Thursday, January 29, 2015

Breakups in Books

Well, this is... awkward.

I came here with the intent to tell you all about well-written breakups in books, but as it turns out, I can't remember any, I can't find any with my mad Google skills... are there not any well-written breakups in books?

I found self-help type books about breakups. I found humor books about breakups. I found books touted as great for helping you get over breakups. I found book quotes that are intended to apply to a number of different breakup situations. But I didn't find books with breakups between characters in them.

I know the books I'm thinking of exist. I know that several great books include breakups. The thing is, they either hinder the plot (slowing it down for the sake of pacing) or happen outside of it. I just thought of one example: there's an "off-screen" breakup prior to the events of the book in Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. It's very important, since it does a number on the protagonist and his self-image and his relationship with his sexuality, but it happened outside of the plot, not as we were watching.

My best guess is that breakups aren't the part of the stories that we want to remember. Kind of like life. Who wants to dwell on a breakup when you can spend time thinking about happy times, or the potential of the future?

Let's remember this tomorrow, when we're discussing a book that is entirely about the aftermath of what is presented as a particularly nasty breakup.

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