Monday, March 21, 2016

The Break-Up Artist (Break-Up Artist #1) by Philip Siegel {REVIEW}

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash.

Some work at the mall.

Becca Williamson breaks up couples.

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 at the altar. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Becca strikes back—for just one hundred dollars via PayPal, she will trick and manipulate any couple's relationship into smithereens. And with relationship zombies overrunning her school and treating single girls as if they're second-class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even Becca's best friend, Val, has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple in school: Huxley and raw football team's star player, Steve. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date—starting rumors, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars...not to mention sneaking back into Huxley's good graces. All while fending off the inappropriate feelings she may or may not be having for Val's new boyfriend.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist would be easy.
Author: Philip Siegel
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Chick-Lit, Romance
Publication Date:  April 29th 2014 
                                                by Harlequin Teen

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
My Review:
I have a mixed reaction for this book. I had to spend a good deal of time thinking whether to give it a 3.5 or not. There are both upsides as well as downsides to this book.


For a pretty good amount of time at the beginning, I kinda hated Becca. I actually kept on hoping to read more about anyone except her. While the plot is undoubtedly a good one, seeing it in action often made me wanna hit my head hard. I don't like people playing either the cupid or the anti-version of it. But that's not the reason I hated Becca (not majorly at least). After a point (when good boy Fred enters) when Becca starts to contradict everything she's believed about love and relationships, she appears hypocritical. I know people who dis love and romance often end uo falling hoplessly in love. But somehow Becca's character couldn't convince me of it. Also, I didn't like the kind of picture I get of high school, and more importantly, girls, from her. I don't have anything against girls portrayed as stereotyped girls in stories. But the amount of degradation done here is pathetic to me. It's like all they could talk about was boys, or how to get a guy and how to make boys go gaga over you. I'm not a man-hater, but I don't like such extreme level of pathetic. Everyone loooovess dem boys. Boys are the be all and end all in Ashland High.
"I need a boy."...Vulnerability and desperation flicker in her eyes.
Give me a break.


Apart from Becca's character one other thing that kind of ruined half the story for me was the way relationships were portrayed. Like I said, I don't like the cupid-anti-cupid thing. I don't believe relationships can be created or broken by a third, a complete outsider. And in the book, all the relationships in and outside Ashland high seem out and out superficial to me. I couldn't connect and nor could I feel any guilt or sympathy when a relationship ended and went through a rough patch.


Among the positive things though, I really loved Val and Becca's bonding. One thing this book does show is the power of friendship. Becca and Huxley are like archenemies. Yet they somehow come to respect the bond they once shared. Val, despite all the ups and downs, means everything to Becca. Apart from that, Fred's character is a nice addition as a male lead, though his sole purpose s=in the book seems to be about making Becca has a guy to her.

Overall, this is one of the books that left me satisfied by the end because of the way it concludes, for what its worth. I'd suggest going through a few more reviews before deciding to buy or read this one. As for the sequel, I already have a copy of The Revenge Artist so I might as well just give that a go.

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