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From bestselling author Jillian Cantor comes a smart, edgy update of Jane Austen’s beloved classic Emma.
Emma Woodhouse is a genius at math, but clueless about people. After all, people are unreliable. They let you down—just like Emma’s sister, Izzy, did this year, when she moved to California for college. But numbers…those you can count on. (No pun intended.)
Emma’s senior year is going to be all about numbers, and seeing how far they can take her. When she and George, her Coding Club co-president, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born—a matchmaking app that goes far beyond swiping, using algorithms to calculate compatibility. George disapproves of Emma’s idea, 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 her own feelings defy any algorithm? Emma thought math could solve everything. But there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.
Title: The Code for Love and Heartbreak
Author: Jillian Cantor
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I saw this was a retelling of Emma and I knew I had to read it. There was so much to love about this book! The characters, the romance, the plot, all of it!
One of my absolute favorite things about this book was the main character, Emma. Cantor does a great job of developing Emma as a character. I was able to quickly understand who she was, what her goals were, and her motivation behind things. When she got upset about something or made a certain decision, I understood why. As well, math and coding are a huge part of her life and it shows in the way she thinks and acts. She always negates or discards any feelings she has towards boys. She feels confident in her coding and math so, in turn, completely backs any ideas she has in these areas. And so much more!
Along the same lines, Cantor did a brilliant job of developing Emma’s “brand” and showcasing her voice. She very much sounded like a teenager, which was great, but it wasn’t that annoying, overbearing voice that we sometimes get from teen characters.
On the romance side of this book, it had my favorite type of romance: a slow burn. Slow burns make me want to scream and yell at the characters and they build up so much lovely tension. This book was no different. I was pulling my hair out, waiting for Emma to end up with her man. There were a lot of “almost” moments. Almost meaning, they almost kiss, but are interrupted. Or almost tell each other how they feel, but chicken out. These moments had me yelling, “Just spit it out already!”
Overall, this book contained a great slow-burn romance, a wonderful cast of characters, and made my front-end developer/coding heart happy.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.