The Code for Love and Heartbreak is supposed to be loosely based/retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma.  I hadn’t ever read Emma before, so I’m not so sure about that. (I will look it up a synopsis and let you know similarities at the end of this review.)  The book follows Emma who is a math genius that loves to code and is co-president of the coding club at school.  I saw a lot of myself in Emma – would much rather stay home and code than be social, doesn’t want a boyfriend, etc.  Except we never had a coding club when I was in high school and the guys in the one coding class that was offered at school couldn’t manage to figure out “Ctrl Alt Delete” (seriously!)   One part of the book really hit home “Sometimes I dream in code. When I work on a lot for a project, or right before bed, my subconscious is still there, filled with lines of code, and my dreams are laced with numbers and sequences.  I often wake up with the new ability to solve a problem that was bothering me in the code the night before, my mind having worked it out somehow while I slept.”  This has happened to me on multiple occasions and people think I am absolutely nuts when I tell them, so having someone else say this – even if it is a fictional character – made me feel validated.

Anyway. The book.  Coding Club needs to come up with a project to pitch for a championship and it comes down to George’s idea vs Emma’s.  George wants to create an app with karma points for how much you recycle and you can compete against your friends.  Emma wants to create an app that will match up the students at the school for love based on different attributes – what they look like, likes, dislikes, etc.  Emma’s idea ends up winning and the book follows them tweaking their algorithm and setting up various couples in the school based on the outcome of the matches.

We never do find out who Emma’s match was based on the algorithm and they have to create a “second chance” match option for those who broke up with their first, “best” option.

From reading a synopsis of Jane Austen’s Emma – it seems a lot of the character names are the same.  Emma is a matchmaker.  But The Code for Love and Heartbreak is a more modern version. Now I’m thinking I might want to go read the original…

Either way this is a very cute YA book and I enjoyed it.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

In this contemporary romcom retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma by USA TODAY bestselling author Jillian Cantor, there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

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