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16 Ways to Break A Heart

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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.

208 pages, Hardcover

First published July 25, 2017

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About the author

Lauren Strasnick

5 books217 followers
Lauren Strasnick’s debut novel, NOTHING LIKE YOU (Simon & Schuster, 2009), was an RWA RITA award finalist in two categories, Best First Book and YA Romance. Her second novel, HER AND ME AND YOU (Simon & Schuster, 2010), was a 2012 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Her work has been translated into French, German, and Portuguese. In addition to writing, Lauren teaches fiction in the MFA program at Antioch University, and also leads weekly novel workshops at Writing Pad in Los Angeles. 16 WAYS TO BREAK A HEART, Lauren’s next book, will be published by HarperCollins’s Katherine Tegen Books in 2017, and will also be published by HarperCollins in Italy and France.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 167 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
May 10, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Just don’t come crying to me when she boils your bunny.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a relationship that ended with a bad break up.

The characters in this both seemed a little self-destructive. Dan and Natalie didn’t seem like a good fit right from the start, and they both messed up within the relationship. Dan should have known better than to flirt with other girls over text, and Nat could have handled her jealousy a bit better than she did.

The storyline in this was about Nat writing letters to Dan chronicling the ups and downs of their relationship, with Dan then telling us his side of the story after each letter. There was a bit of mystery over what had caused them to break up, and we slowly got to know more as the book went along, but the characters also seemed to get worse as the story went along, and it was easy to see why they were better off apart.

The ending to this was a little unexpected, with Nat getting revenge on Dan, and there was no happy ending for this pair.

6.25 out of 10
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,711 reviews704 followers
July 23, 2017
DNF at 50%

I feel like what I read is not even remotely close to the book described in the synopsis. There is absolutely no love story in this book. It's an odd and toxic relationship between two horrible people. I cannot say anything nice about Natalie or Dan.

I liked the idea in the synopsis and getting Natalie's letters and Dan's current POV. I would have liked the format if it didn't rely so much on the dates and times. However, the slut shaming and casual comments about committing suicide to gain popularity made me want to stop reading.

I did skip to the end and read the last couple of chapters and I didn't care how it got to that reveal. Perhaps I'm missing something in the sections that I didn't read, but from the other reviews I read, it doesn't seem like it.

**Huge thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Nadine Schrott.
413 reviews33 followers
July 8, 2022
Eine langweilige Liebes/Rache Geschichte ohne Höhen und Tiefen.....

Dan bekommt von seiner stalkenden Exfreundin Nat Briefe....er wird von ihr wegen seiner angeblichen Untreue mit Vorwürfen überschüttet.
Ob diese begründet sind!?

Schwach inszeniert, schwach geschrieben und überaus langweilig zieht sich die Handlung dahin....mega enttäuschend!

Für Jugendliche Menschen ab 14 Jahren mit Liebeskummer bedingt lesbar...an sonsten besser im Regal stehen lassen!
Profile Image for Thamy.
454 reviews24 followers
July 28, 2017
Reminding me of Thirteen Reasons Why, this story followed Natalie's many letters to Dan as she retold their story, intercalating with her ex-boyfriend Dan's own interpretation of the happenings. This isn't a romance, this isn't a drama.

Why the comparison? Not only the letters but Natalie's tone also reminisced Hannah's, as a bonus, she tended to visit the places things had happened. Moreover, Dan knew he had played an important part in the breakup even though it isn't immediately clear to us at first.

To be honest, this was entertaining at the same time it felt refreshing having a contemporary YA that proposed to discuss a relationship without being either romantic or tragic. This is a relationship that went wrong, and Natalie's sixteen letters will elucidate how. I was surprised when I finished and checked the low average the book has received.

I can't say I loved the characters as people but I loved how the author built the two. Both Natalie and Dan are insecure to the point of being insensitive to each other's insecurity. And there is a great theme for a group reading—toxic relationships. Everything that happened between the two sounded very real to me, I'm sure any reader could identify with the situation.

And wow, Natalie's letters had a tone that really kept me pierced to my Kindle. It felt like anything was possible as the book went on. What will be her grand finale?, I'd ask myself while placing my bets.

