Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review: The Break-Up Artist

The Break-Up Artist

Publication Date: April 29th 2014         
~A proof copy was provided by Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review~

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.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.


I didn't expect to like the Break-Up Artist as much as I did. Yeah, I know, it's mean and I say it all the time but it applies. It was also unsolicited, and just from the synopsis you don't get much from, it's all about the content. Either way, luckily for The Break-Up Artist it's not as good as it sounds.
It's better.

It's not shallow, there's some hidden depth, and I love undercurrents in my contemporaries. You're expecting light and fluffy and while you do get light and fluffy, you've also got the added bonus of relating to it. But as much as I liked it, I keep coming back to one thing. Is it relative? Yes. Is it believable? No.

That's the main snag for me. Not the fact of someone like The Break-Up Artist being believable, because let's be honest, we live in a shallow, petty and insecure world, but the way the "mean girls" and all the teenage characters acted. Ditching their best friend when they get a boyfriend (sadly, we know that's believable), openly mocking the "singletons" and acting like having a boyfriend was the most important thing in the entire freaking universe and that the ones who weren't all coupled up were beneath them. Because, you know, forget trying to survive high school and actually having priorities guys, you obviously don't exist or have a life without a boyfriend.

This led me to wanting to strangle most of the characters except for our lead and the only one who has an actual brain, Becca- The Break-Up Artist. She breaks up couples for a living, obviously.
The break-up artist is bitter, but not in the way you would think. She doesn't break up couples (for a $100 fee) because she's jealous. She breaks up couples because she's angry. Angry at the people who ditch their friends for a guy, since it happened to her- which in effect is partly responsible for creating The Break-Up Artist.

But, the other thing that made her do what she did, how the Break-Up Artist came to be? Through second-hand experience. Her older sister, Diane, was to be married only to be jilted a few hours before the wedding, and get this- over the phone.
The guys real marriage material.

As every story, there are two sides that. There are also a lot of issues- mainly to do with love and commitment , with a little mix of morals, and while it was funny and witty, there was depth to the characters. (Well, the main ones- minus Huxely. The girls too far gone for hope.)Considering the author is male, he writes out main female character surprisingly well, and Becca's inner dialogue was hilarious.

The Break-Up Artist is a fun, witty story that's not just all sunshine and sparkles, it has a realistic female perspective written by a male and pulled off surprisingly well, but you might want to hit some of the characters. Well, at least I did.

Rating: 4/5