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{April 29, 2014}   {ARC Review} The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

The Break Up ArtistFrom Goodreads: 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.

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Admit it. There has always been that one relationship (or two) that you were dying to break-up. Whether it was because your best friend turned into someone different, or the couple was in so deep they couldn’t see how wrong they were for each other, or perhaps just because you were jealous—you’ve wished that someone would come along and break them up. Meet Becca. She’s your person.

I have to admit that I nearly didn’t pick up this novel. Readers just know going in that Becca is going to get caught, that the people in her school are going to make an example of her, and that it’s just not going to end well for her. And because that sounds very much like a bunch of teen movies I’ve seen, I nearly stopped myself before I even began reading. And I’m so glad that I didn’t listen to my inner monologue. The Break-Up Artist is actually a hilarious tale and, though we know how it’s going to end from the very beginning, Siegel makes this novel stand apart from all the teen angst movies and books out there, and I highly enjoyed nearly every minute of it.

Becca has seen how relationships can ruin a person, so she’s made it her job to break up relationships before they get to the stage where they ruin lives. Amazingly enough, well, perhaps not knowing human nature, there are tons of clients willing to pay the masked break-up artist if she can successfully break up the couple in question. And in the beginning, it seems harmless enough. She really is doing some people a favor by breaking them up, as seen by how self-absorbed and forgetful they become around their significant other. It’s true, people change around their beau, especially teens in relationships, and so it makes sense that Becca has found a calling in “helping” her peers return to their right sense of mind.

When Becca is asked to break up Huxley and Steve, she takes on the challenge, and hilarity ensues along the way, but so do some very real life lessons, like fate, friendship, and right from wrong. Becca has a lot to learn in the love department, and at one point even she is duped into the “relationship” throng, going against everything she’s ever preached, and learning that perhaps what she’s doing isn’t right at all. Constantly battling against herself and her desire for friendship, especially as she see’s her true friend, Huxley, return to her, Becca has a lot of growing up to do, and this is the perfect tale to tell it all. Though I didn’t agree with her when it came to her best-friend’s boyfriend—in fact I found her to be quite silly in her antics here—I get what she’s going through, and I just adored how the entire story unfolded. And there’s going to be a sequel of sorts—I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Becca! Four stars.

4 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Harlequin Teen has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release today!

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