Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door
“Original, funny, brilliant…Not a cliche in it. I adored this book.”
Hannah Harrington, author of Speechless and Saving June
“An exceptionally clever, entertaining, and fast-paced debut.”
Lauren Morrill, author of Meant to Be
“The Break-Up Artist reads like your new favorite rom-com. I couldn’t stop laughing at Becca’s Machiavellian hijinks and snarky one-liners!”
“A fun, lighthearted romp with all the makings of a good rom-com, this romantic darling has it all: laughs, intrigue and a healthy dash of love conquering all.”
Barnes & Noble Book Blog
“…tons of humor and heart, an unconventional lead, and a surprisingly touching family subplot.”
As far as debut novels go, this is undoubtedly one of my most favorite. There was so much to like about it, that it’s hard to point out any flaws. When looking for a new author, it’s stories like this that build up a strong reader base and keep them hooked.
When I read the title, my mind was instantly reminded of the movie, “Easy A,” and it was hard not to draw similarities between the two. But despite that, it was clear that this was a unique thought. We all draw elements from other works that inspire us, but it’s how we interpret and make it our own that keeps it fresh and exciting.
Normally, we see people wanting to help others in crappy situations, but not usually at the expense of others. Becca, our protagonist, has been burned by her best friend, left for some guy. Many girls and women can relate to this situation, whether they were the friend who got ditched for some dude or did the ditching. Having a relatable story is so important nowadays, as it makes the reader more invested and eager for the outcome.
But while Becca may be bitter, she does have a point. Love isn’t the be-all end-all everyone believes it to be in high school. Most of those relationships are superficial at best, and she’s just pointing that out.
We then meet Val, Becca’s new best friend. She reminds me a lot of Tamara from MTV’s “Awkward,” and that’s not a bad thing. Val is so focused on landing herself a boyfriend, creating these rules and joining different clubs and activities, that Becca slips to the background once again. She knows that as soon as Val gets that elusive boyfriend, she’ll be dropped as she won’t “understand” what its like and that she needs to jump on the bandwagon. But being in a relationship shouldn’t define a person, and Becca understands that.
Because of the situations in her past, Becca has become the “Break-Up Artist,” and for $100 via PayPal, she’ll break anyone up. So when she gets hired to destroy the relationship of the school’s cutest couple–which involves her ex best friend–she jumps at the chance, and this is where the story really picks up.
By this point, Val has snagged a guy, and while she hasn’t dropped Becca completely, she’s on the verge. Girls can become so wrapped up in their boyfriends that they forget the people who were there before them. Becca sees Val slipping away from her, and this is made perfectly clear when the three of them go to the movies. She’s the instant third wheel and the author does a fantastic job of portraying just what she’s feeling in that moment, not to mention the embarrassment that follows shortly after.
The story progresses and we see Becca integrating herself in the popular circle to better break up the popular couple. However, in doing so, she starts to reconnect with her old friend, Huxley. On top of that, there’s a connection between Becca and Val’s boyfriend, Ezra, and that’s troubling.
At first, I really enjoyed the interaction between the two, despite the fact that Ezra was dating Becca’s best friend. That happens all the time, but keeping it platonic is hard. But reading about Becca crossing that line was not only difficult, it was natural. So many times friends will “steal” the other’s boyfriend/girlfriend, but it takes two to tango and friends are immediately blamed, as the significant others can do no wrong.
In this instance, it’s clear that Ezra led Becca to this, and when he turns on her, we see the ugly nature we’ve expected and have been given hints about. It’s now up to Becca to save her friend from this creep of a guy. Which is harder than it sounds as these types of guys know what they’re doing and how to play their cards right so they come out smelling like roses.
The ending was something that I especially enjoyed. It wasn’t too clear how the knowledge of who the “Break-Up Artist” was going to come out. There were so many possibilities that it kept it from being predictable and made it that much more enjoyable. But this wasn’t just a story about the truth behind high school relationships. It was about family and friendship and how relationships can sometimes define a person, even without them knowing.
There’s so much to like about this story that it’s hard to get it all into a review, and something you’ll just have to read for yourself.
[Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]
Rating: 5/5 Stars