The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: A Review

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel: A ReviewThe Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
on 1st May 2014
Pages: 308
Format: Paperback
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.

Becca doesn’t have the usual part-time job. For just $100 Becca will break up any couple in high school. Using precautions to keep herself anonymous, Becca tailor makes her break-up strategies per couple and personalizes the break up experience…. It may seem harsh but Becca knows just how much relationships can hurt – and not just the couple in them. Friends, sisters and family are all in the crossfire when a good relationship goes bad and Becca see what she is doing as just hastening the inevitable break up before things get too serious.

Some may see Becca as enterprising, others as a destroyer of young love. She’s been burned by teen romances before despite not being involved directly in one. Her best friend, Huxley, was her closest companion until Huxley started dating Steve. Huxley went from being slightly plain and on the outskirts to being popular and stylish and had no need for Becca’s friendship anymore. Becca just wants to save other girls from the same fate – to not throw their friendships away for a relationship which will probably only last five minutes. Becca’s sisters Diane may be out of high school but she’s also been burned by love. Now a shell of the person she used to be, the highlight of her day seems to be watching daytime TV and never having to get out of her pyjamas.

Becca isn’t a bad person. Breaking up people for money may seem diabolical to some but she really believes that she’s doing the right thing in the long run. She doesn’t just decide to get involved but people who are concerned, are upset (and are willing to pay) employ her for her services.

This book relays the story of Becca’s toughest challenge yet – breaking up the golden couple in school. There are moral complications when one of the people in the aforementioned couple happens to be Becca’s former BFF, Huxley. Add to the drama, Becca’s current best friend is now starting a relationship with a boy Becca may or may not be starting to form some inappropriate feelings for. It’s a busy time and with a deadline being given for breaking up Huxley and Steve, Becca has to come up with more fiendish and clever ways for her job as the Break-Up Artist.

I’ve wanted to read this book since I first learned of its existence. A YA contemporary novel which sounds like the anti-Hitch? Sounds like so much fun. And it was a fun read. I enjoyed getting to experience Becca’s secret life as the Break-Up Artist, seeing just how she went about her job and meeting her friends and family. Becca is one of those characters that appeals to me because I found her relatable. She thinks she’s immune from love and all its entrapments. However when a boy she is somewhat interested in pays her attention – she’s susceptible. She makes mistakes and at times feels like the world is ending but she’s smart and despite her role as the Break-Up Artist, does have good intentions when it comes down to it. There were a few times when she would make comments which felt out of character (a girl who eats chocolate bars in lieu of lunch then complaining that she can’t eat cheesy carbs when she wants to) but overall Becca is believable. Becca may across as slightly unsympathetic but as the story developed and more details were given, it becomes more understandable why she feels how she does.

The cast of characters did a great job at supporting Becca’s story and were interesting in their own right. I would have liked to know more about Becca’s sister, Diane and seen where everything went regarding her situation. Huxley and Val – Becca’s girlfriends of sorts – helped bring some authentic high school aspects to the story and Ezra did his part too.

The Break-Up Artist is an entertaining story about friendships, forgiveness, romance and family relationships. There’s drama, excitement, and a cast of characters which deliver a fun story with a message.



  1. I got a review copy, so I’m going to read it, but 2.5 stars, le sigh. But I love the Anti-Hitch comparison. That’s so freaking genius. I didn’t even think of that but as soon as you mentioned it, I was like Yes! I can already tell that this isn’t going to be a boy that I love, but still, hopefully I can enjoy it. Thanks for the review. I feel like it totally course corrected my expectations 🙂

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