by Johanna Edwards

March 2006
ISBN: 0-425-20784-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Danielle Myers has a very unconventional job. Sheís a break up artist of the highest order at Your Big Break, Inc. Ever since her own devastating and humiliating break up by her DJ boyfriend, Dani has made it her mission to help smooth over other peoplesí break ups. Unfortunately, Dani has a problem of getting too involved in her clientsí personal lives.

Take Erin Foster-Ellis for example. Erin wants to dump her boyfriend Brady, but when Dani finds out Bradyís father recently died, she convinces Erin to hold off on the dumping for a week so he can better cope with yet another tragedy in his life. Too bad Erin doesnít have much sympathy for Brady, and instead preys on Daniís kindness.

Then thereís Gretchen who is trying to dump her boyfriend, an older man who Gretchen has discovered hasnít started divorce proceedings yet. Dani is ready yet again to take on the case, but then she learns that this older man is none other than her own father! Talk about a messy situation.

As Daniís career starts spiraling out of control, her personal life gets more complicated too when she forms a friendship with Brady, Erinís soon to be ex-boyfriend. Then there are the lies Dani has been telling her family about what she does for a living. As the situation grows more complicated, Dani finds herself in a mess of her own making. What is this break up artist going to do?

Your Big Break is an interesting take on the standard breaking up situation. Johanna Edwards has a clear, humorous and poignant voice that breathes life into Dani. Not only does her job make her a bit of a twisted character, but Daniís unending empathy and sensitivity to the people she comes into contact with makes her a personable character. She forms friendships easily, but itís the idea of love that throws her into confusion and proves to be the big dilemma she has to figure out during the story. I enjoyed getting to know Dani, watching her meet new people and become part of their lives. Your Big Break doesnít really have any big conflicts to solve, but rather it examines the conflicts of the heart, the love between family and friends, and the love that can grow when you least expect it. This is a satisfying and tender life story that despite its title is definitely big on heart and happiness.

Reviewed in June 2006 by Sarah.

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