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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman This book plays a cruel, cruel trick on your heart. I went in knowing what to expect, then slowly started to fall and hope and wish and second-guess with all the optimism in the world... It's kind of like the YA book version of 500 Days of Summer - it captures the initial rush of first meeting, the confusing middle, the sweeping highs, the muddy lows, and all the devastation of brutal endings.

I can't even see the cover now without feeling a bit of splintering in the cardiac region.

Daniel Handler's writing is one that you'll either love or hate. Myself, having grown up and adoring the Series of Unfortunate Events books, really loved this style. Handler writes teenage-girl-stream-of-consciousness so well, with all its random asides and tangents, that I really got a feel for Min's character. Did I think that she could go on a little too much about old films that I've never heard of? Well, yes, sometimes. But this is her story, and like Ed, I liked seeing her unabashed enthusiasm show.

I went into this book thinking hmm, a letter to her ex, interesting gimmick, could be really cheesy and corny or dredge up a lot of nostalgia and past emotional trauma, let's see. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), this book brings the latter in a way that's both bittersweet and heart-crushing. This is a difficult book to read because even though Min is telling the entire story of her and Ed's relationship, including much adorableness, there's a constant feeling of heartbreak permeated throughout and recalled at the end of each chapter, and an onslaught of feeling in Min's writing. But there's a reason why while half of pop songs are about falling in love, the other half are about break-ups and exes and getting over past loves - most everyone has gone through or will go through both in their lives and can find a sense of solidarity in knowing that there are people out there who have gone through the same things, felt the same things, were hurt by the same things. I'm glad that I read this book, but I'm not sure if I'll be reading it again soon.

My cardiac region needs a bit of healing first.