The Break-Up Artist
By: Philip Siegel
Pub. Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.
I was in the mood for a fun and entertaining quick read and that is exactly what I got with The Break-Up Artist! The writing was perfect, the characters were realistic and wonderful, and I thought that all the different plot lines going on complemented each other perfectly.
Becca is a break-up artist. She sees how "being in love" ruins peoples lives. So for $100 she will manipulate couples into breaking up. Despite her doing this, it is hard to not like Becca. She's a nice person. She's funny. She loves her family and friends. Things start to get really intense when she is paid $300 dollars to break up the golden couple at her high school. Steve and Huxley have been going out for almost 5 years, and while they are still in high school, they seem to actually be in love. To make matters worse, Huxley and Becca used to be best friends, before Huxley got a boyfriend and became popular. At the same time, Becca's best friend Val just started dating a guy who Becca starts to develop feelings for. Everything is very complicated, but as I said, it all works. I never felt like it was too much. I seriously loved every moment of this book.
While what Becca was doing wasn't right, I saw her point. In high school, and even when you get older, most people do become "relationship zombies" once they fall in love. Friendships break apart over guys all the time and it's so stupid to me. Another thing I never understood is why people would rather be unhappy in a relationship, then not in a relationship at all. I think you need to be true to yourself and not lie to yourself or to the other person. While I may not have agreed with Becca's secret job, I understood where she was coming from.
A character I was surprised that I ended up really liking was Huxley. I thought I was going to hate her, and how can you not? She is the Queen Bee of the high school. She flaunts her relationship, she's manipulative and she's a bully. But deep down I was able to connect with her. She loved her boyfriend, and not puppy love, but soul mate love and was afraid to lose him. She's made mistakes, but haven't we all in high school?
I heard that Philip Siegel is writing a second book, I can not wait to find out what happens to these characters and to see Becca use her powers for good!