Why We Broke Up: An Inspiration to Move On

The first book I've read for this year is Daniel Handler's Why We Broke Up. This novel is all about  Min Green and Ed Slaterton who broke up when they least expected it. After they parted ways, Min sent a box to her ex-boyfriend containing all the things they collected during the course of their relationship. Together with the old stuff was a letter explaining the different reasons why they broke up. Each item inside the box has its own story of love, happiness and pain. Basically, the whole book revolved around how they both shared great days together and how those happy days ended.

To be honest, the book was boring. I was expecting more from it especially when I learned that it became one of the bestselling novel last year. I'm not saying that it is bad. In fact, I would recommend this novel to every girl who is currently in the process of healing her broken heart. The letter of Min will remind you to let go of the past and to continue moving on with your life. Min will encourage you not to depend on other man for your happiness. She will inspire you to gather all the strength left in your system after the break up. 

The best thing about Why We Broke Up is its lessons about moving on. Min's act of sending their collections to Ed means completely ending their relationship. I believe that it wasn't a sign of bitterness but instead, a strong move to finally let go. The caption in every illustration will always end with "...and that's why we broke up."

When I finished reading the novel, I realized that ending my relationship with my ex last year was, indeed, a good move. In fact, I could even write my own Why We Broke Up novel but I would not because no one will probably read it. This book is a complete eye-opener. Just when girls thought that breaking up with their boyfriends is the end of the world, Min's character would remind them of why they deserve better. 


By the way, I found the official Tumblr account of this novel - The Why We Broke Up Project. I'm sure people with broken hearts can find the site helpful. To everyone with broken hearts and broken souls, I wish you the best. Please believe me when I say that what you're feeling right now will get better someday. One day, you will be grateful about the break up. Why? Because of new opportunities... of greater things! Good luck.
These are some of the excerpts from the novel Why We Broke Up.
Written by Daniel Handler
Illustrations by Marie Kalman

“You either have the feeling or you don’t.”

“I gave you an adventure, Ed, right in front of you but you never saw it until I showed you, and that’s why we broke up.”

“Let's go, let’s go together toward something extraordinary and I started making plans, thinking we would get that far.”

“Stop saying no offense when you say offensive things. It’s not a free pass.”

“Ed, I want what can’t possibly happen, and that is why we broke up.”

“Undeveloped, the whole thing, tossed into a box before we really had a chance to know what we had, and that’s why we broke up.”

“We had to have the days, too, the bright impatient days spoiling everything with their unavoidable schedules, their mandatory times that don’t overlap, their loyal friends who don’t get along, the unforgiven travesties torn from the wall no matter what promises are uttered past midnight, and that’s why we broke up.”

“Not the co-captain, not that night, not with me the new girlfriend, and that’s why we broke up.”

“I love it, I miss it, I hate to give it back to you, this complicated thing, it’s why we stayed together.”

“And I almost said I love you. Instead I said nothing and you said nothing.”

“Maybe you were just feeling buzzy and full, but I was feeling—happy. Grateful, I guess, and light. Lovely even, plus the new coffee shivery inside me.”

“I waited just to see you at that kind of peace, I wanted to be beside you, I wanted you to wake up slowly or startle, or just half awaken and turn over and go back to sleep or murmur my name. I wanted to watch you forever, or sleep beside you forever, or sleep forever while you woke and watched me, something forever anyway.”

“I thought it was one thing but it was the other, it was zero zero zero alone on the bus, while you slept in the room I had to leave, and that’s why we broke up.”

“Give it back, Ed if you have it, I’m lost without it on rainy days, although it’s December now, so it’s they say snow, and an umbrella in a snowstorm is ridiculous, a seat belt if you’re not in a car, a helmet if you’re not on a bike, like a fish needs a bicycle or however they say it, like coffee needs to be black, like a virgin needs a boyfriend. So many things I’ll never get back.”

“A girl meets a boy, Ed, and everything changes, or so she says.”

“Different people think different things”

“And the feeling, the real perfect of that afternoon, that you were thinking about me, that you’d remembered this garden and waited outside geometry to get me to skip class and see what you knew I’d love—that feeling’s gone forever too.”

“And love, who can say the way it winds,” she recited, “like a serpent in the garden of our untroubled minds.”

“You even wouldn't have gotten it, Ed, I thought, watching her go. It’s why we broke up, so here it is. Ed, how could you?”

“HOPE, what a laugh. It’s a reminder of the night, let’s admit it now together—Halloween of Pure Evil—the night we should have broken up.”

“And I hope that someday I’ll do another something stupid and I’ll have to say it a million times because that’s how long it’ll be, together with you, Min. With you.”

“We didn't agree much, and for some reason this time it was weird.”

“I stayed there loving you, though the love made me, not sad but I guess melancholy, for a reason I couldn't point to.”

“Keep this, in case it doesn't work when you try it again.”

