Saturday, 6 September 2014

Book Review : The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

Goodreads description:

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.

Title: The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegel
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased from Big W

This is one smart, wicked book.

I read a sampler of the first couple chapters off the publisher's facebook page a while ago and love it so the next time I saw the book in stores I immediately got it. I meant who does not want to read a book about breaking up couples for cash?!

I am usually not a fan of relationship drama but the way this was written was bearable and addictive! The main character Becca break-up couples as a 'part time job'. Her life is already complicated with her sister recovering after being left at the alter, her best friend Val just gotten into a relationship and is neglecting their friendship making Becca jealous but also might be falling for Val's boyfriend. To top that, Becca get's an anonymous request to do the impossible, break up the school's IT couple Huxley and Steve. In books there is usually one side story that I don't care for but in this I like all three story! It parallel really well and each side story has a significant role to the book. 

There are alot of realistic talk about love ~ first love, young love, balancing relationships with life/friendship, recovering from a break up etc. It also talks about how it sucks to be the only one who is not in a relationship and the feelings of it (bitterness, left out, jealousy) and how we should not judge a person till we get to know them better.

This book is filled with flawed characters that all plays an important roll in the story development and Becca's character development. Though you aren't suppose to like them, somehow you just can't help but care for them! Well some of them...

What Becca did as 'The Break-Up Artist' was not the best or ideal thing and that she does at first come out as bitter, jealous and full of revenge plot up but as the book progresses we see her reasons and intention where she is breaking up this couples on request of the a friend/ the friends of the couple who feels neglected and unhappy due to the couple's relationship. I actually find her really smart in how she was able to pull out all of those complicated stunts like mapping out to study the target's relationship (in fact it reminded me a bit of a less geeky math and complicated version of the drafts in An Abundance of Katherine),  hacking, sabotaging, black mailing, you name it she goes to some extreme extent of making it happen. Also she has some really witty and sarcastic lines that made me laugh out loud at some parts. She's a very interesting character to read, eventually does learned her mistakes and fixes the problems. She's not the 'perfect role modal' sorta character but she is (to me) realistic and is a good person.

What surprise me was Huxley and that I actually in the end like her character! Trough the book you learn that Huxley was Becca's BFF but had their falling out when they reached High School and when Huxley has a boyfriend. For Becca in order to break up the IT couple she use the 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer' concept by getting onto Huxley's good side in the process get to know her ex-best friend a lot better. At first I thought of her as the manipulative overly attached girlfriend but eventually you can't help but find her likeable and misunderstood.

Val was kinda a love-hate character for me. I was okay with Val being all boy crazy and but not a fan of her being desperate to be in a relationship and was kinda mad at her for neglecting Becca.

While I enjoyed the sister relationship between Becca and Diane, I was once again on the love-hate side for Diane. She goes into depression after being left at the alter. Though it is understandable, part of me want to jump into the book and shake her up and shout 'WAKE UP, GET A JOB AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE!' as in the book it's been over a year since the unfortunate event. Also trough the book she's about her friends moving on with their life and even though they tried to help her she shuts them off and pushes them away.
There was never a dull moment in the book. Fast pace, entertaining, dramatic and addictive. The ending was really good! Its one of those 'Bros before Hoes' important about friendship sorta ending. I kinda feel like there was an opening for a squeal (just saying :P).
Also a little bonus at the end of the book (at least for the paperback edition) there is some 'questioner' that I assume is for if the book is used in school/class where they ask some really good questions about the book as well as a q&a section with the author where he gives some really good advice for aspiring writers.

Overall definitely check this out! Its refreshing, smart and original storyline, witty dialogs, great cast of character that takes a while to warm up to (development people!) with raw realistic scenarios about love, friendship and family.  I am definitely looking forward seeing the next book Philip Siegel publishes. 

1 comment:

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