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HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK by Kristin Rockaway

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.

Title : How to Hack a Heartbreak
Author : Kristen Rockaway
Format : ARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : women’s fiction
Publisher : Graydon House
Release Date : July 30, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

What I loved most about HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK was Melanie. Our lead character is doggedly using the author’s version of Tinder, Fluttr, to try and find a connection. An enduring one. Not just for the night, though she’s willing to compromise, at least, on The One. She’d be fine with The One For Now. Unfortunately she’s constantly stood up or fielding dick picks. And by day, she’s working in a toxic start-up culture populated by frat bros who treat her, and her role as technical support, with sneers and abuse. Worse, she’s forever undermined as a coder just for being a woman.

This was far from the lighthearted rom-com I thought it would be. It actually read’s a bit less like a romance and more women’s fiction. Melanie has to face up to her own issues of paranoid and insecurity surrounding potential love interests, issues that harken back to her past, all while not letting the world around her drag her down. Even when it does.. repeatedly.
Rounding out the mix, though, is a great group of girlfriends who I would totally read more of. I don’t always just assume we’ll get follow up stories for members of the girlgang but in this case.. I’d love to read more about Whit! And get Lia a happy ending, too.

This story was smart, filled with clever and ingenious ladies, and yet didn’t shy away from the toxic internet and dating culture, whether it be through trending hashtags, reddit threads, or otherwise. I felt this perfectly reflected everything about my world but was still made interesting, too.
While the romance wasn’t my favourite thing, and I don’t know if that’s maybe because some of Melanie’s paranoia about Alex rubbed off on me as a reader, I did enjoy everything else in the story. And the writing. Like I said, I would totally read more of this group, and this world. Or whatever else Rockaway has to offer.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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