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- author Jackie French

Friday 30 March 2012

Review: Why We Broke Up

Min and Ed’s relationship is over. Min goes through the box where she has gathered all the mementoes of their time together – movie tickets, bottle tops, a coin, rose petals. She writes a letter to Ed, working through the memories triggered by each memento and explains just why they are breaking up.

Why We Broke Up captures the intensity of young love. As Min works through her memories and emotions, her recollections are a mixture of the idealism of youth and the wisdom that comes with hindsight.

The mix of items captures the excitement of a young romance, where every meeting is something to be treasured and remembered. From an ugly pair of earrings to bottle tops from the beers they drank together at a 16th birthday party where they met, the items each represent a however she is now retracing the relatiosignificant moment, however Min is now retracing the relationship through the items, letting go and re-evaluating her emotions and memories.

Passionate, self-focused, naïve, confused, idealistic, self-conscious, earnest  - Min embodies the strong emotions of youth, the desire to be different and the need to fit in. Min’s relationship with Ed and her friendship with her best friend Al will strike a chord with teen readers and stir memories for adults.

Kalman’s illustrations of each memento capture the random nature of the items that trigger our memories. The small things that represent big moments and the little things that we treasure because they represent moments spent with someone we love.

Why We Broke Up is a touching story of a young girl whose heart is broken, the story of her relationship with a boy who isn’t as invested in the relationship as she is, and the friendship that keeps her anchored through it all. 

Title: Why We Broke Up
Author: Daniel handler
Illustrator: Maira Kalman
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 February 2012
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742970974
For ages: 13+ years
Type: Young adult fiction