Rating : ★ ★ ★
Thanks to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for providing an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
The Code for Love and Heartbreak is Emma rewritten in the digital age injecting a tinder-like application into a high school setting and it ultimately shows that there isn’t an algorithm for love, an emotional that sometimes defies all logic.
When I first read that this was an Emma retelling including coding and math, I was down, mostly for the coding and less for the math which is why, ladies and gentleman, I decided to focus more on web design and development than software development. I suck at math. I love English so I am very much an Izzy in this equation.
The problem with this being an Emma retelling just like when I read Pride and Prejudice retellings, which are oh so much more common, I have to really be pulled into the story in spite of that. If that makes any sense. A good retelling should be able to stand on it’s own and not heavily lean into the source material. I want to be able to peel away the layers of an enjoyable narrative to see, oh this relates to this part of the original book. So on and so forth.
From the beginning I felt like someone was holding my hand and pointing out the similarities between the two books including a run down within the first chapter of the players doing little more than name dropping the characters from the book, placing them on the board like we’re playing chess. That really pulled me away from the story and felt like it was kind of setting me up for an Emma AU (alternate universe) fan fic instead of an actual retelling.
You might look at me and go, wait, what is the difference? Now, there’s good fan fiction and then there’s lazy fan fiction, hate to say it. Both can be enjoyable, but I was looking for something a little more. I just couldn’t get past the fact that, like I said above, someone was taking me on a tour of the story instead of showing me these characters and developing them to their full potential.
I really wanted to like it, but at the end of the day it wasn’t memorable and irritated me more than entertained.