How to Hack a Heartbreak had the Potential of Being a New Favourite | Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

10:48 PM

How to Hack a Heartbreak was one of my most anticipated romance releases of the year--but it didn't hit all the right notes for me. Still, it wasn't a bad read and I really enjoyed the premise and the message behind it.


Swipe right for love. Swipe left for disaster.

By day, Mel Strickland is an underemployed helpdesk tech at a startup incubator, Hatch, where she helps entitled brogrammers—"Hatchlings"—who can't even fix their own laptops, but are apparently the next wave of startup geniuses. And by night, she goes on bad dates with misbehaving dudes she's matched with on the ubiquitous dating app, Fluttr.

But after one dick pic too many, Mel has had it. Using her brilliant coding skills, she designs an app of her own, one that allows users to log harrassers and abusers in online dating space. It's called JerkAlert, and it goes viral overnight.

Mel is suddenly in way over her head. Worse still, her almost-boyfriend, the dreamy Alex Hernandez—the only non-douchey guy at Hatch—has no idea she's the brains behind the app. Soon, Mel is faced with a terrible choice: one that could destroy her career, love life, and friendships, or change her life forever.


How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway 
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5)

Let's face it. Most of us know the awful truth about online dating, even if we don't actively participate in it. This truth being that sometimes, we run into some serious creeps of all ages and locations. From genuine fear of our lives, to unsolicited dick pictures, subjecting ourselves to jerks who lack any sort of common sense or decency, and more, there are a lot of complications that come with both dating and even merely existing online. 

How to Hack a Heartbreak addresses this pretty quickly in the form an app designed by its main character, Mel: JerkAlert. It is an app that I wish were real because, honestly, it would save a lot of time. When I first read the synopsis, I was like, yes, finally, something that promises to address this! A woman working in coding? Check. Taking down trashy men with no boundaries? Check! I'm in.

In a lot of ways, How to Hack a Heartbreak successfully portrays women in tech, the complications of navigating online dating and so much more. It is feminist, rocks a fantastic lead character and has a lot of great qualities going for it. And for the most part, How to Hack a Heartbreak creates a balance between traditional rom-com goodness that gives readers the warm and fuzzies and serious topics.

Before starting the novel, I definitely had the image in my mind that it was going to be an updated version of Sex and the City with a lot of Silicon Valley vibes. This is what many reviewers had led me to believe and they were fairly accurate in this regard. Admittedly, I felt like it could have done more to stand out as its own work when compared to the above.

The novel itself isn't bad, per se. I think that a lot of my issues with How to Hack a Heartbreak came from it not being quite compelling enough for my personal taste. I found myself nearly DNF it on many occasions and had to struggle through some parts of it for one reason or another. I felt mostly indifference towards everything, despite its premise being highly appealing, a great lead character and having some seriously good moments in it.

Something about it just didn't connect with me and it is what it is. I will say that How to Hack a Heartbreak has an exceptionally powerful message to it and I think that a lot of readers will fall in love with Mel, her relationship with Alex, and the manner in which Mel gains her own voice and learns to stand up for herself, and women, when it comes to sketchy behavior. How to Hack a Heartbreak arrived at just the right time for many, even if it wasn't my favourite read of the year.

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