Your Big Break

Your Big Break

by Johanna Edwards

I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards.

What if there was an anti-dating service? Someone you could call when things just weren’t going right? They would break the sad news, do some hand holding, and get your stuff back — all for a fee. In Your Big Break, Dani does this for a living, but her hearts not in it. And I don’t blame her. She lies to her family about her job, she feels sorry for the dumpees and doesn’t much care for her clients. I thought the writing was sharp and clever, the story zipped along, but all the characters were liars, seriously, even the nice ones were up to something. So Edwards can certainly write, it’s just this was a funny book about an unfunny topic. By the way, break up services like this really do exist. Check your local listings. Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a fiction nation minute. The book is Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards.

Dani Myers is having a work crisis. She’s a breakup facilitator — the one you call when your next conversation with your partner begins “I think we need to talk.” She handles all the messy details, gets your stuff back, and leaves your ex with a nice basket of chocolate and sad music. Business is booming, but Dani isn’t happy. She isn’t particularly good at breaking people up, she gets too involved, and lies about her job from everyone from her parents to her new boyfriend — he’s a recently dumped client, speaking of getting too involved. Your Big Break looks for the humor in busted relationships, womanizers, liars and cheats — and succeeds. It’s wittier and more clever than it seems like it should be, but I guess if you can’t laugh at life you’d never leave the house. Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards.

Think about the last time you broke up with someone. Okay, when you’re done cringing, imagine there was a company you could use to do the dirty deed for you. That’s the premise of Your Big Break. Dani Myers does the breaking up, hand holding, and delivers a post breakup basket of comfort food and CDs. She’s just not very good at it. She feels too sorry for the dumpees and she’s judgemental of the clients. Everyone in this admittedly funny, well written novel is a liar or a cheat, including Dani and her parents, excepting only Dani’s new boyfriend, the hapless dumpee she wastes no time in scooping up. It does seem like her dating pool would be pretty deep if she doesn’t mind being rebound girl. In case you were wondering, there are real breakup services available, not that you’ll ever need one. Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards.

As a child, I wanted a pony. As I grew into my 20s I put away childish things and my standards were James Spader. By the time I left 35 behind, of course my dating standards changed as well, until they could be summed up by requesting only Pants And A Pulse. (I should embroider that on a doily.)

One of the great pleasures of dating is setting yourself free, or it must be judging by the number of men who have left me behind  with a smile on their face and a song in their hearts. But I’m not bitter. (And I’m also dating Prince Charming, so that tends to soften my outlook. Imagine me pre-soften!) Why would anyone deny themselves the look of horror on their soon-to-be-ex partner’s face? Who doesn’t want the public recrimination, the late night drive-by to see if your lights are on (oh come on, like you’ve never done that) the post breakup Returning of the Things? You know what? The premise of this book is really starting to make sense to me.

In Your Big Break, Dani Myers is an expert in the art of the breakup. In fact, it’s her job. Say you’re tired of Mr Used-to-be Right, and find that while you don’t want to come right out and tell him, his once endearing little traits are now grounds for justifiable homicide (he breathes too loud!)  and you want your set of Wusthoff steak knives and your Sarah McLachlan CD back from his apartment. Simply hire Your Big Break, and they take care of everything, from breaking the news to the post-breakup recovery kit, which includes cupcakes and a CD of sad yet hopeful music, carefully chosen depending on how psycho you are expecting your ex to become. Dani’s problem is: her heart’s not in her work. She befriends the dumpees, and fixes them up with other dumpees. Embarrassed about her line of work, she lies to her family, but that’s okay because they lie right back to her about a whole variety of things. She feels sorry for the broken hearted and judgemental about her clients. And yet it takes her the whole book to figure out what she really ought to be doing with her life.

I was frankly ambivalent about this book. The writing was pretty sharp and clever, the plot zipped right along, and there were some nicely drawn characters, but on the whole, every single person in the story had some sort of scam going on. I mean, these are not very nice people. And just because Dani feels bad about lying doesn’t mean she’s not in fact lying. I also felt Edwards relied a little heavily on stock characterization — the womanizing lawyer was a bit much. And yet (again!) it was a pretty funny, well told story.  And when I grudgingly admitted that Your Big Break might have some real world applications, I went to my friend Google and found out that the Japanese as usual are way ahead of us, and have been doing this for years, and here in the US, you can hire Dump Monkey if things don’t work out. And while I did so enjoy those special times picking my possessions up off the front lawn of my ex’s house, it might have been nice instead to get some cupcakes.

Your Big Break by Johanna Edwards. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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