Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Fitgerald Campbell
Pages: 150 (Paperback)
Genre: Nonfiction, humor, Graphic novel
Publisher: Animal Media Group LLC, Published January 10th 2017
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book, but that does not have a sway in my reviews. I am a human being with thoughts of her own, and I am not obligated to automatically give this book five stars.
Juicy breakups inspire great art, so here’s a story I’d like to share:
It was the middle of February, on a cold Friday night. We were outside a crowded pizza joint deciding whether to buy a couple of slices. Unfortunately, it was cash only and I didn’t have a dollar on me, so you said you’d pay for the pizza and I could pay you back later. Jokingly, I replied, “I mean… I paid for our last meal.”
You scowled, took a step back. Said I was holding you “emotionally hostage.” Maybe I shouldn’t have brought up our last meal because your pride as a man was too frail, too fragile to handle being called out for lacking the funds to fulfill a role our society placed on you, but you had never told me I owed you anything before. I thought we were at a point where we didn’t have to feel indebted to one another when it came to food, dates, love. Obviously, I was wrong, because that was the last time I saw you.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better is a collection of real-life stories that depict the dark yet humorous side of breakups. From the green floppy disc with, “Reasons I think you’re a bitch” to the red-headed girl wearing an ex-lover’s Nasa t-shirt, Campbell illustrates failed relationships through vibrant colors and cartoon.
Although certain stories are humorous like the sushi versus muffin story on page 44, many of the short stories were lacking as written pieces. For example, on page 79 it reads, “He broke up with me on the car ride home, when I picked him up from the airport after Thanksgiving. You’re not welcome, by the way.”
As an avid reader I have to ask, is this story necessary for this book or would it have been better as an Instagram post? The ending wasn’t strong. Like many of the endings, it was bitter, but it didn’t have a punchline or a moment of finality. Sadly, most of the short pieces left that kind of impression.
Regardless, I found the rest of the stories and illustrations to be both cringe-worthy and enjoyable. If anything, this is the kind of book I would read when I need a break from life. It’s the kind of book I would read on a Saturday evening when all I want to do is drink wine and eat chocolate. It’s indulgent in the sense that it makes me think ‘and I thought I had it bad.’ It also makes me think, ‘thank God I don’t have it that bad.’ This book may not be worthy of five stars due to its lack of literary prowess, but it is a book that I would read again.
Thank you to Autumn VanGunten for gracing me with this book. And Thank you to the author for creating it.