“Natalie and Dan were electric from the moment they met. Witty banter and sizzling chemistry made falling in love easy—even inevitable. He was in awe of her subversive art and contagious zest for life; she was drawn to his good-guy charm and drive to succeed as a documentary filmmaker.
But that was before. Before hot tempers turned to blowout fights. Before a few little lies turned to broken trust. Before a hundred tiny slights broke them open and exposed the ugly truth of their relationship.
And now Natalie wants Dan to know just how much he broke her.
Over the course of one fateful day, Dan reads sixteen letters that Natalie has secretly, brilliantly hidden in places only he will find. And as he pieces together her version of their love story, he realizes that she has one final message for him. One that might just send his carefully constructed life tumbling down.
Unfolding through letters, texts, and chats, Lauren Strasnick’s smart, sexy, page-turning new novel is the ultimate he said/she said breakdown of a relationship gone wrong.”
-Synopsis taken from Goodreads
Hey guys, Meaghan here again. A little bit ago, Allison and I attended the American Library Association Midwinter Expo, and got tons of new ARCs to read and review. This book, 16 Ways To Break A Heart, was the first I read of that stash!
First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.
“Who would’ve thunk it could’ve ended like this? Explosively, devastatingly, calamitously.”
Stars (Out of 10): 3/10
Overall Thoughts: I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. I often like someone to cheer for, or at least some semblance of goodness in the characters, but in this case, there seemed to be none. The relationship got terrible fast, and all the book showed was the bad side of it. It was interesting though, and unique from other love stories, and I thought the overall writing style fit the characters and their personalities perfectly. I just find it hard to like/connect with a book where there is no positivity, and each new chapter just makes the characters worse and worse people.
The Good: It was a rollercoaster, although this could be both good and bad. However, it was unique in that none of the characters had any redeeming qualities at all.What I can pride this book on is it’s use of two POV’s to tell the break up, so we actually get both sides of the story, not just one biased explanation of why everything was so messed up.
The Bad: Every character seemed to be a bad person, so there was no one to really like. In addition, relationship seemed overly bad, and I felt no real closure from the ending, no real answer to the questions the book slowly created throughout the chapters.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE
The Characters: There is absolutely nothing to like about either of the characters. They were abusive and manipulative in their relationships, dropped their friends as soon as they got together with their significant other, even though they seemed to resent pretty quickly. It wasn’t always easy to understand the actions of the characters either (if Dan was so happy with Natalie, why was he flirting with Arielle even before the fighting started? When did Natalie suddenly become a jealous bitch, was it sudden or a gradual change?) However, these characters were far from the ones in any normal romance story, and that’ll make them, and their story, stick in my head for quite a while.
The Plot: I was definitely shocked by the ending, even if I was a tad horrified by the reaction of Natalie in destroying Dan’s life work to get back at him. It was an emotionally violent and abusive book from start to finish, and unlike anything I have ever read before. However, I do wish we heard a bit more of the before, so we can understand why these two ever got so far.
The Favorite Character: None? All the characters that were developed seemed to be really terrible people. (Alexa had potential, but she was also partially painted as another snobby rich person.)
Buy it, Borrow it, or Bin it: Bin it