Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase
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 was rather dubious about The Break-Up Artist at first. I do love a cute and fun contemporary occasionally, but many of the ones I have read were rather forgettable and bland. But I was wrong this time. The Break-Up Artist possesses just the right balance of humour, adorableness and emotional quality.
Becca is The Break-Up Artist. She breaks up couples upon her customers’ request for one hundred dollars via PayPal. But no one knows that it’s her behind the raccoon mask and fake British accent. Her business has been going well, yet when she gets a request to break-up the number one couple at school, Becca is unsure she can do it. After all, this is her ex-best-friend. Two things happened that made Becca decide to become The Break-Up Artist: her older sister’s heart got broken just a week before her wedding over an email, and Becca’s childhood best friend, Huxley, ditched her for her new boyfriend. I could definitely comprehend why Becca did what she did and why she was so anti-romance, even though I thought the idea was pretty bizarre. But hey, for the laughs and fun, right?
“My best friend is pushing me away. You don’t know what that’s like.”
I do. I want to tell her. My eyes wander to the floor and the pair of golden ballet slippers next to my desk. It’s like a hole through your heart that can never be filled. A part of you that is missing forever.
Much to my surprise, The Break-Up Artist is not just focused around romance. If anything, it’s focus point is smack bang on love. Different types of love: sibling and romance but most importantly, friendship. The friendships in The Break-Up Artist were authentically drawn; it showed the ups and downs, and how imperfect it can be at times . Moreover, I found the question: “what is love” to be very interesting. Our main character is anti-romance, but the side characters such as Val–the best friend whom is desperate to find a boyfriend–really makes you wonder: “does she want someone to show off at school or does she want to be in love with someone?” Love is a very strange thing, it just can’t be forced upon. Love is unexpected, and it’ll surprise you when you least expect it.
“People always spout those ridiculous sayings about love. ‘You can’t control love’ or ‘they’re meant to be.’ I think that can also apply to friends.”
The reason why I didn’t give this any higher than 3.5 stars is because The Break-Up Artist isn’t without flaws. At times, I felt like too many things were going off at once–particularly near the end. It could have done with better planning, in my view. Furthermore, there were a lot of stereotypes. I guess it wasn’t a huge issue for me, but in hindsight, things like: “only girls who dance have good boyfriends” was frustratingly stupid. But of course, you could say the author was trying to make the character who said that, to look frustratingly stupid. But above all, I would have loved to have more substance from the secondary characters. I felt inclined to like them, though it’s hard when you only get to see the surface of their personality.
A light hearted novel that will keep you entertained till the end, The Break-Up Artist is definitely a novel I recommend. It’s funny and has a lot to say about love in all it’s forms and ways of showing it.
~Thank you Harlequin Australia for sending me this copy!~
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