Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler [DNF]

Handler, Daniel. 2011. Why We Broke Up. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Why We Broke Up

I stopped at 32% of this book. And, boy oh boy, it was a real struggle to get to 32%.

Its intimidating title kept me away for quite a long time. But, after breaking my own romantic relationship very recently, I guess there’s no better time to finally start reading this book. You can say, I held my hopes high before reading Why We Broke Up.

This book form is this (very long) letter written by Min to Ed Slaterton, her ex-boyfriend. Its content explains why they broke up in the end. Not only sends him a letter, Min also sends some goods that she acquired in the meantime of their relationship. There are many random things. From a bottle cap when they first talked, a movie ticket, a rip of a poster, a truck toy, and other small things that she fits in in a box. For each thing, Min elaborates the story behind it and she closes her stories with “and that’s why we broke up”.

The first person point of view narration, plus its form as a one-way letter/conversation, makes reading this novel not really enjoyable for me. Min’s ‘voice’ is unbelievably flat and boring. Not just that. Min character is also not the kind of character who is likable and relatable. She keeps rambling about these superduper old movies that I never heard of. And she often talks with some references to those old movies I don’t know about. I guess the only common thing between Min and I is, we both just had a break up and in the struggle of moving on. Other than that, nothing.

I don’t understand why suddenly Min likes Ed in the beginning, remembering they don’t have a thing in common and they come from very different clicks. Min is this sarcastic girl with deep adoration to old movies, she is arty and weird. While here we have Ed, a typical western high school jock, he is a basketball club’s star, irresistibly handsome, great body, has a way in sweet-talking a girl, bla bla bla. Their instant relationship and Min’s overhype reaction to it just made me couldn’t enjoy this book.

Also, from what I got after reading until 32%, Min is breaking up with Ed because he doesn’t live to Min’s expectation. While in my opinion, that has been very clear from the beginning. I guess it’s Min who chose not to see it. Love is blind, yeah yeah. The point is, we know from the beginning that Min broke up with Ed. Whether Ed will get better or worse in the end of the story, they broke up already.

I guess, the moral of the story from this book is to think negative. For real. Just think it through, when we just ended a relationship that used to be so precious for us, usually we kept replaying in our heads the good memories of it and that what makes us difficult to move on. In this book, Min opens up to Ed and tells him the things she doesn’t like from him when they still together. The things that she chose not to notice or mention before. We are led to think more clearly about our ex’s down points. And we eventually come to a conclusion, oh right, he really is not a good one for me.

But, even the message is cool, I got totally bored when reading this and I couldn’t get farther. I honestly thought I should use my time to read other books, so I did. Oh, I need to add that the plus point of this book is the neat and gorgeous illustrations from Maira Kalman. Love the illustrations so much.

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