This is where the book lost a star. While it was a four-star reading for 95%, could have even gotten a five, the ending was so lacking I considered shaking my e-reader to see if it hadn't hidden some chapter, anything to tell me that wasn't it. It's the kind of ending that burns it all down, I didn't want to kill the writer or anything. Nevertheless, for a story bringing such a quirky tone, the conclusion was too average. And definitely rushed. I even wonder whether the last pages weren't added after someone complained about how sudden it ended.

Either way, this was good, this was different, this was entertaining. A real pity it had such an unforgivable flaw as was this ending.

Review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. I also want to thank the publisher for giving me this opportunity.
Profile Image for Dayla.
2,075 reviews201 followers
July 9, 2017
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

This book is a disaster.

That's probably the best way to describe WTF I just read (okay, speed read because I couldn't, for my sanity, take my time to read the ridiculousness of this book). I even made notes because I was just so confused while reading this that I needed to keep my thoughts straight.

Everything in this book was toxic. I literally asked myself multiple times why I was still reading this book because all of the characters were just so unnecessary and . I get that not all characters are made to be likable, but this isn't even about that. These were just characters who were just given so much leniency and they were just horrible characters. They weren't even the kind of characters you love to hate. I just can't with these characters.

I will include snippets of the synopsis because I don't think anyone will ever really be ready for the disaster they will encounter when they read this book.

Here's the first paragraph of the synopsis:

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.

Yes, the start of the book is a letter from Natalie detailing their encounter and how there was immediate chemistry--but there's also an attempt in the first letter at alluding how Dan, the male protagonist, is a manipulative asshole that completely hid his true self when they first met. I will touch on that later in this review. What this paragraph doesn't allude to is how Dan's jealousy becomes a big issue with Natalie's "success", and how she basically thinks he's wasting his time with his documentary because he's spending so much time working on something that's important to him, instead of spending time with her. Because you know, someone else future dream? Fuck that, right?

Second paragraph:

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.

OKAY. Hot tempers. HA. Whoever created this synopsis failed to mention the mild physical and verbal abuse, the slut shaming, the manipulation, the triggering comments of wanting to "commit suicide" introduced as jokes. Shit is not funny. I find it really freaking troubling that this is such a huge part of the novel and its alluded to as "hot tempers" and "blowout fights". Also, "Tiny Slights" is like putting a kid's superhero bandaid on a bleeding gash. These two people were HORRIBLE together and look, if the synopsis explained it as more than just a little troubled relationship, then maybe I'd be writing a different review, but honestly, WTF.

Rest of synopsis:

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.

Okay, for starters, this was not a "LOVE STORY". This was a nightmare that was attempting to pass as a romance.

This synopsis makes it seem like this book had a female character who was SO clever about her delivery of her revenge, which by the way was , but really it was her literally dropping off letters throughout his school and life. Honestly, I thought Natalie was fucking nuts and I'm sorry, I don't mean to be offensive or anything, but seriously fuck these characters. The last sentence of that synopsis says that she has a message that "might just send his carefully constructed life tumbling down." SURPRISE: She spent the whole fucking book ruining his life. She destroyed a guy that actually did sound legitimately good.

Look, Dan wasn't a saint by the end of everything. But one of the things that really, really screwed with my mind was how this girl was a legit nightmare. She was controlling, manipulative, and abusive and basically got Dan to put her as number one in his life despite of who and what he was giving up, yet when he starts to do other less than boyfriend-ly things on the side, suddenly he's the villain of the story. I might be wrong here, but it dangerously felt like the character of Natalie going through what she was describing as a horrible relationship because he wasn't who she thought he was was being validated for her actions because Dan almost .

Dan had his shit, too. His jealousy about Natalie's life wasn't fair, and he also said and did questionable things, I just don't want Natalie's actions to be pushed aside because suddenly he's not a saint in our eyes anymore. Abuse and manipulation CAN NOT be justified just because the victim decides to do other shady stuff. One is not a lesser issue than the other. At the same time, I'm not defending Dan because he was also a massive asshole.

One of my final points is going to be about the layout of this book. I get what was being done with the letters and the messages and such, but like it felt like it was trying too hard to be either Thirteen Reasons Why or Why We Broke Up. I haven't read the former (but watched the TV Show) and hated the latter. I just wanted to throw the similarities in there because it felt like Natalie's letters were just so over the top dramatic and just really really annoying.

I'll leave this rant on the note that the ending is 10/10 dramatic and 10/10 unnecessary and just as messed up as this relationship. Also, wtf was up with that one final reveal? Like, not only was it cliche but we had absolutely NO LEAD UP TO IT. I wish I had a physical copy of this book so I could pull a Bradley Cooper.

