Sunday, 15 September 2013

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

This book makes me want to notice things more. It makes me want to follow old movie stars home from the cinema, hide beneath the branches of a weeping willow, go to crazy shops at seven in the morning, drink obscene amounts of coffee. Reading this book, I want to see things the same way Min does, sitting on her roof at night, lit matches falling to the ground below.
Daniel Handler takes something so cliched, so commonplace- the teenage romance, the bad boyfriend, and he makes it new and exciting, in a different light like one of Min's movies. I don't think I've ever covered a book in so much highlighter as I did to Why We Broke Up. I want to remember every bit of prose, every reminisce and thought and feeling like stars, and yes, Augustus Waters, these stars form constellations, and they are beautiful.
When I reread this book, the pattern of Min's mind gets stuck in my head, and for a few days I think a bit like her, see things how maybe she would. Always, I want it to stick, but every time I forget, and go back to thinking my way, and the world is just a little less interesting.
And I love books like that, that make you want to climb inside them, or stuff them into your head so you never forget a single line, ever. But I do forget, and then I come back and read it again, just so I can remember those certain stars, so I can draw Min's constellations until next time I forget.
This book makes me want to write like Min when I review it, so what if its not a proper review, I get to write what maybe Min would write, and then I can remember, next time I see this. Like in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, that quote I forgot, Milan Kundera understanding, making me understand that we must never, ever forget, because to forget is to lose the past, and that is inexcusable.
So read it. Read this book because it deserves to be read, and remembered. Treasured. It deserves to be loved by people other than me, already self-conscious, should I have written it differently, should I have said something else? And next time, when I'm back to how I normally think, normally write, I can look at this and wish it would stick in my head. But there are other books to be read and other things to do, and I can't spend my whole life in those pages, waiting to become like Min. So instead, I want others to read it, and bring Min to life while I'm bringing some other book to life in my head.

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