Thursday, August 10, 2017

16 Ways to Break a Heart by Lauren Strasnick-- Not a Romance Book. A DARK Romance Book.

16 Ways to Break a Heart

When Natalie and Dan met it was electric.  An instant connection.  He admired her success and talent as an artist, and she liked his good-guy appeal and attentiveness.  It was so good-- until it wasn't anymore.

Now, Natalie is sending Ben 16 letters to tell him her version of love-gone-wrong.  He doesn't exactly see things the same way, but Natalie is determined to have the last word.

In case you didn't know, I'm a HUGE Lauren Strasnick fan.  I love that her characters are never perfect.  I love that her chapters are short and meaningful.  I love that everything that happens in her book means something to the plot.  She's so good at staying focused and not wasting words.

16 Ways to Break a Heart was a dark romance book.  Natalie writes Dan notes recapping their relationship and how it went from good to house-burning-down.  Dan and Natalie were cute at first, but there was SOMETHING about Natalie right from the beginning that had me feeling WAYS.  I was definitely wishing I could jump in the book and warn him away from her.

Don't get it twisted: this book is about a toxic relationship.  Even the good parts were tinged with something off.  I think the cover and synopsis kind of make this look/sound a little cutesy, and it is NOT that.  It is 2 people who kind of bring out the worst in each other.  And Natalie is a bit of a stalker.

I personally liked that all the characters were flawed.  Initially I was rooting for Dan.  He's not an angel, but at least he was upfront about the fact that he was a liar, a coward, and a maybe-cheat.  I can accept flaws better when someone cops to them.  But once he started resenting Natalie for her successes, I knew me and Dan wouldn't be besties any time soon.  Also, he needs some work on how to treat women.

I found it interesting that this book took a realistic look at a young relationship.  There isn't a right person and a wrong person, which I think is what happens in many relationships that go bad.  We end up hurting each other and get to a point where we can't seem to stop.

I think reading this book in combination with Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios would be a good recommendation for any teen getting into the dating pool.  Both show some harsh realities.

OVERALL: I loved this dark romance.  It's a quick read that shows how relationships can go from good to bad really fast.  Throw in jealousy, possessiveness, resentment, immaturity, and need for retaliation and it's a relationship ripe for implosion.

Date Published: 7/25/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to HarperTeen and ALA for providing me this copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Natalie Fierro
Book: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

  • I definitely see some similarities between Addison and Natalie-- in personalities and in the way they are in relationships.


  1. Oh this is a really interesting perspective that I haven't read yet. I'm not sure if it's my type of book or not, but I'm glad that you really enjoyed it. I like that there isn't an innocent party and they have both done things wrong. Great review!

  2. Oh wow. House burning down and toxic relationship. I am intrigued. I have Bad Romance on my list, so I will add this one as well. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. This book was a little too dark for me, and I was sad at the end, but I loved The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. I thought that book was amazing.

  4. I haven't read any books from this author and totally got a light vibe from the cover. I do dig darker books though so I have to keep this in mind. Great review!

  5. Hmm, intriguing. Just from the premise of her writing a bunch of letters to explain why their relationship went wrong, it already sounds like it was a toxic relationship. That's cool though to see a book that's not about the cutesy romance but rather about how sometimes relationships don't work and/or are unhealthy.

  6. Maybe I'll try this again. I've read one of her books and liked it, but I think with this one I got thrown by the cute cover and what was inside was jarringly dark!
    Jen Ryland

  7. This sounds like such a great book, honestly, I might just add it to my GR. I saw a few reviews on GR that really worried me about it and people said they didn't like it, although I had such high hopes because I love the cover but I really wanna keep it near. It sounds a teensy bit like a YA version of the Breakup. Or Ruby Sparks with less craziness.