The Break-Up Artist by Phillip Siegel
Published: April 2014
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.
This was a very cutesy style of story. Imagine a giant marshmallow, fluffy and cozy—you can’t help but love the your marshmallow world and never want to leave! This cute spin on YA contemporary surely delivers wit, cheeky punchlines, great laughs and a nice escape from reality.
Becca is an admirable protagonist. Very different from other lead females in YA novels. She’s NOT on the pursuit of a relationship or driven to find the perfect boyfriend and create an epic romance. She simply rolls her eyes at the idea of true love in high school. Instead of finding romantic connections for herself, Becca masquerades as ‘The Break-Up Artist’ and destroys high school power couples. I LOVED this. How many times have you encountered a couple in your life that just makes you want to vomit? I know I sure have! Too bad Becca isn’t real, I could use her. 🙂
The concept of the story was creative, and very in tune with the times. Social media, PayPal, email—that is what life is all about for this generation. The Break-Up Artist gives off a very Shopaholic-style vibe (Sophie Kinsella’s signature writing style.) I would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a fun, easy read.
My only grievance—the use of the word refreshing. Too many things throughout this story were “refreshing,” this word was used so much that each time I saw it, it was almost like it was highlighted on the page. It was such a short story, and there was quite a bit of repetition of this word.
Thank you, NetGalley for the digital review copy.