The Breakup Artists | Adriana Mather


Out Now from Blackstone Publishing; 350 pages 

Content Warning: Death of a family member, underage drinking

About the Author: “Adriana Mather is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Hang a Witch, with family roots that go back to Sleepy Hollow, the Salem Witch Trials, and the Titanic. She’s also an actor and producer best known for her role in the award-winning Honeyglue. She co-owns Zombot Pictures, a production company that makes feature films. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza, she has too many cats, and a deep abiding love for all things autumnal” (Bio from author’s Goodreads profile).

Find Adriana Mather on the following platforms:

“I’m not convinced that we don’t all need someone to show up for us in crucial moments, take some of the weight off. That sometimes things are too big to conquer on our own.”

Best friends August and Valentine “Tiny” are the teen entrepreneurs responsible for Summer Love Inc., a small New England business that works to covertly end problematic romantic relationships and set people on a path to a brighter future. Each school break, the two create new identities for themselves, infiltrating friend groups and gently persuading their targets to end their current relationships. August and Tiny think they have mastered their routine. However, things quickly start to fall apart when “Summer Love” becomes a reality for both of them, as Tiny starts to reevaluate her relationship with the boy next door and August begins to develop feelings for their latest target. Will two world-class liars be able to open up and share their lives and feelings with others, or will their business (and their friendship) come crashing down around them?

The Breakup Artists is the textbook definition of a well-executed YA romance novel. One of the most frustrating aspects of many romance books is when the protagonist makes the most idiotic decisions possible just to keep the plot moving. The characters in The Breakup Artists, however, almost always make the best choices, yet things still go wrong. I felt every emotion alongside the protagonists, from their highest highs to their lowest lows. I literally laughed and cried. The choice to write in a dual POV effectively highlighted the distinctiveness of the characters and allowed readers to see what makes them tick. I was particularly amazed by how the protagonists were drastically different but equally engaging. The perspective shifts took the drama to the next level, as Mather perpetually left the readers eagerly awaiting what would come next for each character. The dual POV also allowed for nuanced reflection on the joys and complications of young adult friendships. The conversations between August and Tiny, as well as their interactions with other characters, generally felt natural and realistic, which was wonderful since the book was relatively dialogue-heavy. However, I will say the censored swearing felt somewhat immature for this age group. Overall, though, Mather kept the content very age appropriate. I really appreciated how the book delicately navigates peer pressure and self-advocacy in regards to teen drinking. The Breakup Artists is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages if you love classic rom-com references, captivating relationship stories, and tons of teen drama.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank Blackstone Publishing for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Ashley Amacher, Pine Reads Review Assistant Director & Lead Editor