I don't recommend this book for anyone, sorry. I don't normally say this, but I legitimately did not enjoy this at all and I was just so shocked that this was even a thing.

Happy reading!

Profile Image for Hazel (Stay Bookish).
635 reviews1,614 followers
June 8, 2017
THIS BOOK IS BATSHIT CRAZY AND I LIKE IT. The narratives are so fucking strong and so compelling. I read this book in one sitting and barely even took a breath, except for the times I just had to gasp aloud because of the insanity. The letter and notes format was quickly devourable and I love that aside from getting the he said/she said perspective, we get tiny POVs from minor characters too. I know not everyone will like this but I seriously admired what the author was trying to do with this story and enjoyed getting seriously caught up in the drama and madness of a relationship gone wrong.

All that said... I really hope most people aren't this toxic and shitty in real life tho.
Profile Image for Il confine dei libri.
4,298 reviews149 followers
March 7, 2018
Salve lettrici del confine,
dovesse esserci qualche lettore, salve anche a te!
Ultimamente leggo tanto, ma proprio tanto, eppure, ogni volta che termino un libro mi viene l'ansia di non averne altri pronti ad aspettarmi.
Proprio un paio di giorni fa ho terminato uno young adult targato Harper Collins, che ringrazio per l'invio. Si tratta dell'atteso " 16 Modi per Spezzarti il Cuore " di Lauren Strasnick, un romanzo che parla dell'amarezza provocata da una sotria d'amore finita.

I protagonisti sono due adolescenti, Natalie e Dan, che si scontrano in un caffè e si innamorano.
Natalie è una ricca ragazzina viziata con un grande talento artistico che le spiana la strada per il successo in giovane età, grazie anche all'infleunza di due genitori famosi.
Dan proviene da una famiglia normale, non è ricco e se vuole realizzare il suo sogno di diventare un documentarista famoso deve guadagnarsi tutto col sudore.
Ben presto la facilità con la quale Nat ottiene l'attenzione e la fama ferisce Dan e questo, insieme alla tendenza della ragazza alla gelosia estrema nei suoi confronti, diventa motivo di litigi, anche furiosi che porteranno alla rottura.

Proprio dalla fine del loro amore comincia il romanzo.
Attraverso 16 lettere che Nat scrive a Dan, conosceremo i momenti salienti del loro rapporto.
In ogni lettera Nat racconterà di un evento particolare che ha caratterizzato la loro storia insieme, che, secondo la ragazza, col senno di poi, assume un nuovo significato una volta tolti gli occhiali rosa dell'amore.
Dopo ogni lettera, segue un capitolo raccontato dal punto di vista di Dan, che partendo dalla lettera di Nat, esprime le sue considerazioni, ci regala le sue verità.
La struttura così pensata mi è piaciuta parecchio perchè ci ha mostrato e dimostrato come la verità è soggettiva, sempre.
Natalie e Dan raccontano la loro verità e nessuno può dire chi abbia torto e chi ragione. Infatti, è difficile schierarsi con l'uno o con l'altra in maniera definitva, io cambiavo sponda ad ogni capitolo.
Il loro amore non è un amore romantico. E' un amore tossico, di quelli che ti rovina anzicchè regalarti serenità.
Natalie è una piccola psicopatica viziata, che da di matto ogni tre per due e rende invivibile la vita di Dan.
Dan si presenta come il classico bravo ragazzo, ma anche lui ha il suo lato oscuro che viene fuori quando prova invidia per i successi della sua ragazza, anche se è combattuto e a volte schifato dai suoi stessi pensieri.
Sono due mondi diversi, troppo diversi, che una volta entrati in collisione esplodono in mille pezzi.
Non capiremo fino alla fine il motivo per il quale si sono lasciati definitivamente e l'autrice ne fan gran mistero.
Alla fine non mi è parso questo granchè, considerato che non si poteva nemmeno attribuire una vera colpa a Dan, ad esempio. In fondo è stato un errore fortuito, e capirete di cosa parlo. Inoltre ho considerato l'alta tossicità del loro rapporto, un motivo ben più grave per arrivare alla chiusura della storia.
La lettura di questo romanzo non mi ha lasciato molto, devo essere onesta. Apprezzo però il tentativo di offrire al lettore una conoscenza dei fatti attraverso l'utilizzo di questa struttuta del racconto fatta di lettere e messaggi, chat.
Si sposa bene con i nostri tempi moderni e col mondo degli adolescenti di oggi.
Inoltre è scritto molto bene e non risulta lento o noioso.
I personaggi non hanno un grosso spessore e li conosciamo emotivamente solo in merito a questa storia d'amore finita.
Provate a leggere questo romanzo, lettrici e, se non vi trovate d'accordo col mio pensiero, parliamone.
A volte, se un romanzo non arriva a parlare alla tua anima, non vuol dire che non possa parlare all'anima di qualcun altro.
Buona lettura,
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,226 reviews391 followers
September 22, 2020
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher for review via Edelweiss.

