Author: Philip Siegel
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Publication Date: April 29, 2014
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley
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.
A cute and fun read, this book also tackles some serious issues about being a good friend, romantic relationships, and self-image (and whether you need a boyfriend in order to be happy). Becca goes to a high school with a population made up of 65% guys and 35% girls. So it's basically pretty tough to have a boyfriend and those who do sort of lord it over those who don't. Enter Becca…the break-up artist. Her best friend ditched her in middle school because of a guy (and now she's Queen Bee, part of the school's power couple), her sister got dumped six hours before her wedding, and she watches her parents basically act like siblings. Thus, she's rather jaded when it comes to love and feels like she's doing a service by breaking up these couples.
Although I knew Becca was basically a good person, sometimes it was hard to like her because she makes some pretty horrible decisions, mainly because she thinks she knows everything. But she felt real. People make mistakes, sometimes they do selfish things, and the author does a great job creating complex and gray characters. Becca schemes, she plots, and everything spirals out of control. But she does grow up and learn from her mistakes.
I enjoyed this book, it was a refreshing change, not the typical contemporary romance. So if you're expecting that, you won't get it, but you will get an entertaining book with a unique and clever plot.
Posted by: Pam