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.
The Break-Up Artist tells a familiar tale while keeping things fresh and original.
Usually we’re faced with the matchmaker (Clueless, which is one of the best movies ever (duh)), but in this case, we see things in the perspective of someone who’s up to the task of tearing couples apart. Even better, seeing just how much taking on this particular job messes with Becca’s social life.
I do wish we would have seen some more of Val and Becca’s relationship. Their friendship was so sweet and it’s always great seeing a good bramance (who invented this word? Does it exist or did I just make it up? I’m not sure) play out on the pages. We need way more of these, FYI, but I’ll rant about that some other time. Ezra was, being pretty honest here, on my nerves from the very start. I personally have this thing against people who swear to be movie buffs and talk of nothing but, which is coincidental considering everyone here at The Young Folks is one of those people, but make no mistake, I love them all to death! It’s something about the way Ezra carried himself, almost as if being a movie-buff made him better than everyone else that really got on my nerves. I’m not even making sense anymore, am I? I don’t know, Siegel just had a really good way of going about dropping hints that his and Val’s relationship wasn’t all that it was looking out to be. I wish we would have gotten more screen time with Fred, who was kind of adorable, but word has it that Philip is working on some sort of sequel/companion novel, so hopefully we’ll get some more of him in the future. I also kind of sort of loved Huxley and Steve and liked the way things turned out for them in the end, and hope in Philip’s future installment we see more of them, as well. Diane was one of my favorite characters to read about, though. Her side of the story was interesting and I liked how things really built up for her before all sides of the story were revealed. I’m not exactly sure if Becca was the villain or the hero in this particular case, but at no point in time during the course of the book did I find myself angry with her and that is partially Philip’s fault for making her quite so lovable. Love, love, loved her!
Becca’s talent for breaking up couples, while useful, deemed to be too provoking and I liked the small turn Siegel hinted at towards the end of the novel. I love that she was able to make something good out of her unusual, to say the least, talent.
The Break-Up Artist is an outstanding debut that is sure to stand out among all the other fabulous releases that’ll be emerging this year.
Did I also mention that Philip loves Goodfellas and everyone hates Goodfellas but I don’t and this makes me happy? Because it’s very true.