Book Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

21569098Title: 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

Source: Library

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 —


Le sigh.

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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.

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angry animated GIF

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.



9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

  1. Awww, I’m sorry you didn’t like this one, Kara (at ALL, sounds like it). Actually, it’s funny you mention the nodding/shaking head thing. I’ve seen the phrase “I shake my head no” in a LOT of books and now I’m wondering if there’s some secret cult that does the opposite. And maybe they buy a lot of books so writers have to cater for them as well.

    Don’t mind me, it’s early in the morning and my brain doesn’t want to work. But yeah, this doesn’t really appeal to me :/

  2. Nope! Definitely not for me. Breaking people up for a living (whilst I HS even! pffft) is just so wrong and her being catty and nonchalant about it is worse. Now if she were playing matchmaker I might read it despite it being YA. On 15 Sep 2014 05:33, “Diary of a Teen Writer” wrote:

    > Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer posted: “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 Source: Library Description: Becca knows from experience > t”

  3. I already had my doubts about this one before reading your review, and I think this just confirmed them. Sad to see you didn’t like it – but to be honest the concept doesn’t sound that appealing to me either, and if none of the characters are the least bit likeable and the writing just doesn’t sit right then its understandable that you didn’t enjoy it. Thanks for your honest review Kara, I guess some books just aren’t for everybody!

  4. *pats on back* this sounded traumatic and honestly terrible. But your review is so incredibly funny, yes *nodding head*. Yours is the first review I’ve seen to pick up on that, considering how bloody annoying that would be. I think it’s a case of hello, captain obvious. What else would you be nodding? The characters sound like a cross between cardboard and like needing a swift kick to the genitals. I’m so sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this one more, but brilliant review <3

  5. Okay. Fourth time attempting posting this comment. I keep somehow accidentally deleting the comment or the tab. Hopefully this time it goes well.

    I’m so sorry this one didn’t work for you, Kara – especially after having such a great reading run! I’ve had this book on my Goodreads TBR ever since it was just about to be released. However, I haven’t heard much about it. A few reviews that left the reading feeling indifferent and one rather positive review. While I don’t agree that breaking up a relationship between two people, whether it will last or not, and getting paid for it nonetheless, is morally correct, it certainly does make a good topic for debate.

    Thanks for a wonderful and honest review, Kara. I don’t think I’ll take this off of my TBR just yet, but I’m definitely not going to make it a priority.

    Also, SHERLOCK GIF!! <3

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