The Break-Up Artist

Finished The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

ome 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.”

I love this book.  I was pretty sure that I would a few pages in when I encountered minor characters named Lelaina Ryder and Troy Hawke (Reality Bites reference FTW!) and there were a few more references to various other 90s movies (and yay to all of them!).  Even more than that, though, this is a sweet and incredibly clever story.

I think everyone knows how it feels to lose a friend to a new relationship and it always feels worse in high school, as many things seem to.  But Becca has her own way of dealing with the situation: she will break up couples.  (For $100 a pop, which seems kind of expensive, although maybe kids have access to more money than I did as a teen?)

I am excited to read the sequel (The Revenge Artist) and hope to sneak that in sooner rather than later.

Recommended.

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