The Breakup Artist
Shannen Crane Camp
Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc., 2011
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
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