Book Review: Why We Broke Up

“Why We Broke Up” is the first book I’ve read after hearing about via an acquaintance on Goodreads.

The premise of a girl working through the demise of a relationship by going through the box of “stuff” she had accumulated during the relationship sounded very “me” because I’m a stuff kind of person. I think I even did something similar after my first real break up. I took all the “stuff” — movie stubs and photos and other memorabilia and made into a scrapbook that I gave my ex. I, though, hoped a trip down memory lane would reunite us. (It didn’t.)

Most of the way through the book I found myself thinking “this is too juvenile for me.” It’s about teenagers and high school and sometimes I’m kinda stuck up about things like that. Teenagers and high school drama annoys me. But at the same time there was a certain fondness to being lulled into remembering some of own high school experiences by reading about Min’s. Keyword some because even in the short 17 years or so that I’ve been out of school — oh my, I just realized I’ve been out of school as long as I was in it — high school experiences have changed dramatically. The book had a very accepting attitude to teenage sexuality and to underage drinking, both of which I do not believe should be encouraged. So that kinda bugged me. It contained quite a few uses of the f-word also, which I don’t think is necessary or appropriate for the intended age group.

The story itself was very light and easy to read. I liked the structure of the book as a letter from the girl to her ex, sort of like a long “Dear John” letter. It was interesting how the authors developed individual characters yet with really only one voice speaking. Min quotes others a lot, but even her quotes were her recollections and told through the eyes of how she saw each of the people in her life.

In general I’d say the book was cute and fun, but it would’ve been better with a little less sex, alcohol and foul language.

An interesting “extra” is the Why We Broke Up Project, a web site where you can share your own break up stories and read the break up stories of others.


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