ARC Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

Posted July 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Review: How to Hack a HeartbreakHow to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Harlequin on July 30, 2019
Format: eARC (352 pages) • Source: Publisher
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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.

When this book was pitched to me, I jumped on the opportunity to read it. I already had it on my TBR and was eager to check it out. I’m always intrigued about books where women are working in male-dominated fields, because I experience it as a recruiter who works with primarily manufacturing companies. I knew it would make me rage at times and hopefully cheer for the main character by the end. The premise of the story is that Mel, a help desk technician at a tech incubator, gets tired of bad dates from online dating apps. She invents JerkAlert, where women can share their bad experiences and sort of “review” guys that stand them up, are secretly married, lie a lot, etc. in order to warn others when online dating. She starts dating someone from her office and ends up keeping the website (and what she finds on it!) a secret from him.

I’ll be honest: this book was a bit of a rollercoaster for me! I was incredibly intrigued at the beginning and engaged in the story, then lost a bit of steam toward the middle (when I got frustrated with Mel), and then picked up again at the end. Mel was an interesting main character. She was kind of a wet blanket, in my opinion, and some of her actions were SO frustrating. I could see why she wanted to keep some things a secret from Alex but she made very immature decisions for someone in her situation/five years post-college.

More on Alex: he’s someone that she works with and they get off to a rocky start, when she “learns” he has a girlfriend… right after he asks her on a lunch date. He honestly seemed too good to be true throughout most of the book, which was a little weird, but he did have a few stumbles that made him a bit more real later on. I appreciated that. I hated how quickly Mel jumped to conclusions ALL the time. It honestly made the entire middle section of the book super repetitive. She would find something out or see something somewhat sketchy about Alex, act weird with him until he asked what was wrong, he would either explain himself or she would just push it to the back of her mind for a while, and then they would be fine again… until this cycle would repeat. Over and over and over again. I definitely understood why she didn’t fully trust him after her experience with her father and what she saw on JerkAlert, but she took things to a whole different level.

I LOVED the ending of this book. I pumped my fist in the air for Mel for a million reasons. Her experiences in the tech world, as expected, were hard to read about for a while. Painfully realistic too, I’m sure. All in all though, this was such a girl power-filled story that will make you low key rage at times and cheer a lot more. Sidenote: please give me a companion book about Whitney!!

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