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
Publishes in US: April 29th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Contemp
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The Break-Up Artist came on my radar when I saw it for review on Netgalley. I liked the premise, and even though I knew that the main character, Becca would probably undergo a crazy transformation on her views of dating and love.
Sure enough, at first, Becca was very jaded. She scoffed at PDA, and she felt a solidarity with her other single friend Val. She'd lost her best friend from earlier in life when she dated a new guy quarterback and her popularity skyrocketed, and on top of that Becca's sister was left right before her wedding. So, she has seen the pain and the devastation that being in a relationship can bring, so she offers her services to break up couples, thinking she is saving them from pain later on. She gets pretty divisive in her goals to break up others, and gets a challenge she isn't sure that she can do.
I guess some of my problems were that the characters seemed really immature at times and that there was maybe too much drama for me at times. I know that some of this is just the nature of the book and subject. It's about a girl who breaks up couples, so I should have predicted there would be fall out and then also the actions of Becca catching up to her. And they did, but I think that she first went downhill in her actions rather than a steady character growth and realization about the realities of life, love and relationships. I know that as a freshman in high school that you aren't going to have full understanding, but I think that she just saw things in a slanted light without the full stories on what she made her decisions made on.
I like how things wrapped up though, and I wanted to know what would happen overall, so while I had the above issues, I also didn't want to stop reading and it kept my interest. I liked the friendship between her and Val , that they clicked and understood each other so well. I love when stories emphasize good friendships that can last through the excitement of new boyfriends or even when not-so-smart and harmful to other person decisions are made and there is forgiveness. I also like the closeness of Becca and her sister. Even though a lot of their time together is spent plotting the break-up artist stuff, they do have real conversations and I love how much Becca cared and pushed Diane to face some of the things that was wrong in her life and reconcile with some of her friends.
Disclaimer: There is cheating, and while I hated every minute of it, I think that it taught that character a lot. It was hard to see it behind a best friend's back, but it was okay for me considering nature of the story as well as drama level. I still don't condone it, but understand that hormones can make us believe crazy stuff and make poor decisions.Bottom Line: Solid friendship and family relationships but as expected a lot of drama and people hurt, but also healed.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been a part of breaking up a couple or friendship?