Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2005

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It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken
by Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
Broadway Books
ISBN 0-7679-2185-2
Published September 2005 - Hardcover - 276 pages - $19.95

I think it's safe to say that most people have gone through a relationship breakup at some stage of their lives.  It's got to be one of the worst forms of pain (barring losing someone to sudden death or to a fatal disease) in the world.  This pain changes you and it's up to you to recognize it for what it is, see the reality behind the pain, kick it in the butt, pat yourself on the shoulder, blow yourself a kiss in the mirror, and start off down the next exciting path.  These are my thoughts, not the authors.  And, I've never been married but I've experienced this horrendous pain.
Funny guy Greg Behrendt, author of he's just not that into you (see my review), and his wife Amiira penned this book to help those who are battling to let go of a failed relationship.  Based on their own experiences and on a survey of 500 willing participants, the authors go through many scenarios and stages of breaking up with sound and solid advice as to how you can cope and how to stop making a fool of yourself and chasing after what wasn't meant to be.  They are both light-hearted yet sincere and offer many workable solutions to surviving a breakup.  Their advice is from trial and error and although I sometimes found them addressing teenagers (because of their "cool" terminology) or hip young twenty-somethings, their stories and suggestions would work well with anyone going through something like this.  They talk about one's bizarre (it's common) behavior, the ice cream eating, the excessive partying and/or drinking, or even the act of slowing down to the point of staying in bed (how I coped - not good).  The second part of the book is called The Breakover and is divided into seven "commandments". Throughout there are agony letters to Dear Greg, little humorous scenes in a movie-style script, Journey Workbooks (fun), and lots of sound advice which everyone should read whether you're just out of a relationship, trying to get out of one, feeling you're going to be pushed out, or want to be there for a friend who may fit into one or all of these categories.  The bottom line is that you can't make someone love you or fall in love with you.
For me, the best line in the book, and it sums up a bad relationship perfectly, is from Amiira's grandma: "Even with all the mayonnaise in the world, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit".
Conclusion - Life doesn't come with a handbook, but this will do.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.


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