Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
I went into How to Hack a Heartbreak expecting a romantic comedy, or at the very least, something poking a bit of fun at online dating. I suppose in the latter, it does do that with its focus on nearly everything negative in dating apps. Fortunately, I couldn't say how accurate that focus is as I was married before those apps took dating by storm, but I can imagine that there is a fair bit of negative to poke fun at. Despite a couple of chuckle-worthy tidbits, this book clearly missed the mark for me. That could be because I prefer strong women, but I didn't care for Mel from the beginning, and she didn't do much to change that as the story progressed. That said, Mel wasn't the only part of this book that rubbed me the wrong way. Other than our weak leading lady, the characters lack enough development to really form much of an opinion of them. Her friends have some potential and do provide some comic relief, but they fit the cookie cutter group of friends that have been done and done again. We have the brain, the cynic, and the one in a committed relationship, and then there's the material girl roommate. While they do live up to those labels, I didn't know much more about them. As far as Mel's love interest, Alex, that's pretty much it. Alex is the love interest. He apologizes a lot, and he's the only nice guy at work. That's pretty much the whole of Alex. They obviously have sexual chemistry since they fall into bed a couple of times, but I didn't get a romantic vibe from either Mel or Alex. There is some telling the reader since they say they like each other and they do have a couple of meals together, but Mel is so paranoid over every action that her fears become the focus. Finally, there's Mel's job. Yes, I know that sexual harassment in the workplace happens. It happens much more often than it should, and it is a serious topic. However, I find it hard to believe that there is only one nice guy in a whole company of men. Granted, it's a small company, but really? Mel isn't just a victim at work, she's an enabler when she repeatedly takes it, and her attempts at vindication are weak and pitiful. I completely understand the need to keep a job when there are bills to pay, and Mel may very well have been the 'whipping boy' even twenty years ago, but this just goes way over the top. Finally, there's Mel's app, which may be amusing and in theory would be a good idea. What it turns into is just one more way to be negative online and one more thing for Mel to be paranoid about. I realize that my feelings about How to Hack a Heartbreak are in the minority, but it is what it is. For me, this was one eye-roll inducing story that took much too long to get through.