Sometimes, Jess recommends books to me that really make me wonder about her.  How could she possibly enjoy this?  Or think that I might enjoy it?  A teen romance?!  And then I read it, because she has never ever steered me wrong.  This book is fantastic.  It makes me wish I had been this girl when I was in high school.  Or even known that I could have been this girl in high school!

Oh, and just a note… this book is incredibly heavy!  It’s not that big, but it’s super heavy.  One of those that you think you should buy for an e-reader, but the illustrations are so good, you really must see it in full color!

Skirball 057 Flipping Pages: Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Hey Everybody! Summer is officially OVER and this week’s got me looking forward to Autumn (or the extended summer we have here in LA) and looking backward with longing at what used to be my favorite time of year: Back to School. It’s sick, I know, but I used to get excited at the promise of new assignments, fresh school supplies and end-of-summer gossip (I went to school when people were much less technologically connected). I thought we should read something that takes us back to that time, when the week after Labor Day meant new beginnings and cool breezes and being a grown-up was something to be put off for as long as possible.

Full-Disclosure: this is a Young Adult book. But that’s ok! We were all Young Adults once…not so long ago! I’m not sure what it was about this book that piqued my interest. Perhaps it was the illustrations by one of my favorites, Maira Kalman. Or I just have strong urges to revisit those formative years of my youth and remember what it was like for everything to be so downright new. Why We Broke Up is a letter from Min to her former boyfriend, Ed, detailing all the ways their short love affair was just plain wrong. I love that Daniel Handler, sometimes also known as Lemony Snicket, so totally nails what it’s like to be a confused and yet very cool teenage girl. Ed repeatedly tells Min she’s “not like other girls.” In fact, she is. She could be any of us, really. She meets a popular guy at a party, he pursues her, she is completely enchanted by him and blind to some pretty huge warning signs.

After I read this little gem, I had a marathon session of My So-Called Life episodes, an old favorite that shares so much in common with the book. The show aired when I was a sophomore in high school, and it was truly the first time I saw characters on television that could’ve been plucked straight from the halls of my school. The show beautifully represented what it was like to be a teenager in the late 90′s and it was refreshing to finally see that I wasn’t alone out there, that whatever I was going through was fairly normal. So sad that they only filmed one season! (And what’s even more disturbing: I found myself identifying with the parents in the show this time around! Noooo!) The entire season is available on Netflix, Amazon and iTunes, so definitely catch it if you haven’t already!

xo, Jessica


There’s a Tumblr page that people can post their own break-up stories on…adorbs!
This page is a collection of posts that Daniel has responded to…hilarious!

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