Warnings: ableism

I’m no longer into Taylor Swift’s music like I used to be, but 1989 was the last album of hers I liked and “Blank Space” was an entire THING. I used the “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream” lyric to jokingly introduce myself to my creative writing class and it was great. The class started on my birthday and I was looking extraordinarily cherubic to celebrate, so it fit. 16 Ways to Break A Heart is like if you put “Blank Space” and 13 Reasons Why into a blender and dumped the resulting unholy smoothie all over your worst ex.

Dan is an aspiring filmmaker from a working class-ish single-parent family; Natalie is a gifted collage artist from an extremely rich family that includes a well-connected artist mother and businessman father. Natalie’s connections turn Dan into an insecure, disloyal manbaby; if Dan even breathes in another girl’s direction, Natalie become violently jealous, which pairs poorly with her refusal to accept any boundaries. They’re both fairly awful people who physically and verbally abuse one another, can’t tell the truth to save their lives, and somehow can’t let go of what they have/had.

The problem isn’t that they’re bad people, it’s that they’re badly written bad people. You won’t be able to find a single intriguing facet to either teen. Their personalities lack nuance and their histories go unexplored, leaving readers baffled as to why Dan and Natalie are the way they are. Fairly major details–Dan’s mother died of cancer, Natalie’s mom is distant and Natalie first had sex at age 13–are practically footnotes and don’t do enough to explain their actions. The key to writing bad people as characters is to make them interesting, but there’s nothing of interest to be found.

For Natalie in particular, what we learn about her does nothing to indicate why her behavior is so extreme. She simply is, giving Dan the opportunity to engage in an ableist free-for-all against her. He calls her psychotic and other such pejoratives frequently. It’s already clear he’s ableist based on the inspiration porn documentary he makes to apply to film school with, but yeesh. I don’t think much of anyone trying to get into film school on the back of an autistic man who’s about to graduate from school.

Also, Natalie runs dangerously close to fulfilling stereotypes about Latina girls being angry and “crazy.” She is described as having pale skin and speaks Spanish, but it’s unclear if she speaks Spanish as part of her family (her surname is Fierro) or if she simply picked up some words from the Mexican woman her parents employ as their housekeeper.

16 Ways to Break A Heart isn’t meant to be a feel-good book, but can it at least be good? Good books don’t sex-same or throw in a sex tape for a sudden plot twist at the end. A character-driven book like this is make-or-break based on its cast, but since they fall flat here, so does the whole book. The only good thing is the semi-epistolary style in which it’s written, though Dan is actually correct for once when he calls it (meaning Natalie’s letters to him) overly dramatic.
Profile Image for Delores.
157 reviews
September 4, 2017
This was. . .interesting, for lack of a better word. I think they are all crazy and weird and totally over the top about everything. I didn't overly enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Meaghan.
559 reviews74 followers
February 6, 2017
First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC to review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

“Who would’ve thunk it could’ve ended like this? Explosively, devastatingly, calamitously.”

Stars (Out of 10): 3/10

Overall Thoughts: I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. I often like someone to cheer for, or at least some semblance of goodness in the characters, but in this case, there seemed to be none. The relationship got terrible fast, and all the book showed was the bad side of it. It was interesting though, and unique from other love stories, and I thought the overall writing style fit the characters and their personalities perfectly. I just find it hard to like/connect with a book where there is no positivity, and each new chapter just makes the characters worse and worse people.

The Good: It was a rollercoaster, although this could be both good and bad. However, it was unique in that none of the characters had any redeeming qualities at all.What I can pride this book on is it’s use of two POV’s to tell the break up, so we actually get both sides of the story, not just one biased explanation of why everything was so messed up.

