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.
I admit it – I love this new wave of social media-centered romance novels. While I’m too old for this stuff – online dating and the like – I still enjoy the idea that it’s possible. The fun part about How to Hack a Heartbreak was that it showed both the good and bad sides of dating apps. While Mel had no luck with Fluttr, another friend did. Something else awesome about this book is that Mel is not just a girl who codes, but a girl who is an amazing coder. All the backlash and harassment she took while working at Hatch infuriated me, however. Especially when she finally told her boss and he basically told her to deal with it. I work in a male-dominated field and am honestly the only female in our company. However, if I told my boss that one of my co-workers basically sexually harassed me, he would not let it slide.
Mel was a great character, despite her ill luck with dating apps. She was smart, she was fiesty, and she was a lot of fun. On the downside, she did jump to conclusions at times, but considering her past history with men – from her father to her last date – it’s understandable why she might not be as ready to believe as others. Her group of friends were the best though. It didn’t matter if they were having equal trouble finding a mate or in a seemingly perfect relationship, they were always there for Mel and each other when times got tough. Honestly, we all need a group of gal pals like this. I know I’d love to have a group of friends like Mel’s.
In the end, How to Hack a Heartbreak was a cute and fun romance that shows you the impossible can happen. I’d love to see a follow up novel checking back in with the girls and their lives set sometime after this ends.
*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.