Author: Daniel Handler
Art by: Maira Kalman
Read by: Khristine Hvam
Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (December 27, 2011)
Buy the book: CDs | Audible | Hardcover
I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.
Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.
I got this book awhile ago, and let my mom have it to review. She read it quickly and really liked it a lot. So when Hachette Audio asked it we'd like the audiobook, I jumped at the chance.
I LOVED THIS ON AUDIO!! Khristine Hvam was so perfect reading for Min Green. Min has a very witty, snarky way about her, and Kristine pulled it off so well. She also does a great job with the male voices. They're not at all feminine sounding or cheesy, and each voice is distinct. The tone of the book was upbeat and reflective, and I felt like Min was actually talking to me. Wait....would that make me Ed? Well, anyway, it was really well done. This book is basically a letter to Ed, and a box of stuff that reminds her of him, or of things they did together. Whenever Min talked about an item that she was putting in the box, you hear a thump on the audio, like she's throwing it in. I love it when audiobook publishers do things like this. I really think it adds to the feel of it.
You may be asking, "But what about the pretty pictures??" Well, they cover that too! One of the CDs has the illustrations on them. You just pop it in your computer and you can see all the amazing illustrations!
Listen to a sample here!
I loved the story too! I know there are some that say the voices aren't true to teens, but honestly I don't really care. I love witty banter and snarky dialog. I like main characters who are smart. I'm not familiar with all the movies and things that Min liked to talk about, but I liked hearing her talk about them. She was funny! And I love funny.
It was strange to know ahead of time that Ed and Min were going to break up. I found myself wanting to hate Ed, from the start. But I just couldn't. In the end, they just weren't right for each other, and that's ok.
Here's what my mom (Janeth) had to say:
I really liked Why We Broke up. I liked the story, the main character and the way it was written. The book tells the story of Min Green, a high school junior, and her relationship with Ed Slaterton, a senior basketball star. As can be surmised from the title of the book, Min and Ed have broken up. Min is now returning a box of items to Ed that were collected during their relationship and explaining in a letter (the book) how each one was connected to their relationship.Yep, I pretty much agree with all that!
The artwork in the book is important to the story. At the beginning of each chapter there is a drawing of the item that Min is discussing and I found that having that picture added a lot to the depth of the book. Min and Ed are very different in temperament and social status. Min is a unique girl who loves referencing old movies and has a rocky relationship with her single mom. Ed is popular and cute and a star of the basketball team. When they begin a relationship, it causes major problems in each of their social circles, particularly with Min's closest friend, Al. I really liked Min for her determination to stay true to herself while trying to compromise with Ed. And, when the break up came, I felt hurt and sad for Min.
I did not like the graphic descriptions and the number of sexual situations between Min and Al. I also have a personal dislike of the heavy profanity. For those reasons I wouldn't recommend this book to young teens but if you can look beyond these the book is a really good one.
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Would I buy it?
Book or Audio?
Book or audio??? Ugh, I can't decide! I think I have to go with both! I loved the audio a lot! I'm so glad I listened to it. BUT, I also have the hardcover and it is just SO awesome! Fortunately, I already have both, so I get to listen to the audio while flipping through the awesome illustrations. The book, incidentally, is a brick. Seriously.
- Sexual Content: Heavy
- Profanity: Very Heavy
- Violence: None
- Other Notables: Underage drinking