If We Ever Break Up, This is My Book by Jason Logan (Simon & Schuster), 256 pages, $21 cloth. Rating: NNNN
If you're over the age of 16 and not one of those people who's still dating, or married to, your high school sweetheart, chances are you've broken up with or been dumped by someone.
Breakups can get pretty messy, especially if long-term cohabitation is involved. That's when you start arguing over who owns what - you know, my couch, your cheese grater, my television, your pillow.
Or he just takes all your Pogues records that you had long before you even met, and then when you finally go over to his new place as friends and he's playing one of those records, he pretends not to know what you're talking about. Jerk. Shut up.
One solution is to write your name on everything. That's what Jason Logan proposes you do with his new book, If We Ever Break Up, This Is My Book. He's even left a space for you to write it in.
Logan works comic-book style, with drawings and captions, to recreate the classic breakup step by painful, familiar, funny step. He follows the arc, beginning at the end of a relationship and ending at the new beginning. His insights, charts and advice are quirky and charming, and the illustrations are that whimsical kind you look at and think, "Bah! My seven-year-old could do that!" And it's true. But you couldn't, because it's actually way more difficult to draw like a child than you think it is.
This book is really, really cute. And smart. If you've been dating someone for, like, two or three weeks, and come gift-giving time you don't want to give him or her anything too impersonal, too romantic or too kinky (so gift certificates, diamonds and butt plugs are out), this is perfect. And if you're worried your love interest might think you're trying to say something you're not, you can clip this article and stick it inside. Don't say I never helped you out.