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Kid Konnection: Why We Broke Up

October 6, 2012

High school students Min and Ed were an unlikely couple to start with and, now that they’ve broken up, she’s filling a box with his things and writing a letter to include when she gives it to him.  She gives the background of each item as she puts in the box, effectively telling the story of their relationship.

Booking Mama and I were lucky enough to attend the Audiobook Tea at BEA this year and hear Daniel Handler speak and believe me when I say, the man is hilarious.  Knowing that, I went into Why We Broke Up with very high expectations – probably unfairly high – and the book didn’t live up to them.  I don’t want to give the impression that the book is not good, because it is, it’s just not the masterpiece I was hoping for.

I want to point out that this book is gorgeous – printed on low-gloss, heavy-stock paper, it’s much heavier than you expect it to be.  To make it even prettier, the book is beautifully illustrated by Maira Kalman.

In a lot of ways, Min is a pretty typical high school student and when she finds herself in a relationship with a popular guy, she can hardly believe it at first.  As things progress, the relationship seems to be going well, so she throws herself into it completely.  Obviously things didn’t work out, and Min thinks about their time together to try to figure out where things went wrong, giving readers the history of the relationship.  I may just be too old for it, but for me, it was kind of anti-climatic.  I do want to add that, in my opinion, this book is for the older spectrum of YA readers since it contains foul language, drinking, and sexual behavior.

I listened to the audio version of Why We Broke Up and looked at the book for the wonderful illustrations.  The audio version is narrated by Khristine Hvam.  I found her voice a little irritating at first, but quickly got used to it, and came to enjoy it.  There are a few sound effects in the audio version but I didn’t think they added anything to the listening experience.  The audiobook is on 6 CDs and lasts approximately six and a half hours.  There’s a great interview with Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman at the end and the artwork is included on the final CD.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
14 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    October 6, 2012 7:25 am

    YOu said the magic words “illustrated by Maira Kalman.” — Now I have to see if the library has it.

  2. October 6, 2012 9:34 am

    I’ve been meaning to read this! I think I’ll go for the book instead of the audio.

  3. October 6, 2012 10:06 am

    I have this one but have not read it yet. Now you have me intrigued by the audio… I may go about this one the same way you did 😉

  4. October 6, 2012 1:08 pm

    I was disappointed in this one too. I also felt too old for it!

  5. October 6, 2012 1:44 pm

    I was surprised by how short their relationship was (just over a month right?) If it had lasted longer, I think I would have been more on Min’s side but it was just such a short relationship!

  6. October 6, 2012 1:51 pm

    This one doesn’t appeal to me and after reading your review, I think I’ll skip it. It would probably be anti-climatic for me too.

  7. Patty permalink
    October 6, 2012 3:45 pm

    I will still love reading it…just because you said he was funny…I love his Lemony Snickett’s books…so yummy!

  8. talesofwhimsy permalink
    October 6, 2012 6:41 pm

    Sounds like a pass. Great honest review. For some reason I thought this was an Adult Fiction.

  9. October 7, 2012 3:39 am

    That’s a good idea to get a hold of the book to refer to the illustrations while listening to the audio. I didn’t realize Khristine Hvam was the narrator – I may have to pick it up sometime.

  10. October 7, 2012 9:28 pm

    This one is on my list of books to read. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book for the illustrations!

  11. bookingmama permalink
    October 8, 2012 9:19 pm

    Sorry you were disappointed. I loved this one!!!

  12. October 9, 2012 12:39 pm

    I heard a few people raving about this one but it didn’t seem to really catch my attention. Not enough for me to actually pick it up. Don’t you hate irritating voices?

  13. October 9, 2012 2:04 pm

    Interesting way to tell a story. I listened to so many hilarious authors at Bouchercon that I’m almost afraid to read their books because I might be disappointed! Especially Taylor’s 😉

  14. October 13, 2012 12:25 am

    I’ve been interested in this book for a while. Sorry you didn’t love it. Great to have both the audio book and actual book.

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