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Why We Broke Upby Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Handler and Kalman (13 Words) craft a book-length breakup letter from Min (short for Minerva) to her ex-boyfriend, Ed. Accusatory yet affectionate — directed at 'you, Ed' — it accompanies a hefty box of souvenirs Min accumulated during the two-month romance. Between chapters, readers gaze at Kalman's almost totemic still lifes of each nostalgic item, which range from handwritten notes ('I can't stop thinking about you') to secondhand-store finds and movie tickets. Min loves classic cinema, and Handler invents false film titles like 'Greta of the Wild' that Min and her platonic pal Al name-drop like an 'old married couple.' Proceeding chronologically, Min recounts her doomed affair with Ed, a basketball star who shrugs at movies and commits gaffe after embarrassing gaffe in front of Min's friends. They can't understand what she's doing with him, but readers won't have that problem — Handler shows exceptional skill at getting inside Min's head and heart. Halfway through Min's impassioned epistle, readers may realize that Ed, even if he cares, lacks the wherewithal to read it — lending real pathos to Min's memorabilia and making her sorrow all the more palpable. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. Ages 15 up. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
DANIEL HANDLER has written three novels under his own name, including The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, and many books under the name Lemony Snicket, including All the Wrong Questions, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the picture book 13 Words. He was dumped at least three times in high school.
MAIRA KALMAN has written and illustrated many books, such as And the Pursuit of Happiness, The Principles of Uncertainty, Looking at Lincoln, Fireboat, and with Lemony Snicket, 13 Words. Her heart was broken in high school first by a boy who looked like Bob Dylan and shortly thereafter by one who looked like Leonard Cohen.
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