Min and Ed were an improbably match; him the star basketball player, her a movie-lover with dreams of becoming a director. I’m not spoiling when I say that this is the story of a break-up. The title says so, after all. But it is the delivery that makes this book special. The break-up has already happened and Min narrates for us by way of a (long) letter she writes to Ed to accompany a box of “his things” that she is returning to him.
The items in this box are inconsequential until we know the stories behind them. Bottle caps. Movie tickets. Ugly earrings. A toy truck. As Min talks through why she is returning these items we see the couple come together only to later break apart. It’s painful. We know how it will end, but you know what? It’s darn realistic. Min is a rambling, run-on-sentence kind of narrator, but her pain and angst in the wake of her break-up reminded me all to much of my own in high school. Especially that first one. Oh, the pains of first love. The illustrations of the items Min is returning are bold and cheerful, at times contrasting the regretful tone of Min’s words, and at others matching the humor, joy, and heart-pounding excitement of falling in love for the first time.
Originally reviewed here