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.
First Sentence: Couples are made to be broken.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
As soon as I heard about The Break-Up Artist, I knew that I had to get the book in my hands, preferably as soon as possible. I mean, how could you not be interested in a book about a girl who breaks up couples as her job? How? I mean, if I had the courage and the time to break-up couples, I would totally be in Becca’s position, but ahem, that’s not our main focus right now. Our main focus is the book itself. Anyways, The Break-Up Artist was definitely a fun read, but it also definitely had its faults.
The first one-fourth or so of The Break-Up Artist started off slow. There were a lot of background-building (a word I invented, kind of) – Philip Siegel slowly introduced us to the characters’ personalities, the characters’ relationships with one another and their histories, the school environment and the social ladder, and how exactly Becca became the Break-Up Artist. It took me awhile to really get into the book (I’ll say about sixty pages or so), but when I actually got into it, I was hooked.
That Monday at school, I realized I was not alone. I overheard different girls in different groups – girls who usually would never say two words to each other – complaining about the same problem: couples. (ARC 56)
First, let me talk about The Break-Up Artist‘s world-building, or in this case, Becca’s high school. (Don’t worry guys, The Break-Up Artist doesn’t only take place in Becca’s high school, but is the only focus in the world-building that I wanted to talk about.) Let me tell you this: I am so glad and so relived that I didn’t go to a high school like Becca’s. Becca’s high school is so unbelievable. Basically, the school social ladder revolves around whether you’re a couple with somebody else or not. If you’re a couple, you’re automatically popular. If you’re not, you might as well be invisible and be considered a reject. People will feel sorry for you. Even the teachers worship couples and let them act all cutesy and outrageously in class. I was literally facepalming and embarrassed for the teachers when I read those unbelievable moments. I think a high school like Becca’s can really exist (I’ll give it a 7% chance), but I’m not completely sure since I went to a very competitive high school who can care less about couples. However, I am not sure about the awwing over couples teacher aspect in The Break-Up Artist. That might be going a little too far with the couples focus in my book. Or a lot too far.
There were also other unbelievable moments in The Break-Up Artist that had me side-eyeing the book. There was this one scene in the book where this popular high school football player was declaring his love for his girlfriend in FRONT OF AN ENTIRE CROWD. He was in the ultra cheesy mode: he talked about how much he loved her, how she makes him feel so happy (he even compared it to walking on the moon), and how he looks forward to seeing her everyday. Oops, I forgot to add something, this guy did that in front of an entire crowd AND his parents. Things like this makes me wonder if the teenagers’ actions in The Break-Up Artist were exaggerated a little too much. (The answer is “yes.”)
“You make me feel like I’m walking on the moon, and I don’t want that to end. I love you so much.” (ARC 213)
A lot of characters made me angry in this book. I’ll admit it, I’ve written at least three sentences that could be considered “warnings” to the characters in my notes. The Break-Up Artist drew that much emotions from me. However, the character that angered me the most was the main character, Becca. The summary for The Break-Up Artist hinted that there might be a cheating plot to this book and warning: there IS an actual cheating plot to the book, starting from about 60% of the book. Basically, I was supporting Becca and her actions 100% until that cheating plot popped up. At those moments, I just wanted to shake her, scream at her, and knock some sense into her. I don’t think I need to say that I definitely do not support cheating.
Overall, The Break-Up Artist definitely had its ups and downs. If you don’t mind reading a book with a cheating plot in it, I definitely will recommend it. If you’re not a fan of cheating in books, then run far, far away from this one.
“I can’t stop thinking about you,” he says.
“Me, too.” But I’m also thinking of Val. I squeeze his hand, wanting him to squeeze back. (ARC 234)
One last thing though – a friend told me there might be a sequel to The Break-Up Artist. My personal opinion is this: What?! Why?! Why do we even need a sequel? The Break-Up Artist ended perfectly. Sure there is this one very tiny thing that could be explored, but we don’t need a sequel. What would be in the sequel anyway, people getting into relationships? Just, no thank you.