The Bad: Every character seemed to be a bad person, so there was no one to really like. In addition, relationship seemed overly bad, and I felt no real closure from the ending, no real answer to the questions the book slowly created throughout the chapters.


The Characters: There is absolutely nothing to like about either of the characters. They were abusive and manipulative in their relationships, dropped their friends as soon as they got together with their significant other, even though they seemed to resent pretty quickly. It wasn’t always easy to understand the actions of the characters either (if Dan was so happy with Natalie, why was he flirting with Arielle even before the fighting started? When did Natalie suddenly become a jealous bitch, was it sudden or a gradual change?) However, these characters were far from the ones in any normal romance story, and that’ll make them, and their story, stick in my head for quite a while.

The Plot: I was definitely shocked by the ending, even if I was a tad horrified by the reaction of Natalie in destroying Dan’s life work to get back at him. It was an emotionally violent and abusive book from start to finish, and unlike anything I have ever read before. However, I do wish we heard a bit more of the before, so we can understand why these two ever got so far.

The Favorite Character: None? All the characters that were developed seemed to be really terrible people. (Alexa had potential, but she was also partially painted as another snobby rich person.)

Buy it, Borrow it, or Bin it: Bin it

This review can also be found on my blog: https://paragraphsandpages.wordpress....
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,526 reviews
January 1, 2018
Reason why I read this book:
1. The title intrigued me.
2. The cute cover.
3. Boredom.

When I got this book I thought it would be something akin to the book Why We Broke Up (which was just meh for me). I immediately liked the style of writing the author used --- the two versions of reality between Natalie Fierro and Dan Jacobson; the emails and the texts between various spectators to their romantic drama. Natalie's letters were reflective, emotional, and borderline at times but they were truthfully realistic.

Although this was a typical tale of teenage broken hearts and revenge, I could not help but take it seriously. Maybe the author's intention was only to tell a witty, yet bitingly realistic portrayal of how passionate adolescent love isn't as fairytale perfect as its made out to be, but I personally related to the story.

This line had me reeling.

Love meant devotion and commitment and FOREVER. You kissed me and cradled my face with your hands. I felt high. Higher than if I’d been mainlining coffee and candy all morning long. I thought for sure this feeling would last—the elation and excitement—and I couldn’t imagine a time when you weren’t in my life, loving me; when I wasn’t loving you.

Face it, they were not meant to be. If Dan just broke up with her after the first signs of doubt then it would have saved them both time and emotional trauma. The ending was sad. I expected a harsher revenge from Nat.

Why am I so triggered? Because I've been in this kind of relationship. I understood why Natalie was so manic and manipulative, she became that way because the relationship was no longer healthy. And that's what readers should learn from this book: Don't lose who you are in a relationship. No matter how hard it is you have to let go of the person who cannot love you the way you deserve.
Profile Image for Sachi.
80 reviews9 followers
November 4, 2019
1.5-2 stars
The thing is this could’ve been a very good book BUT it fell short
however, this story makes me realise the exact reason why I’m not ready to commit lmao
Profile Image for madie c.
110 reviews2 followers
July 28, 2022
i thought this was pretty good 😌 a very cool concept ‼️ i don’t know how i’m supposed to end up feeling about dan but if i’m supposed to hate him with every fiber of my being then the author did her job 😤 because he SUCKED 😐🔪 i’m convinced that filmmakers are always bad because look at dawson of dawson’s creek 👀also ruby IS AWFUL 😐🔪 i kinda loved natalie even though she was supposed to be all crazy and toxic 🫣 maybe that says something about me 😀
Profile Image for Elisabetta Veneziani.
716 reviews31 followers
April 3, 2018
Non era esattamente quello che mi aspettavo, ma non sono riuscita a smettere di leggere finché non l’ho finito
Profile Image for Kira Magnus.
503 reviews16 followers
April 22, 2018
je sais pas trop pourquoi j'ai continué ce roman jusqu'au bout car il a beaucoup de défaut.
Mais la fin du livre, je ne l'ai pas du tout vu venir et pour ca chapeau
Profile Image for Anabella  Shay.
90 reviews4 followers
August 4, 2019
I loved this, it had a smart female in it. You'd be surprised if you read it, especially considering people seem to think she's not what she is.
It was great to see a girl stand up and do the right thing. It also had other female characters that did end up doing the right things as well.
I'd love to read another book by this same author someday.
May 25, 2019
Not entirely how I expected it to end but it kept me interested up until the last page.
Profile Image for Karin - Le Lettrici Impertinenti.
364 reviews47 followers
June 9, 2018
Recensione di Marshmallow per il blog Le Lettrici Impertinenti

