Title: The Break-Up Artist
by Philip Siegel
Publishing Info: April 29, 2014 by
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon
// GoodreadsDate Completed: November 23, 2013
Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash.
Some work at the mall.
Becca Williamson breaks up couples.
Becca knows from experience the damage that love can do. After all, it was so-called love that turned Huxley from her childhood best friend into a social-world dictator, and love that left Becca's older sister devastated at the altar. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Becca strikes back—for just one hundred dollars via PayPal, she will trick and manipulate any couple's relationship into smithereens. And with relationship zombies overrunning her school and treating single girls as if they're second-class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even Becca's best friend, Val, has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple in school: Huxley and raw football team's star player, Steve. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date—starting rumors, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars...not to mention sneaking back into Huxley's good graces. All while fending off the inappropriate feelings she may or may not be having for Val's new boyfriend.
No one said being the Break-Up Artist would be easy.
Firstly, I need to thank author Philip Siegel for the opportunity to read THE BREAK-UP ARTIST in advance! When I first read up on the title, I knew this was going to be an incredibly fun read and I certainly wasn’t disappointed in that expectation!
I think THE BREAK-UP ARTIST is a great story that touches on several different aspects of the average teenager’s life (okay, and adults too) such as friendships, romances, and balancing the two. Becca, also known as “The Break-Up Artist” is making her living by breaking up couples at her high school, but ONLY by hire. Most of her clients are girls who have lost their best friends because they got a boyfriend and Becca’s totally on their side. Her sister Diane was left on her wedding day and a year later, she’s still picking up the pieces. This book was such a perfect fit for me because even though I’m happy engaged now and planning my wedding, in high school I was all too-often “that girl” who got left behind because of a boyfriend or a crush.
Becca was kind of my girl. She’s funny, witty, and she knows what it’s like to be ditched because your best friend found a guy. She used to be BFFs with Huxley until she started dating the most popular guy in school, and instead of taking Becca with her on her path to popularity, she ditched her like they had never been friends in the first place. When Becca gets a request to break up Huxley and her boyfriend, she hesitates, knowing that they once had a real friendship, but when she ultimately accepts, the plot thickens. Now I can’t say I would ever do the same to my former-best friend, but Becca has a business and she really believes that even though breaking up couples sounds horrible, she’s really doing it for the right reasons.
I also really like that Philip Siegel incorporated the story of Diane, Becca’s older sister. We could have just had her story appear, find out she was left on her wedding day, and let that be a driving force but never developed, but I really liked that we got to see many different sides of Diane’s story and how that helps Becca. Becca always looked up to her older sister and she often goes to her for advice since Diane is the only person who knows that Becca is The Break-Up Artist. I always love sister relationships and the one between Becca and Diane really propels this story forward and keeps it moving.
I also really loved the many examples of how girls balance relationships and friendships. Some of them actually handled it well but most of the characters get blinded by their boyfriends and from my personal experience, I think that’s easy to do, even as an adult. It’s not so much more noticeable as an adult because that’s the time for settling down. You’re supposed to spend the majority of your time with your significant other, get married, move in, etc. But in high school, it’s much more noticeable when you find you’re hanging out with your friends less and less because of guys. Becca even has to go through this first-hand and then, well, I don’t want to spoil things, but her life gets much more complicated and she finds herself in situations she never thought she would be in.
THE BREAK-UP ARTIST was definitely a fun read and something that I really related with as well. I was the girl without a boyfriend in high school so I really related to Becca and how hard those situations could be sometimes. I think readers will have a lot of fun with this one and really enjoy it!
Becca // Character Obsessions: Breaking up couples, helping her sister, not losing any more friends.
Becca already lost one best friend to a boyfriend so she’s determined not to let it happen to anyone else. She has a really tough job as The Break-Up Artist but she knows that what she’s doing is for the best of everyone’s interests. I really loved her sense of humor and was so happy to see it! I also loved how she wasn’t flawless. When things get complicated with her friend Val, Becca doesn’t always make the right decisions but I love how friendships DO end up prevailing in this book.
Huxley // Character Obsessions: SDA, her boyfriend Steve, popularity.
Some of the scenes with Huxley ACTUALLY reminded me of Mean Girls and I was laughing out loud! (“You can’t sit with us!”) Huxley was actually a really interesting character and the further we got into her relationship as Becca is trying to break it up, the more we learn about Becca and Huxley’s old friendship and the more we begin to see the pieces of what once was. I like that she had some layers to her character and that she wasn’t totally one-sided!
Kept Me Hooked On: Realistic high school. Okay, so most high schools have nothing like a break-up artist, but I really liked seeing the realistic friendships and relationships play out. Not all of them are like that, but these are ones where you can see when they need to be exaggerated, they definitely have roots in reality. All too-often I felt like Becca and I really appreciated the situations she went through.
Left Me Wanting More: You know what… I really don’t know. I enjoyed the book and I can’t really say I was missing anything! I had a really great time reading it and I felt like it covered a lot of big issues and had some really great and natural character development. Right on, Philip Siegel!
Read & Recommend It!
This is definitely one I would recommend if you’re looking for a fun and still realistic contemporary. Keep an eye out for THE BREAK-UP ARTIST coming out in April 2014!!! I think readers will really enjoy it.
(Click the cover to see my review!)