Well well well, it's 23:23 and I have literally just finished this book. As you can probably tell, I couldn't wait to write about it. Even with every muscle in my body aching heavily and a throat that feels like it may close up at any moment, this book is all I can think about. Daniel Handler is certainly on to a winner here.
But, I'm not smiling. I'm mulling it over, I suppose. I liked it. I didn't love it, because it's not one of those kinds of hooks, I guess. It isn't full of happiness and smiles and cheekiness and everything you may expect. Read the summary, the blurb or whatever people are calling the teaser on the back of novels these days. That will really provide you with a good insight into what this book is really like. It's deeply cynical, laugh-out-loud hilarious and very, vey uplifting.
Minerva, or Min as we come to know our protagonist as, is just wonderful. Her dialogue never fails to shock or make me laugh, and there are certain traits of her I see in myself, as well as a few people I'm close to. Al, well he's like the partner in crime, the best friend we all want, the funny, happy, playful one we want to call at 3am and go and have coffee with and talk about old films until we can barely keep our eyes open, or at least that's what I think. Ed, hmm. This is tricky. I don't want to spoil it, but let's be honest, the title gives it away, but that isn't really the spoiler, the climax, the crescendo. That is very well hidden, so don't bother trying to guess, just read on, blinded and enjoy what you learn. Ed's character is pretty, as my old media teacher, and come to think of it, my Story module tutor would describe as a "2D character." Yes, he doesn't change as much as it appears from the outset. He has some brilliant lines but the best ones are preserved for our very own Min.
The novel even is combined with some very handy illustrations that actually couldn't be done without, they're necessary for the story to proceed, but you'll realise it fully if you read it. I cried at this book, laughed at it, and at times, even cringed at it. One of the funniest break-up novels I've ever read, and it's even more interesting when you realise it's a young girl's perspective and it's actually written by a man. Daniel Handler's writing is undoubtedly funny, very moving and never fails to keep you hooked. Even as my eyes glossed over the last pages, I felt like I was disappearing further and further into the novel. Plus, I feel like the fourth person at the table at the end, with Al, Lauren and Min. I know her so well, from just a few hundred pages, and that, well, that takes skill. A very big applause for Daniel Handler, a wonderful book I will be suggesting all Autumn-long.