How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway is a brilliant story with spot-on descriptions of the downside of internet dating, social media, and online trolls. It’s also disturbingly accurate in portraying the misogyny that suffuses society. This read is classified as women’s fiction and romance, and it is, but I actually think it’s quite a lot more than that.
This is the story about Melanie, a computer science graduate and talented coder. She’s working a dead-end job at a help desk in an almost completely male workplace. Being over-qualified and under-appreciated at her job, she’s trying to at least get a love life and meet a decent guy. But after encountering one too many jerks via the hottest new dating app, she decides to use her programming skills to warn women off of the worst douches. So she creates JerkAlert. But she didn’t predict the impact JerkAlert would have, both professionally and on a personal level.
There is a love story. Of course there is. And that is a work of art in itself. Most romance stories are quite predictable. You know immediately who will end up together in the end just not the exact how of it all. You know that the love interest who seems like a douche is actually a good guy and once the misunderstandings have been cleared up, there will be a HEA. But in How to Hack I couldn’t see beyond the bend of the next plot-twist. I obviously assumed there would be a happily ever after, but I just wasn’t exactly sure what form that HEA would take. It’s simply awesome.
Any woman who reads this book will be able to relate to Melanie’s hardships. There isn’t a woman alive who’s never been groped against her will or been disparaged simply for not having a dick. And that’s what’s making How to Hack a Heartbreak so bloody good and disturbing all at once. A man reading this book would most likely view it as inconsequential chick-lit, and unfortunately the title doesn’t help there. But the way Rockaway tells the story, how she paints the picture of Melanie’s professional and personal struggles. The all too realistic back-drop of everyday sexism, yet Rockaway still manages to keep it light… It’s ingenious.
I’m really impressed by Rockaway. She manages to write this excellent and entertaining story all the while weaving in the the more depressing aspects of a chauvinism and prejudice. And with a love-story too! Freaking brilliant. Read it!