Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

Inkyard Press Tour The Code for Love and Heartbreak
The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

The Code for Love and Heartbreak
Jillian Cantor
Inkyard Press
Published October 6, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About The Code for Love and Heartbreak

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.

The Code for Love and Heartbreak on Goodreads

My Review

As a contemporary romance, I really enjoyed CODE FOR LOVE AND HEARTBREAK. I tend to like smart heroines, so it was a pretty strong possibility that I’d love Emma going into the book. And it turns out, I totally loved her.

I’m also a pretty big fan of sister relationships, so I loved the relationship between Emma and Izzy. I loved that they were so different from each other and that sometimes that caused sparks to fly and other times, they needed each other in ways that only sisters truly do.

As an update of Jane Austen’s EMMA, though, I have much more mixed feelings. I missed some of the dynamics in some of the relationships. I missed the Miss Bates of Austen’s version, in all her sweet, trying chattiness. I missed the connection between characters– the Westons and Frank (Sam) Churchill, and between Jane and Miss Bates.

In fairness, I don’t know how someone could bring all those relationships and the complexities they add AND tell CODE FOR LOVE AND HEARTBREAK without adding like 100 more pages. Which I probably wouldn’t have minded once I was into the story, but I imagine the average reader might not feel quite the same! Ha.

All in all, I think this is a super cute romance with smart characters and interesting relationships. Fans of friends to lovers or of sister stories will find lots to love here. I think the story will appeal to fans of WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU by Marisa Kanter and TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW by Rachel Lynn Solomon.

The Code for Love and Heartbreak on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Major characters are white. Some minor characters are gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used very infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Couples hold hands. A group of senior class boys who make a bet on who can have sex with an underclass girl first. This behavior is pretty strongly condemned. Kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content

Drug Content
Emma remembers a party her sister threw that someone brought alcohol to. She hid upstairs and didn’t participate in the party.

Note: I received a free copy of THE CODE FOR LOVE AND HEARTBREAK in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.

Jillian Cantor

About Jillian Cantor

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Jillian Cantor is the author of award-winning and bestselling novels for adults and teens, including In Another Time, The Hours Count, Margot, and The Lost Letter, which was a USA Today bestseller. She has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Cantor lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

4 Responses to Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

  1. Julie says:

    This one sounds good! Just noting that goodread link needs editing, it takes me to the wrong book.

  2. Afoma says:

    I Just finished this one and I really liked it, although I haven’t read Emma. I thought it was a fun, cute read.

    • Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. I kind of wish I’d read it without being familiar with EMMA. The only thing that tripped me up were those comparisons. Otherwise– I totally agree! It was definitely a fun, cute read. I’m glad I read it. Thanks for visiting. 🙂