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. 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.
16 Ways to Break A HeartFeatured
Natalie and Dan had a connection from the moment they met. She had a flair for life and an incredible artistic talent. He had a good-boy reputation and dreams of his own. They were opposites in every way, but they fell in love.
The story picks up after their breakup. Natalie has written her side to their story in letters that she leaves for Dan, giving him a glimpse into the girl he loved and grew to hate. It's the biggest day of Dan's life and all he can focus on is the destruction left in the wake of their relationship.
What I loved:
The intensity in this book made it a one-sitting read. There is no way I could have put the book down mid story. it's tragic and flawed and completely terrible in the best possible way. It's the kind of story that you hate, but it keeps you completely engrossed at the same time. The writer has such a talent for making us actually feel her words, each one of them breaking our hearts a little. Natalie and Dan are enormously flawed characters. There's very little good to be found in them. But that's how it's supposed to be. The story wouldn't have nearly as much impact any other way.
It unfolded quickly and it's truly hard to choose sides. In the beginning, the reader is on Dan's side. Natalie is shown as crazy, but as the story moves, we see Dan isn't who we thought he was. The story twists your mind in so many directions that when you finish, it takes a bit of time to be able to think again.
What was just okay:
I wanted one character to root for. It didn't have to be Natalie or Dan, just someone good. The ending was a bit anti-climatic after the crazy amounts of drama. But maybe that was the point.
A unique and intense look into relationships gone wrong that shows us there really are two sides to every story.
What worked: I really love the premise of reading about both sides of a relationship and their different accounts of what caused their breakup.
Fast-paced story told through letters, texts, and chats. Each of these gives readers a small glimpse into the relationship and what might have been behind it unraveling.
What I do like is how neither of these characters is the 'saint'. Each one has faults, insecurities, and selfishness. Natalie is high strung and very insecure with her border-line paranoia of Dan cheating on her. **Readers find out she might be right on this but the ways she goes about it, shows me a girl who has Fatal Attraction tendencies. One of Dan's BFFs, Ruby, calls Natalie a 'emotional vampire'. I tend to agree.
Dan though is no hero either. His own insecurities are shown throughout the novel. I felt he tried to use these as an excuse for his final terrible action that Natalie handled with a big bang of a reveal. Even then, I didn't think her way of getting back at him courageous at all. But that's just my opinion.
Be careful on who you destroy is the main theme throughout this novel. Great insight into seeing both sides of a story and how dangerous is the line between love and paranoia.