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Camp, "The Breakup Artist" (reviewed by Tristi Pinkston) Options · View
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2012 12:56:42 AM

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Title: The Breakup Artist
Author: Shannen Crane Camp
Publisher: Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc.
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Year Published: 2011
Number of Pages: 207
Binding: Trade Paperback
ISBN10: n/a
ISBN13: 978-1-59955-915-5
Price: $13.99

Reviewed by Tristi Pinkston for the Association for Mormon Letters

Amelia Marie Bedford is really good at her job. She’s got the wardrobe for it, the clientele, she knows her market—and she’s making enough money to save for college. It’s too bad that not everyone agrees with her chosen profession.

Amelia is a breakup artist. Hire her, and she’ll get rid of your unwanted boyfriend for you in just a matter of days. You won’t have to stare into his sad eyes or hear him beg for mercy—she’ll do all that for you. It’s just easier having someone else handle your unpleasant business.

But then she meets David—really, really good-looking David—and he tells her that it’s his mission in life to bring her down. Doesn’t she realize she’s messing with people’s lives? Shouldn’t they learn to fend for themselves? Amelia disagrees with everything he’s saying … until she realizes she’s fallen for him.

“The Breakup Artist” is geared toward the national young adult audience, although appropriate for the LDS reader as well. It’s a light read, but also contains moments of reflection as Amelia comes face-to-face with some of her own demons. We see her grow up and take responsibility for her actions, and we catch a glimpse of why she is the way she is. These elements made me sit up and think, and I was particularly impressed with the discussion questions in the back of the book. Those questions brought out elements of the story that were hidden beneath a deeper layer, and I appreciated their inclusion.

Two things bothered me about this read. I hope the first isn’t too much of a spoiler. David wants Amelia to go out of business and to stop meddling with other people’s relationships, but in the end, he relaxes his stance. I was disappointed—I admired his integrity in standing up to her, and when he backed down, I respected him a little less.

Second, there were editing issues throughout the entire novel. I noticed repetition, missing punctuation, rambling—things that distracted me from the entertainment of the story. I wished the editing had been more precise. The story deserved it.

Overall, this was a fun read with personable characters, some great subtle themes, and a believable character arc that flowed from beginning to end.
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