Blog Tour Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

Hey all, Dani here.

If you didn’t know this already, I do enjoy reading and re-reading Jane Austen. Of course, Emma was never really one of my favorites; I never really felt like I connected with the main character. At least, not until I watched the web series “Emma Approved.” It made me look at the character of Emma with a refreshed perspective, and now I at least appreciate it when I read this book. So naturally, I’m also a fan of modern adaptations of any of Austen’s novels, which is why today’s book for review caught my attention.

Before we get any farther, I just want to send a huge thank you to Inkyard Press for letting me be a part of this blog tour, and I also need to thank NetGalley because that’s where I got my e-galley. As always, getting an opportunity like this does not influence my rating or review in any way. My opinions are always my own.

All right, let’s jump into the review already.

Book Details

Format: e-book

Pages: 304

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

ISBN: 1335090592 (ISBN13: 9781335090591)


From bestselling author Jillian Cantor comes a smart, edgy update of Jane Austen’s beloved classic Emma.

Emma Woodhouse is a genius at math, but clueless about people. After all, people are unreliable. They let you down—just like Emma’s sister, Izzy, did this year, when she moved to California for college. But numbers…those you can count on. (No pun intended.)

Emma’s senior year is going to be all about numbers, and seeing how far they can take her. When she and George, her Coding Club co-president, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born—a matchmaking app that goes far beyond swiping, using algorithms to calculate compatibility. George disapproves of Emma’s idea, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other and her own feelings defy any algorithm? Emma thought math could solve everything. But there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a quick and easy read. Overall I think I read it in two or three reading breaks. That’s something I really enjoy about reading contemporary books; I can usually get through them much faster than with a standard fantasy…but that’s also because I love fantasy and want to take my time understanding the worldbuilding and whatever magic applies and all of that.

I thought that this was a pretty good adaptation of the main storyline from the original novel, and I sincerely have to say that I really enjoyed that this book really did focus on coding. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the characters are into coding and go to a camp or an internship or something, and then the story glosses over the technical stuff to focus on relationship growth and drama. Don’t get me wrong; there’s plenty of drama and such in this story, but there is also a lot of time spent developing the app and the code for the app and all that.

Emma and George and all the rest of the characters were all done rather well, and felt so relatable. I mean, I know that I graduated from high school back in 2006, but I still remember those feelings of a looming upcoming transition, and being uncertain of friendships and relationships, and wondering about the future, and panicking about college and GPAs and just all of it. That’s one of the things that I can still say, even as an adult reading YA; I haven’t forgotten those experiences or feelings. And I don’t have issues thinking that characters aren’t acting their age or whatever…except for a few random stories I’ve read where the characters were 16-17 but were seriously acting as if they were 12-13.

Anyway, I was invested in this story, and seeing how the app Emma made worked and didn’t work for her schoolmates. It was rather intriguing overall, and I’m so glad that I read this book. I can definitely recommend it for anyone who has liked any other version of Emma, or for people with an interest in technology, especially coding and app design.

Where to Get a Copy

You can pick up your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound.

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