The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegal
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
No one said being the break-up artist would be easy.
Becca knows from experience the damage that love can do. After all, it was so-called love that turned Huxley from her childhood best friend into a social world dictator, and love that left Becca’s older sister devastated and alone at the altar. So it’s for the common good that Becca carries out her secret missions as the Break-up Artist- well, and for one hundred dollars via PayPal.
Then one night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple at school: Huxley and Steve. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date-starting rumours, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars- not to mention sneaking back into Huxley’s good graces. All while fending off the inappropriate feelings Becca may or may not be having for her BFF Val’s new boyfriend.
Plot: The Break-up Artist is about a young girl called Becca, who after her sister was broken up with the day of her wedding, starts an online business called The Break-up Artist. Clients come to her to get her to break-up up couples because they believe that they would be better off apart. All this of course comes at a price payable by PayPal. Everything has been running smoothly in the business until someone contacts her saying they are a close family friend of popular boy Steve Overland and they want her to break up his relationship with Huxley Mapother (her ex-best friend) so that he can go and play baseball at college and they are willing to give her a huge fee.
After much consideration Becca finally agrees and starts devising a plan. She gets in with the ‘cool’ crowd and becomes friends with Huxley again. But in doing so she is pushing her actual Best Friend Val away which is exactly what Huxley did to her. Can Becca pull off the biggest break up of her life and do it all without anyone finding out who she is?
Thoughts on the book: Upon getting an outline for this book to see if I would be interested in reading it, I knew that I defiantly would because that said outline captured my attention straight away. I mean who would have thought about being a break-up artist when they were in high school certainly not me. But I loved the concept that got her involved in being the break-up artist and how she could identify with some her clients because she has had some of the same experiences such as her sister being left at the alter and her ex-best friend falling in love with a guy and then leaving her to her own devices.
The storyline involving her sister was also a highlight for me. Getting to see how depressed she was and how she thought the whole world hated her and was laughing at her you could see that so many people would identify with her who had been in the same situation. But it was great to see that by the end of the story she was accepting what had happened and was working to fix everything in her life to where it used to be.
I really enjoyed this book and found it quite interesting that it was written by a male. Philip Siegal did so well writing from a female’s point of view and got a lot of female traits down pat. And I must say that I was relieved to find out that there would be another book written with the same characters. Maybe instead of being the break-up artist Becca becomes the Hook-Up artist and gives people information and advice on people that they are interested in and help set them up. At the back of my copy of the break-up artist there is a Q&A with Phillip Siegal and one of the questions asked was:
Q. Becca has learned the error of her vigilante ways. What’s next for Becca? Are you writing another book about her adventures at Ashland High?
A. I am! The Break-Up Artist tells a complete story, but I am excited to revisit these characters and see how their lives have changed after everything that happened. Can Huxley and Becca reconcile? Will Diane stop spilling food on her sweatshirts? As you read in the epilogue, Becca is deciding to use her skill for good rather than evil. But we’ll see if her scheming can make a smooth transition into matchmaking.
Clearly by reading this we know that we are getting to get more books about Becca and I am so excited.
Favourite character: I really liked Huxley in The Break-Up Artist. She has so many layers to her that we only get glimpses of but made me want to know more about her. There is the hard tough shell that she exudes as a coach of SDA (the dance colour war at Ashland that was created to provide a less gymnastics-centric alternative to cheerleading). The loved up side that she shows everyone when she is around Steve and the popular crowd. And lastly the venerable side that we get to see when she gets closer to Becca when Huxley believes that she will lose Steve.
Favourite part: SPOLIER ALERT
My favourite part is the very end so if you don’t want to find out what happens then don’t read ahead.
‘I didn’t even like Derek that much. He was so pompous and controlling,’ Bari says.
He wasn’t that into you either, I want to stay.
‘He’s not like Jay,’ she says.
‘Jay who?’ I ask. I pick up my lipstick and reapply. (Don’t give me that look. It fell unopened into the sink, and I wiped off the tube.)
‘Wolpert. He’s so hot. But I don’t think he likes me like that.’
Jay Wolpert… I rummage through my memory for some intel.
‘Isn’t Jay a huge Neta fan?’ He sat behind me in bio class sophomore year. All he would talk about was basketball. It was like having your own personal ESPN. What little I know about sports, I eavesdropped from him.
‘Yeah, he’s big into sports.’
‘I think the NBA play-offs are coming up. You should just chat him up about that.’
‘I don’t know. I can’t just bring it up randomly.’
‘Guys love when girls talk about sports. It’s like their fashion.’
‘I can’t just walk up to him and start talking about point guards.’ Bari stands and checks out her hair in the mirror. Half is blonde, the bottom half, brunette. Her head is a duplex. ‘I really need to get this fixed.
At least she knows it.
‘He and his friends watch games at that bar and grill place the Hydrant. They always talked about it because the bartenders don’t card.’ A plan forms in my head. Details sketch themselves out without trying. It’s habit, like people who can’t stop singing along to the radio. ‘They’ll probably watch the play-offs there.’
‘So maybe I could watch the play-offs there, too?’ Her face lights up with excitement, and I can’t believe this was the girl who wanted to give me a swirlie a minute ago.
‘No, no, no. That’s too obvious. You need to build up to that. You need to bond with Jay about basketball first, then get him to invite you to watch it with him.’ I gaze at both of us in the mirror, unsure what I’m getting into, but enjoying it.
‘You think you can help me out?’ Bari asks.
‘For a hundred dollars via PayPal I can.’
She shoots me a nasty look.
‘Okay. Maybe this one’s on the house.’