Tuesday, May 27, 2014

REVIEW: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

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 the 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.

My Thoughts:

People use that word to go around and do what they please. They don't have to worry about who gets hurt because it's all in the name of love. Love has no rules, no boundaries. It's gone all these years unchecked. That doesn't make it whimsical; that makes it a tyrant.

I had heard so many people say what a fun and cute read The Break Up Artist was that I knew that this was a book that I just had to read for myself.

I think that at some point in our lives we've either been that person that's been pushed aside a little when our best friend finds themselves in a relationship and swept up in the romance and all the feelings that come along with that, or we know someone who has. And haven't we all felt a little bit upset and put out by that? Maybe not to the point where we'd try to break them up, but definitely enough to feel hurt and left out. Or maybe we've even been the one to get wrapped up in our own new relationship.

"After the first dates and romantic gestures peter out, because they all will eventually, you have to be left with a person you still want to look at every day."

Becca is the Break Up Artist. She goes incognito and finds the flaws and exposes them in the relationships she's been hired to end. I have to say that it took me a little while to warm up to Becca. I had this little niggling in the back of my head that kept questioning, what right she had to meddle in peoples affairs? But as the story went on, I found myself pushing that thought aside and just trying to enjoy the story. And I did end up liking Becca, because when it's all said and done, I think her intentions were good, even if I thought she went about some things the wrong way.

Maybe some couples an't be broken, no matter how hard anyone tries.

Becca has been on the receiving end of her best friend Huxley getting a boyfriend and being pushed aside and feeling left out. And while she's moved on and has a new best friend, the feelings of hurt and betrayal remain. But it's not until Becca is hired to break up Huxley and Steve, that she really faces all of those pent up feelings and has the chance to have a good, close up look at their relationship.

I loved that while this book was basically about relationships, it wasn't solely about romance. This book contained love in lots of forms. It really highlighted that love comes in many colours. Love of family and love of friends were the two main ones that I took away with me.

The girls and Mrs Hardwick aww. Am I missing the girl gene that forces me to aww whenever I see something corny? Or was there a mass lobotomy I wasn't invited to?

The Break Up Artist had lots of humour throughout the story and I loved Philip Siegel's way of binding everything together. His writing was fun and witty, just as I had been told it would be. I really liked that there were so many layers to the story and there were little story lines developing all over the place. There was also a great sense of anticipation because of that.

If you love your YA with a good dose of humour and characters who you can relate to because of their flaws and the good dose of reality, then I'd say to grab yourself a copy of The Break Up Artist.

4/5 Cute, Fun Stars.

A huge thank you to Harlequin Australia for the review copy.

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