Sunday, 25 May 2014

Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

Philip Siegel's teenage high school comedy brought back a lot of memories of Sweet Valley High and other books about puppy love. The whole thing is very innocent, occasionally funny and filled with innocent teenage romances. Our heroine is Becca, a young woman who is not doing so well in the high school popularity/romance hierarchy and who believe that romance can cause a lot of damage. After all, it was a teenage romance that changed her former best friend Huxley into a nasty social climber and it was not so long ago that her big sister was dumped at the altar. And so she creates an inventive solution to her problems. For $100 via PayPal she will break up various couples at her high school.

Initially, her business is a success, but things become complicated when she is offered the chance to break up the horrible Huxley and her boyfriend Steve. To further complicate things, Becca has mixed feelings for her best friend's new boyfriend and there may or may not be a blossoming romance between her and Fred, a nerdish but ultimately good guy that she hangs out with in the school cafeteria. 

I found the Break Up Artist to be a fun and lighthearted read. In some ways, I felt for Becca and in others I enjoyed watching her not only get her just desserts, but for her to learn that sometimes in life and love, things are not as simple as they may appear on the surface. The writing was fairly simple, though it flowed well in a pleasant, easy-to-read kind of way. In some respects, the heroine could be quite annoying, though it was obvious that the author was trying to present her as a flawed and occasionally bitter character--Becca is not someone that anyone would want to aspire to be, though they may see their own flaws in her. Overall, enjoyable enough in a light hearted kind of way. More for teens that adult readers.