Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Revenge Artist (Break-Up Artist #2) by Philip Siegel {REVIEW}

They say money can't buy you love. Becca Williamson begs to differ.

Once upon a time, Becca was the Break-Up Artist, tearing apart unhealthy relationships at her school for just $100 via PayPal. But after a job went really wrong, she went legit for love and now brings couples together. Crushing on that supercute guy in Chemistry but too shy to say hi? Becca has the right formula. Pining for that artsy girl who vowed never to date a jock? Becca will ensure love conquers all. She's even engineered a relationship of her own: the funny, sweet and unbelievably cute Fred Teplitzky, the one guy who knows exactly what to say to make our unflappable heroine...well, flappable.

But before she can pick out a graduation robe and enjoy her last months at Ashland High, Becca has to deal with a new Break-Up Artist on the block. And this master manipulator is dead set on one thing: revenge. Someone is going around destroying all of the couples she's worked hard to unite. Now Becca has to outwit and outscheme her new foe in a dirty cat-and-mouse chase filled with hacked emails, video surveillance, reputation ruining and a few candy hearts. Especially when she realizes that the Revenge Artist's number one target is her and Fred.

Looks like there are no such things as clean breaks.
Author: Philip Siegel
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: November 18th 2015 
                                                      by Harlequin Teen
Previous book in the series: The Break-Up Artist
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

It's funny how often I've come across series books where the sequels exceed the earlier installment/s by leaps and bounds. The same thing happened in case of The Revenge Artist. Like mentioned in my review of the first book of the series, The Break-Up Artist, there were many aspects I didn’t exactly like about that book. There were things that were good, but there were things that could have been a way lot better. I wouldn’t have attempted to read the second installment if I didn’t already have that. And may I admit that this one surprised me, and kind of exceeded my expectations for the book.
The Revenge Artist is the story about the same old Ashland High, the same mains character Becca, except this is Becca 2.0, the ex-break-up artist turned a relationship engineer, as she likes to call herself.

Becca no longer breaks up couple, rather does the opposite now. She plots and brings two people together. The story opens up with Becca and her relationship engineering which has 100% success rate so far. However, things get weird and troublesome when all the couple she made starts splitting one by one. Some blame her for all the misconduct. But she realizes someone is purposefully messing with her, and no matter what trick she resorts to find him/her out, the person seems to be always one step ahead of her.

I loved how Becca grew both as a character and as a person. In the previous book, she annoyed me for the most part. In this one, I liked how she has improved character and thought-wise. Still, some things never change. She is still a control-freak. She seems to be in the very familiar end-of-high-school crisis we all face. She, Val, Fred and everyone she knows will be going to different colleges, different places next year. Every moment she seems to be grasping hard what is left in the now, in the present moment. Aside from the mysterious person who is sending her candies and teddy bears, her life is complicated by the fact that Val, her best friend seems to be slipping away from her with each passing moment, and Fred seems to have a life-long plan for the two of them which freaks her out. Sure, there are moments where I still hated Becca, but hey, there definitely were some improvements.

I love how friendship is one of the recurring themes here, just like the first book. Half the time, Becca is worrying about Val and her friendship and not turning into a relationship zombie. I particularly like Val, because she seems to have improved as a character as well, though giving a more prominent voice would've been nice. One thing I didn't like was how Fred's character shapes up in the book. Since it is the second book, I expected him to be more improved. But his sole purpose seems to be Becca's boyfriend, again. Most of  All the things he says or does includes Becca. It really annoys me when a significant character in a book ends up as a mere ghost of that person. Another thing that bothered me was the culprit. I expected some nerve racking revelation about the revenge artist, but what I got was an average confrontation. If it's any consolation, the suspense and the mystery partially makes up for the discovery.

This book is definitely better than the first one, that is, if you had enough patience to finish the first one. Compared to The Break-Up Artist, The Revenge Artist isn't a complete disappointment.

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