The Break-Up Artist
Sometimes couples are made to be broken—high-school singleton Becca knows that for sure. It’s not like life has given her much to love about love anyway—her sister, Diane, left at the altar six hours before her wedding, already wearing her imported gown with all the trappings. Her *ex* best friend, Huxley, dropping Becca to climb the social ladder as soon as she started dating Steve Overland, the town golden boy and football superstar. Her mom and dad, never showing any untoward affection, but simply letting their life become full of chaste kisses and blank stares. That’s why Becca became the Break-Up Artist. To break up the couples that are just together to climb the ladder. To break up the couples that have destroyed friendships and broken all the rules. To break up the couples that would have never worked out anyway. You name the couple; she’ll orchestrate the split—for a hundred dollars via PayPal, of course. Business is booming—until Becca gets the call to break up the school’s power couple, the notoriously choke-on-your-spit sweethearts, Steve and Huxley. Yep. That Steve and Huxley. The same couple that tore Becca’s life apart. The Steve and Huxley that live every day like they’re in a blockbuster rom-com. She accepts. Set out on her new mission of retribution (and possibly retaliation?) Becca has to pull out all the stops—coordinating fights, impairing cell phones, stirring up rumors, and doing what she does best—causing a little mayhem.
“Love. People us that word to go around and do what they please. They don’t have to worry about who gets hurt because it’s all in the name of love. Love has no rules, no boundaries…..That doesn’t make it whimsical, that makes it a tyrant.”
This book was a certain novelty, to be sure. Many authors come up with brilliant ideas and storylines, just like this one, but few are able to do their idea justice through masterful storytelling and prose. Philip Siegel is one of the few. The idea for The Break-Up Artist was a good one—and he nailed it. Siegel used just the right amount of humor, sentence structure, and quirkiness to make this book stand out from the rest. I for one fell in love with Becca automatically. I believe Becca’s experiences with relationships connect her with anyone that’s single, in a relationship, or had their heart broken. Another one of the main things I loved about this book was the lack of empty drama. In young adult literature, it seems when that unavoidable downfall comes, you meet with a least three chapters of angst-filled pages with the wails of “why me?” and “I’m never going to show my face again!” Thankfully, Siegel kept the stagy woe-is-me to a mere two pages (seriously, I checked), and that was it. Becca didn’t feel sorry for herself. She picked herself up and kept going—without all the drama that goes with it. And just when I thought I had this book all figured out and tied up in a bow—BAM! A plot twist that changed the game. Altogether, The Break-Up Artist was a lovely, joyous read that I would certainly recommend for your end-of-term booklist.
“We all like to think that there’s one person out there who will rescue us from the tower…But that’s not how the real world works.”
I would recommend this book for ages nine and up. There is some underage drinking, and, as every book that has a relationship in it, a little PDA, but other than that, you’re all good.
Focused on pulling off the biggest breakup yet, will Becca be successful in her quest to shake up the relationship zombies of Ashland High School? Read The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel to find out!