Here’s to: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman

Okay, I am officially renaming my review title to Here’s to. Like a toast or something. 

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Pages: Hardcover, 354 pages

Published: Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 27 December 2011

Source: Copy borrowed from a friend.


Min and Ed’s sotry of Heartbreak may remind you of your own.

This is the box, Ed. 

Inside is everything.

Two bottle caps, a movie ticket from Greta in the Wild, a note from you, a box of matches, your protractor, Joan’s book, the stolen sugar, a toy truck, those ugly earrings, a comb from the motel, and the rest of it.

This is it, Ed. The whole story of why we broke up.

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NOVEL BY: Daniel Handler

Born and raised in San Francisco, Handler attended Wesleyan University and returned to his hometown after graduating. He co-founded the magazine American Chickens! with illustrator Lisa Brown (with whom he soon became smitten), and they moved to New York City, where Handler eventually sold his first novel after working as a book and film critic for several newspapers. He continued to write, and he and his wife returned to San Francisco, where they now live with their son.

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ART BY: Maira Kalman 

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Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities. She has written and illustrated twelve children’s books. She has had three exhibitions at the Julie Saul Gallery since 2003. She lives in New York and walks a lot.


Here, let me tell you why we broke up.

No, I won’t compile a box of our stuff. No, I won’t be riding in my best-friend-turned-to-having-a-thing-with‘s car, writing this. No, I won’t miss anything, especially you.

I had so many dreams about you, I had high expectations. I liked you at first look. I loved you physically, actually, I really love you. You and I had this extremely beautiful potential but no, you did not see that. No, you did not live up the dream with me. No, you failed. And that’s why we broke up.

I am gravely disappoint with this.

Why We Broke Up is like a mindless daydream, everything is what you wanted, hoped for, but then it, not everything happens the way you want them to.

Actually, I am a very kind person to give it 2 stars. I swear.

For the fun part, I’ll break down the two:
– THE BOOK ITSELF. I read the hardback and I am telling you, it is everything. I love the book. No, not the plot. No, not the way of writing. Don’t even get me started with the way of writing. No, not the story itself. Just the physical book. I love the physical book. Honestly, I only wanted to read this because of the book. I am gravely disappointed. And guess what? The book is damn heavy. Glossy papers. I just love the physical HB. Just. I can’t even.

– The illustrations. About a quarter through, I actually only wanted to skim through and just look at the pictures. Let me tell you a fact: Ever since I was a little child, I have always been a reader. I had picture books but unlike most people, I actually read what’s written, what in the story. Often, the pictures actually tell just a part of what happens and I know this because I read but this book – I can’t. I can tell you, the HB is beautiful. The illustrations are pretty. The HB is beautiful and half to blame is the illustrations. I really liked them. And as I mentioned, I have never been the type to just look at the pictures but this book is – my goddess. The illustrations are what I came for.

– The ending is pretty fine???

Now, to my long list of complains.

I suggest we don’t. The list is too long. Maybe I’ll post a Drunk Rant post for the whole thing.

I think the book will actually be good if you can tolerate the writing. I have an OCD when it comes to other people’s grammars and no, no commas, not even a strikethrough. You could’ve just italicize them but noooooo. I hate that. Well, Handler was able to tell Min and Ed’s story and that’s the main point, so congratulations.

This book is a possible recommendation to those are currently broken-hearted. And I swear, some lines hit a little bit too close But the writing. I know, it’s realistic, the way it was written. Seriously, that’s how people think. But still. You’re writing, not talking.


Ugh. And the ending is actually weird and predictable. Forget what I said. The last pages were plainly just…



6 thoughts on “Here’s to: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman

  1. I was going to pick it up since a friend mentioned this book to me once. Was the book worth it despite your disappointments? I ‘d like to know. I still want to give it a chance.


  2. I was going to pick it up since a friend mentioned it to me once. Was the book worth it despite your disappointments? I’d be happy to know. I still want to give it a chance.


    1. I really suggest you still pick it up and read it. I definitely thought it was going to be super-duper amazing but the writing, and Min, and ugh. Anyway, four of my friends have read this. 2 liked it, the other two had the same opinion as me. I said, I’m gonna judge it for me, and well, there’s my judgement. I really wanted to like it though. Give it a take, who knows? Maybe you’ll like it! 🙂


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