“Some people think I made JerkAlert as part of a malicious, premeditated scheme to humiliate men at large. But in truth, it was just a gut reaction to the futility of the status quo. I’d had a few really bad days, featuring a few really bad dudes. So I did what any disgruntled coder would do: I created an anonymous website where women could rate their dating experiences with the guys they met on Fluttr. Kind of like Yelp, but instead of reviewing restaurants or nail salons, you reviewed your dates.”
I don’t usually pick up romance novels, but when I saw the synopsis for How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway I knew I had to read it. As a twenty-something working in the tech industry who has also used dating apps, it seemed too good to pass up. I was a little unsure of what to expect, but after zooming through this book I was thoroughly entertained!
How to Hack a Heartbreak follows the (fictional) story of Melanie Strickland: a software developer stuck working at the IT Help Desk at Hatch, an incubator for start-up tech companies. The city that I currently live in has hundreds of start-ups, and some prominent incubators, so the setting already felt familiar to me. Luckily, the people I’ve worked with are a lot more friendly than the tech-bros our main character has to deal with. As if being harassed at work isn’t bad enough, Melanie also deals with gross messages and unwanted dick-pics on Fluttr (the book’s version of Tinder or Bumble).
How does she deal with all this shit in her life? Well, she takes the encouragement from her friends and puts it towards her own personal work. The end result? Her own website and app, where people can rate their dates, and leave honest reviews about people they’ve encountered through the world of online dating.
Of course, this isn’t a simple walk in the park. Melanie faces incredibly stressful hurdles, finds herself dealing with big wigs in Silicon Valley, and is attempting to navigate her own personal relationships through it all. There’s heartbreak, for sure, but there’s also a lot of hope, friendship, and kick-ass girl power fueling everything that happens.
How to Hack a Heartbreak wasn’t what I was expecting from a romance novel, but I mean that in a good way. It tackled some serious topics, and the writing was fast-paced and enjoyable. I found myself speeding through this story, and was engrossed in the plot the entire way through.
I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable light read, or someone who has also experienced the world of dating apps. If you fall within the latter group, I think you’ll find the themes to be relatable, which always makes a book a little bit better.
Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. How to Hack a Heartbreak was released on July 30, 2019, and is available wherever books are sold.