Summary (as seen on Goodreads):
Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples.
After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.
No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.
As the easiest way for me to do this is to separate Yays and Nays, that is how I will go about my attempts to review this novel.
- The concept. This is a risky premise to attempt to execute, so for guts and a creative story idea, this story scores extra points.
- I liked how Robert Towne is involved in the story. To prevent spoilers, I will leave it at that.
- Diane's side-story. She was well involved in the novel, and her character developed well.
- Dynamic characters. Many of the characters such as Becca, Diane, and Val change a lot throughout the course of the story, which was enjoyable to see.
- The event that causes a change in Huxley and Becca's friendship. That was cleverly done, and proof that they were previously friends. Don't want to say too much now in the interest of spoiler alerts.
- The ending. Certain aspects of it were nice and didn't follow the typical ending too closely, so that was appreciated.
- Overwhelming number of character introductions. Not that people aren't important, but within 30 pages as a reader I cannot be meeting 10+ characters all at once. It's too much, and makes it difficult to get to know any of them.
- The beginning of Val and Ezra's relationship had a very unrealistic feeling. Yes, high school relationships can start spontaneously, but it read much more like a middle-school relationship.
- This entire book is basically about romantic love. Yes, there are also themes of friendship, but it got a little difficult to keep reading about how relationships were all people could think about. True, that was probably the point, but relationships still could have been presented in a more realistic way.
- Part of the mystery surrounding Diane's story just seems really unresolved, and her story is probably the most interesting part of this novel. There's definitely potential there for more development.
- Beeca as a protagonist was okay. Her identity as the Break-Up Artist defines her too much, and as readers it's hard to get to know her as a person beyond that.
Overall, the plot is memorable, and the book was okay on the whole. It did make me think about love and relationships, which is always good--a good book makes readers think a lot about life after reading it. So if that's something you're interested in, then this is the book for you. If not, there might be other books that are a better use of time.
So since I feel fairly neutrally about this book, I'll give it 3 jellyfish!
(I made them with Paint, don't judge too hard.)
Thanks for tuning in, and look out for another book review soon!