Title: The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegel
Format/Length: Paperback/308 pages
Publisher/Date Published: May 1st 2014/Harlequin Teen
Category/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Description: 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.
1/5 stars —
This book was . . . bluntly put, the worst I’ve quite in quite some time. Recently, I’ve hit a streak of pretty good books (don’t you just love that when it happens??) but this one . . . this one I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around. And not in a good way — not at all. There was just so many things that bothered me about this novel that I don’t even know where to start, so I’m going to start with the basics: how it was written. I don’t claim to be an amazing writer (I’m not) but there was a couple of things that bothered me.
Redundancy, for example.
1. “I nod my head.” (Pg. 215)
2. “I shake my head no.” (Pg. 229)
3. “I nod yes.” (Pg. 296)
Like I said, I’m not an expert writer. But really (example 1) what other part of your body are you going to nod? Have you ever seen someone nod their shoulders, or their legs? NO. OF COURSE SHE’S NODDING HER HEAD. Example 2: Um, duh. I’ve never seen a person who’s shaking their head when they actually mean “yes”. The same goes with the third example — it was unnecessary small things like these which made my eyebrows raise.
This story is about Becca. She breaks up couples for money.
Oh, oh, and here’s her reasoning! She figures that, hey, these couples aren’t going to last anyway, so what’s the harm of breaking them up? That made me angry. Yeah, so she was probably right: many of the couples weren’t going to last — but so what? But she caused a lot of unnecessary emotional stress to people, if you ask me. People will eventually realize that they aren’t right for each other, and they’ll break up on their own. They don’t need someone else — let alone someone who’s being paid for it — to do it for the.
None of the characters — nope, not even one — were likeable.
Especially Becca’s best friend (who’s name I can’t even be bothered to remember), who felt like she needed to have a boyfriend. LISTEN UP, GIRLS. YOU DON’T NEED A MAN. YOU DON’T. DESPITE WHAT CRAP YOU MUST THINK, YOU DON’T. Half the time I wanted to shake her and Becca to their senses.
Even the description bothered me.
“…for just one hundred dollars via PayPal…” Oh, yes. Just one hundred dollars. No biggie, I’ll just reach over to my Money Tree and grab a couple of notes for you. (I don’t know about other teenagers, but one hundred dollars seems like a lot for me.)
For the most part, it was rather boring.
The Break-Up Artist was mostly dull — and I don’t know whether that’s because I was so fed up with the characters and writing by then — but I literally had to force myself to read further. I felt relieved when I finished the novel so I could pick up another, and hopefully better one. I don’t mean to sound rude in this review, but I just had too many issues with it to really be able to say anything positive. This was just . . . not a good book for me.
Read it, sure, if you want, but it’s not something I’d recommend.