REVIEW: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
The Break-Up Artist immediately attracted me when I heard about it because I don’t think I’ve read a novel with the same concept before, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was original, and lots of fun.
The Break-Up Artist, written in first person, is centred on the life of Becca, an American student who, anonymously, gets contracted to break up couples. Becca is a sceptic and knows the damage love can do: her own sister was jilted at the altar and now lives in a constant dejected state. When Becca is asked to break up the school’s power couple, Huxley and Steve, she knows it won’t be easy, but these things come at a price…
The novel started out good, but then it got even better. Siegel has crafted Becca’s voice so well and made it both realistic and believable. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy to write a teenage girl’s voice, but Siegel pulled it off flawlessly. Becca could be viewed as an unlikable character because of what she does, but instead I found myself sympathising with her and it was obvious to see why she was the way she was.
I really liked the contrast between Becca and her friend Val, who was desperate for a boyfriend. Their different emotions were really nice to see and how they treated one another because of them. I also really liked how all of the girls felt as if one of the most important things was to get a boyfriend because I know many people who feel the same way and I think it was good to address the fact that, actually, it’s not important at all.
The Break-Up Artist is a great example of a contemporary novel pulled off really well. It conjured up vivid images and it was easy to imagine yourself in Becca’s shoes.
Diane, Becca’s sister, also had a clear character arc that ran alongside the main plot. Siegel slowly fed us information about her past and it came together nicely at the end.
If you’re a fan of contemporary fiction, you should definitely read The Break-Up Artist. You’re in for a treat!