  you’re the ex-girlfriend, it probably feels really good to give all the stuff back that you acquired through the course of the relationship.  Cathartic.  If I had ever been in a relationship like Min and Ed’s, I’d certainly be doing the same.

It’s all told from Min’s point of view through her letter to Ed.  I like that too, because it gave me a better sense of Min’s thoughts.  I liked the interjection of her thoughts every now and again.  Like, “Do you remember this, Ed?  No, of course you don’t.”  It’s snarky and real.  That made Min fun.

It was also great seeing the relationship from the beginning, even if it was through Min’s break up letter.  There’s a bit of an edge to the early stuff, but that’s totally understandable.  It’s a sensitive topic for her.

I guess what I didn’t like sometimes was Min herself.  I hate to quote the book in this capacity, but she’s different.  And, for me, it wasn’t exactly in a good way.  She spent most of her time comparing different things to foreign or old movies she loved.  I hadn’t heard of any of them (and I get the feeling they might be fake, so no one has ever seen them).  Anyway, it drove me nuts that I couldn’t relate to her in terms of music or movies.  I could only relate to her through her friends and through Ed.  That was frustrating.

Oh, and the illustrations.  Those were helpful, if not a little bizarre.  I liked that they showed me exactly what Min was seeing, but the abstract-ish way they were drawn was almost distracting.  It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.

Overall, it’s not bad.  It’s cute and dark and snarky.  There’s a lot of emotion in those pages.

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