“I could do some things. Some parts I was very good at.”

“And it was. No wonder we broke up.”

“I’m not different. I’m not arty like everyone says who doesn't know me, I don’t paint, I can’t draw, I play no instrument, I can’t sing. I’m not in plays, I wanted to say, I don’t write poems. I can’t dance except tipsy at dances. I’m not athletic, I’m not a goth or a cheerleader, I’m not treasurer or co-captain. I’m not gay and out and proud, I’m not that kid from Sri Lanka, not a triplet, a prep, a drunk, a genius, a hippie, a Christian, a slut, not even one of those super-Jewish girls with a yarmulke gang wishing everyone a happy Sukkot.”

“I make out like an imbecile, I fool around foolishly, I lost my virginity and couldn't even do that right, agreeing to it and getting sad and annoying afterward, clinging to a boy everyone knows is a jerk bastard asshole prick, loving him like I’m fucking twelve and learning the whole of life from a smiley magazine. I love like a fool, like a Z-grade off-brand romantic comedy, a loon in too much makeup saying things in an awkward script to a handsome man with his own canceled comedy show. I’m not a romantic, I’m a half-wit. Only stupid people would think I’m smart. I’m not something anyone should know. I’m a lunatic wandering around for scraps, I’m like every single miserable moron I've scorned and pretended I didn't recognize. I’m all of them, every last ugly thing in a bad last-minute costume. I’m not different, not at all, not different from any other speck of a thing.”

“While the world and its crowd were cheering you, co-captain, winner of state finals, I got some applause myself.”


  1. I think the key to moving on is throwing regrets away. Everything that happened good or bad helps us to be the person who we are so instead of trying to erase memories, we should just treasure the good times and learn from the bad times.

  2. What a beautiful book to read and learn from their experience and story :-) Breaking up is not an easy thing to do especially that someone has been a part of your life. Sometimes we have to move on and face reality :-)

  3. This looks like a good read! like they say, there will always be good and bad times in you life.

  4. sounds like a good read, especially for fans of love story novels.

  5. sounds like a good book. indeed, i believe that things happen for a reason and God has better plans for each one of us! :) i was in situation before, not just failed relationship but failed marriage but thankful that we broke up because i am lucky and blessed now with beautiful family. :) thanks for sharing about the book.

  6. Relate mode ka pala dito s a book sis hehehe. Everything happens for a reason so when your heart got broken, I am sure that there are positing c things coming your way.

  7. Honestly, I could not relate because I only had one boyfriend and he is my husband now, but it's not just about relationships but also in some other things, like letting go of past mistakes and regrets, I think it also applies in those areas of our lives. Good for you for reading a book, me? I haven't opened a novel in eons! But I have read a lot of bedtime stories to my little boys... :-)

  8. Writing a book about a break-up can be the ultimate catharsis for moving on.

  9. Nice book review. The next best thing after breaking up with a dear one is to fix your eyes on the horizon and make the first step.

  10. YAY! You did it again, Algene. Thanks for this lovely book review. It certainly piqued my interest to hold that book myself.

    But one thing I'd like to add on here is that of course, we would love to know your own why's when you broke up with your ex. It's not that I am nosy but somehow, someway, we have been aware of your relationship with him. Hehe. Honestly, I never even knew you two broke up not until you mentioned it here. I was very "kilig" with your posts before about him :-)

    Anyway, I am glad you have moved on and is enjoying your life to the fullest. That's the way to do it. Ajah!

  11. I think the reason why you didn't like the book that much it's because you're way too different from Min. I'm not saying this because I've already read the book. Just basing it on the excerpts of the book you posted. Maybe you're smarter than her that it took not too long for you to hang on to the feelings for Mr. Ex. And made the right choice that's why you broke up with him... :) hmm... makes me want to get a copy of this book. Baka through that magising ako. haha! Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. Hi Gene, please check if my first comment went through. Hehehe

    By the way, this one looks like a good read and helpful for those who are in the same situation.

    Upon reading the title, I thought you are going to share the story of your break up with A.

    Advance Happy birthday dear. Keep the positive vibes coming. Hugs!

  13. This is a very interesting book to read. I always caught myself crying when reading this kind of scenario.

  14. Great book review, sis! So detailed! Based on what you shared, I don't think I'll be reading this book at all. The book's title seemed to have caught my attention at first but after reading your review, nah, I don't think I'll still give it a go!

  15. great inspiration for those trying to move on.

    “Different people think different things” -this one i find interesting and very apt for me and my hubs. we think differently on a lot of things. extremes, sabi nga -but, we never broke up ^_^ sabi nga, loving is also understanding and giving :)

    great book. my type of read :)

  16. “...I want what can’t possibly happen, and that is why we broke up.” -ouch! This really hits home... and this could just be my standard reply the next time he drunk-texts me. :) thanks!


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