Reviewed: “How to Hack a Heartbreak” by Kristin Rockaway

This book is fine. It was what I needed it to be.

I was teetering precariously on the edge of a reading slump, unable to get into a book and stay interested. I tried three. It was dangerous times, trying to avoid this slump. So I scrolled through all the titles I’ve been so lucky to get access to through on NetGalley in search of something that looked fun, cute, and quick.

Kristin Rockaway’s How to Hack a Heartbreak ticked all of those books.

Was it a little predictable, a smidge formulaic, and a bit too heavy on the Happily Ever After? Sure. But that’s irrelevant.

Life can be such a rollercoaster that sometimes you need a bit of predictability, formula, and hope of a Happily Ever After. So thanks to Kristin Rockaway for that!

This is a very modern story, with main character Melanie working a crappy job as tech support for a bunch of “bros” trying to get money to fund their startups and apps. Melanie is also just a bit addicted to online dating. All the swiping is how she and her friends search for love in New York City. There are copious amounts of text dedicated to complaints about unsolicited dick pics (as there should be), good attention paid to ghosting, and just enough due given to the possibility of real love being out there somewhere.


That last one is not so easy to come by and Melanie quickly puts her skills in coding and computer tech to use, creating an app where women can share their experiences (the bad ones, anyway) with guys they matched with on Fluttr (the most popular dating app). Reading the book gives the impression that what Melanie does is meant to empowering and feminist, and it is. To a degree, because it’s not always in a good way. It’s good that women can band together to protect each other from harassment and danger but, as Melanie soon finds out, even women can unfairly target men and lie about them, just as much as men can.

Melanie is a lot of things in this book – a relatable single girl looking for love, a go-getter in the man’s world of tech, a woman willing to help other women, a sassy and brave character who doesn’t take crap from anyone. But she’s also, at times, a bit of a stalker and a bit immature.

But, I suppose, aren’t we all sometimes?

Melanie gets her happily ever after and that’s fine. I knew she would. All the tropes of mixed signals, wrongly interpreted signs, and slightly superficial obstacles were there, telling me she’d get it.

It’s cute, it’s quick, and it’s fun.

I received an early copy of How to Hack a Heartbreak from NetGalley and Harlequin – Graydon House Books in exchange for an honest and original review.

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