Book Review: the Art of Breaking Up

Title: the Art of Breaking Up

Author: Elizabeth Stevens

Pub. Date: June 8, 2021

Pages: 400

Pub: Sleeping Dragon Books

Genre: YA/NA Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4.5


Breaking up is hard to do. Whether you’re breaking up with a bad habit, a life you know, or your first boyfriend. But we all have to do it. It’s just one of the many sucky things about growing up. Some of us do it better than others. I do it badly.

Wade Phillips shattered Lisa McGinty’s heart in Year 10 for no known reason. One minute he was the perfect boy-next-door boyfriend, star goalie on the soccer team, and future head prefect. The next he was like a different person altogether, dumping Lisa and systematically making his way through every girl in our year.

By Year 12, he’d made it through most of them and was on to the year below. He’d miraculously made Head Prefect and was somehow still on the Soccer team, even though he put more effort into partying.

Lisa and I were used to his sarcastic teasing, his shallow taunting, and his insincere flirting. My best friend put on a brave face in front of him, but she still felt the sting. I knew she still loved him. At least, she thought she did. I kept waiting for her to see he wasn’t worth it.

No one knew what happened to Wade and no one got close to him anymore. Not until a life-altering incident throws me unavoidably into his path.

For one single second, I see through the armour he’s built. It takes just one single second for him to see through mine. Something connects us. It turns out, Wade Phillips might be the only one who understands me. It turns out, I might be the only one who understands him.

Wade Phillips might be the guy to teach me the art of breaking up, but will my heart – and Lisa’s – break in the process?

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s been almost four hours since I finished this book, and honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it.

I started this book around 3PM and finished it around 10PM. I probably would have finished it much quicker if life hadn’t interrupted me…multiple times. I’m so damn glad that I finally read this. When I saw it on NetGalley I was interesting, intrigued and willing to give it a chance. I lowkey thought it was kind of funny that the cover resembled another YA contemporary I requested off NetGalley (Fight for Her). It also made me a little wary because I couldn’t get into the other one. But the reviews didn’t lie, and this book didn’t disappoint at all. Like, I’ve already recommended it to multiple people.

It reminded me of Brigid Kemmerer’s Call It What You Want in terms of tone, and What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka in terms of how much I utterly enjoyed it. I mean, it was such a good read. I really didn’t ever want to put it down, and honestly, I could totally read more.

Norah and Wade’s chemistry is so great, and their friends-rivals-more dynamic is addicting. The banter, the sass, the snide remarks…y’all – it’s top tier. I loved that their relationship progressed so naturally – and I loved the little twist at the end – Lisa is fantastic.

I also loved that this took place in Australia – which is just such a change from where contemporaries are usually set. It lowkey kind of reminded me of when I lived in the UK, with the slang and the way things are phrased. Now, obviously it’s not exactly the same, but it felt familiar, and I appreciated that.

The characters are the best thing about this book. Across the board they just feel so real, and relatable. I love that Wade is open and honest about his mental health. I love that Norah finds someone to confide her hurts and worries to. I loved that this book was open about the mental health aspects, and it did so in a way that was stigmatizing.

Ugh, I just really enjoyed this book. Once I finished reading it, I went and ordered a finish copy because I want it for my shelf. I loved it so much, and I can definitely see myself re-reading it in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a really good Upper YA/NA contemporary read. The plot is fantastic, the characters are wonderful and realistic and the chemistry between Norah and Wade is perfection. It will definitely leave you wanting more!

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