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Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

Hey all, Dani here.

This is going to be a slightly difficult review to write. I know I’ve had a few 2 and 3 star reviews on the blog over the years, but it is extremely rare for me to have a book with this sort of rating on my blog. I referenced this book a little bit in my recent DNFing book discussion post, but that was generalized and not naming the book or the author.

I read a little over half the book, DNFing it at 210 pages out of the total 352, so I can only really talk about my experiences with that portion of the story. This makes me sad because I wanted to enjoy this book. It seemed like it would be a cute and somewhat fun read. Instead I ended up gently tossing the book across the room and picked up another one over the weekend so I could keep reading.

Okay, let’s get into today’s DNF review.



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.

My Thoughts

Rating: DNF @ pg 210/352

Okay, so on Goodreads this book has an average of 3.45 stars (13% of readers gave 5 stars, 36% 4 stars, 34% 3 stars, 11% 2 stars, and 3% 1 star). I guess I’ll start off by saying that just because I ended up deciding not to finish this book, that doesn’t mean that you’ll feel the same way. Maybe this book will be one that you’ll really enjoy. This is purely my opinion.

Is online dating 95% being sent unsolicited dick pics? Because that’s what this book makes it seem like. I can’t really count my experiences because I used a site called Geek 2 Geek, and only had a few very basic message exchanges, just a “Hi, how are you” sort of thing. I didn’t use it as much as the characters in this book do, so obviously my experiences are quite different. I was more worried about the fake geek girl scenario than macho man/dudebro interactions.

The only guy who didn’t feel off or come off as a jerk or an ass was Ray, our main lady’s super for her apartment building. He seemed like a pretty decent guy. Everyone else–including the love interest–was ignorant of misogyny, straight up an a#$hole, a liar, a cheater, or insufferable.

But honestly it was the women in the book that really did it for me. Yes, the female friendship was pretty great, so I’m totally happy with that. But other than that it really seemed like Mel did a lot of snap judgments about the men around her, and she was so quick and willing to spiral into the worst thoughts about those around her. She seemed to just do a whole lot of complaining about so much without even attempting to improve her situation.

Overall it ends up being really preachy. Seriously, every couple of pages we are told and reminded that all men are jerks, all men in IT are pervy, and all men are sexist and gross. I wanted a little bit of hope to latch on to, a bare hint that the guys would improve and grow and learn from their mistakes, but it just did not seem to be happening at all.

In the end, I just decided that this book wasn’t for me and trying to slog through the last 140 pages wasn’t likely to be worth it…and I had a whole stack of other books that I would prefer to read.

So this book wasn’t for me, but there are plenty of people out there who loved it. Good for them. If this book sounds like something you might be interested in, then I hope you give it a try and that you do enjoy it.

Where to Get a Copy

You can get your own copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore. (I got mine at Wal-Mart).

You can also check with your local library.

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