Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
Published by: Harlequin Teen on 4/29/2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples.
After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.
No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to like The Break-Up Artist. The debut novel from Philip Siegel is about a high school girl who breaks up couples in her high school for a mere $100 via PayPal. However, the witty writing and the vibrant characters definitely make this book worth reading.
Becca Williamson is a junior at Ashford High. Becca has seen heartbreak up close and personal when her sister’s fiance called the wedding off the morning of. Now Becca believes that love is simply an excuse, and pretty much doesn’t exist. With everyone at her school becoming a relationship zombie, Becca has donned the alter-ego of The Break-Up artist, a masked woman who people can hire to break up couples.
Becca is such a well-written character. I didn’t approve of her actions, but I understood why she was doing it and that her heart was in the right place. Should she be meddling in people’s love lives and making people unhappy? No. But she also sees the unhappiness of the individuals surrounding these couples. The friends who are suddenly forgotten in lieu of suddenly having an exciting new significant other. The first client Becca receives within the span of the novel hires the Break-Up Artist because her best friend has completely stopped spending time with her to date someone who made her dye her hair because he didn’t like the color.
Becca’s sister, on the other hand, I couldn’t stand. I partially excused Becca’s actions because she’s young and naive. Diane, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same excuse. After Diane’s wedding gets broken off, she sinks into a depression, which is completely understandable. What isn’t understandable is the fact that she becomes bitter towards her friends for moving on with their own lives. Diane is completely fine letting her life come to a standstill because things went wrong with her love life.
The book has a great cast of side characters as well. Val, Becca’s current best friend; Huxley, Becca’s former best friend; and Ezra, Val’s new boyfriend. Each character serves their purpose and helps Becca grow in different ways. Huxley and Becca’s friendship came to an end when Huxley started dating Steve and became half of the “it” couple at Ashland. Soon after that, Becca became The Break-Up Artist.
I really did think I was going to hate this book. To break up couples for money seems really petty and immature, and I didn’t think I would sympathize with Becca as much as I did. She thought she was doing the right thing and people were coming to her, not the other way around. She’s a good person who did some bad things. High school tends to do things like that to some people. It ended up being really nice watching Becca grow throughout the novel and watch her definition of love change throughout the novel.
Overall, I give The Break-Up Artist 4 out of 5 controllers. It had great characters and a great plot. The novel was written really well, and I enjoyed the witty writing. There were just some little things here and there that bothered me, the biggest of which probably being Diane.