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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 recently went through a break up that resulted in a lot of memories and old gifts. I thought this book would give me something to cling to during the break up or even a small smudge of happiness. Instead I was let down. I absolutely love this author, but this book was bad. It wasn’t bad enough to hate it, but it was bad enough to never read it again.

Young adult romance and break up books are some of my favorites, but this wasn’t all that good. Unique idea, but over three hundred pages and it was supposed to be a letter she wrote on the way to the guy’s house. I know some of the pages were pictures, but still. That is a long letter and for me that plot point was when the book turned from OK to bad.

The book was written in a way I enjoyed, except I didn’t like the main character. She was snobby and very much someone I wouldn’t be around. This character feels like the main character to The Basic Eight, but less thought out and less likable. They could easily be the same person, but one was more flat (only likes old movies) and the other more realistic (actually has friends, a back story, something likable about her). This book was just a let down for the level of humor and skill I hold Daniel Handler to. It was still a great idea (I loved the premise of explaining why they broke up and it wasn’t just that the guy had done a big bad thing) and I loved the humor the author always has (though this book was less humorous than his others).

If you want a really funny book or one that is more Daniel Handler, look else where. This book is Daniel Handler Lite. Most of his YA books aren’t as good as his adult books. I highly suggest his adult books.


2 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book, but I would recommend this author.

You can buy this book here.