Actually, with its title, you might be expecting that this book is really sad, depressing, or somehow pathetic, for talking about a break up, but you know what, this book worked its magic on me. Well, but not in the way that I mopped and bawled my eyes out for weeks that sad books can bring. This book served as a reminder of the pain of my youth—in which I was at Min’s age, seventeen, and having my first boyfriend.
I find myself quite annoyed with this book when I was reading the first few pages because I saw one-star ratings and negative reviews of the books at GoodReads. I was kind of expectant of this book because it is Daniel Handler (famously know as Lemony Snicket, if you don’t know) and of course, look at the cover, it’s so gorgeous to look at—the rich colors of the Maira Kalman’s illustrations that are definitely a treat and eye-catching, the smoothness of the glossy pages against my fingertips, and the sea of words that triggers my emotions and imagination. Aside from that, I find Handler a little bit verbose for a Young Adult novel—don’t judge, I was expecting this to be a light read—and too many run-in lines that confused and annoyed me sometimes. I came to understand this writing style because of the narrator, the writer of this long letter about break-up, Min Green, is young, a teenager, a movie junkie (who talks about too many movie titles I don’t recognize) and you know, being a hormonal whale and can be a mood monster. Worst than that, Min and Ed broke up.
Ed. Ed Slaterton. Min met this guy at her friend Al’s bitter birthday party. Everybody knows him because it’s Ed Slaterton. He’s only the school basketball team’s co-captain, good-looking, and hot. Min was smitten even if she didn’t want to admit at first. I mean, any girl will. Even me, I find Ed Slaterton really nice and romantic. He’s the kind of guy who always says the RIGHT THING, which can be mistaken as something genuinely nice and sincere, but being a ladies’ man he is, it’s a trap, a deceit, and a foolish trickery (maybe it’s only me). Min thought their relationship is almost perfect with all those cheesy moments, HOHOL and MOMOL thing, getting-along-with-friends but there is always a reason that will always break it no matter how happy and perfect the relationship is. Quite sad but true.With the help of her friends, Al and Lauren, she have to move on and write this long-ass letter (this book) to Ed Slaterton to tell him why they broke up along with the things and memories they shared.
I love how Maira Kalman illustrated the sweetness of young heartbreak. They are all so beautifully done and it’s one of the best things I love about this book. I mean, look at this, this, this, and this. I can say that you’re in for a treat if you read this book.
This book is close to my heart. I don’t know, maybe because Min and I have the same story to tell? Mine may not be that exciting compared to hers but just like her, I had a boyfriend when I was seventeen, almost perfect, but I didn’t realize that there’s an Annette* in the picture. I can feel Min’s strong emotions seeping out of the book that I can feel the sadness I had six years ago. If this book was written that time, I probably have given this to the ex-boyfriend (or hurled it to his face).
After reading this book, I am still wondering if Min and Ed’s story had a chance to be okay again? I mean, in my own story, we’re going back into being in good terms.
*Who is Annette? Read the book and find out.