Author: Kristin Rockaway
Series: Standalone Novel (July 30, 2019 release date)
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Synopsis: By day, Mel Strickland is an underemployed help-desk 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.
“The worst part about breaking up with someone isn’t the initial shock of betrayal, or the ensuing loneliness, or the humiliation of having to admit you snooped underneath their bathroom sink. It’s the death of hope. The idea that you’d staked faith in someone, grown comfortable in their continued presence, daydreamed about a possible future together, and then it was all ripped away, suddenly and painfully –Mel”–Kristin Rockaway, How to Hack a Heartbreak
Review: In the upsurge of tech-themed romances, “How to Hack a Heartbreak” by Kristin Rockaway is a standout. This book is a laugh-out-loud, fast-paced, engaging story of women’s empowerment in the male-dominated tech field (first) and finding love in the digital age (second). More, this story celebrates strong female friendships and the essential support they provide. Mel and her friends are absolutely amazing, and I could easily relate to all of them. I would love to see Mel’s friends each get a book of their own.
Mel Strickland is my kind of protagonist. She’s funny, smart, independent, and tenacious as hell. We watch her go from taking loads of crap daily at work, and being frustrated by corporate’s non-harassment policy lip service, to finally taking a stand and doing something about it. This extends to Mel’s personal life as well when she takes a stand against badly behaving men in the world of online dating apps. I loved watching Mel come into her own kick-ass self in the male-dominated tech field, as well as trying to create a safe experience online for people to connect and find love. That said, Mel is also flawed, and she’s self-aware enough to know it. Her inner dialogue of self doubt and second-guessing is authentic, albeit sometimes frustrating. I appreciated how she recognized her mistakes and owned up to them- especially in her relationship with Alex. I liked Alex a lot, and felt for him when Mel was sabotaging their relationship. I would have liked to see him play an even bigger role in this story. Mel’s and Alex’s romance is more sweet and heartwarming than steamy and sexy, though satisfying nonetheless.
I highly recommend “How to Hack a Heartbreak” for anyone looking for a fun, easy read with lots of laughs, tons of girl power, and a helping of dating angst and missteps in the modern world.
****Thank you to the author, Graydon House Books and NetGalley for this ARC which was received in exchange for my honest review****