La storia di Natalie e Dan, i nostri due protagonisti, ci viene raccontata da due voci narranti. Una è quella di Natalie che, attraverso le sue lettere, ripercorre tutte le tappe salienti della loro storia d’amore: il loro primo incontro nella caffetteria, il primo appuntamento e il primo bacio. Tutto visto attraverso i suoi occhi, tutto raccontato seguendo le sue emozioni e i suoi sentimenti. E poi c’è Dan, il destinatario di queste lettere che, nell’arco di una giornata, si ritrova tra le mani queste 16 lettere che Natalie gli ha scritto con un intento ben preciso.

La vicenda di Natalie e Dan ci viene così narrata al contrario, partendo dalla fine, ma attraverso ogni lettera noi seguiamo l’evolversi del carattere dei personaggi e cosa li ha spinti a giungere alla fine.

Il genere Young Adult non è di sicuro il mio preferito, e sinceramente quando ho cominciato a leggere il romanzo non sapevo cosa aspettarmi, ma la storia mi ha preso così tanto che l’ho letto tutto d’un fiato.

Natalie e Dan sono due protagonisti fuori dal comune ma allo stesso tempo molto reali.
Natalie quando la conosciamo è una ragazza solare, intelligente e creativa. Ama l’arte e nonostante sia ricca di famiglia ha davvero una dote naturale. Ma man mano che leggiamo le sue lettere ci rendiamo conto che è anche una ragazza molto insicura, che ha bisogno di continue conferme e rassicurazioni. Il suo carattere è esuberante, a volte un po’ fuori dagli schemi, e quella folle gelosia che prova nei confronti del suo ragazzo la porta a comportamenti esasperati.
Dan è il classico bravo ragazzo, studioso e impegnato, con il sogno di diventare un giorno un documentarista. La sua dolcezza, le sue attenzioni e quell’aria da intellettuale sexy sono quello che fanno innamorare Natalie, ma sotto sotto anche il nostro ragazzo ha dei lati nascosti che vengono fuori lettera dopo lettera. Lo scopriamo insicuro nelle sue abilità, geloso di quel mondo benestante da cui proviene Natalie, indeciso nei rapporti con l’altro sesso e, ahimè,anche traditore.

Come avrete ben capito quella che l’autrice ci racconta non è una storia d’amore, almeno non quelle che noi amanti del romance siamo abituate a leggere: qui non c’è nessun lieto fine, nessun “e vissero felici e contenti”.
Però proprio per questo il romanzo mi ha colpita! La storia di Dan e Natalie è reale, vera, senza troppi sentimentalismi o cuori e fiori. Ci racconta che a volte le storie d’amore non vanno sempre bene, che la gelosia può portare a comportamenti assurdi, che l’insicurezza spezza i legami e che a volte l’amore non basta per far funzionare un rapporto. Natalie e Dan è vero che sono molto giovani, forse inesperti nelle questioni sentimentali, ma l’amore può far male a tutte le età, può essere importante anche quando non si è ancora maturi per capire davvero tutto e può finire anche nel peggiore dei modi!
L’ultima lettera di Natalie sarà infatti il colpo di scena inaspettato che ci fa capire perché la ragazza ha deciso di scrivere queste lettere e perché il loro rapporto è naufragato.

Di solito quando leggo un libro mi innamoro di uno dei due personaggi per il carattere, per la personalità o per le qualità fisiche. Bè stavolta non posso dirvi di essermi innamorata di uno dei protagonisti, forse perché un po’ infantili, ma tutte le loro azioni non mi hanno mai fatto fare il tifo per uno dei due. All’inizio pensavo di provare empatia per Natalie perché avevo intuito soffrisse per essere stata ‘mollata’, ma poi la sua follia mi ha fatto ricredere. Quindi ho pensato che la vittima fosse il povero Dan, che doveva combattere con questa piccola furia. E invece me lo sono ritrovato senza spina dorsale, completamente in balia di quello che lo circonda, senza mai avere una sua idea ferma. I due protagonisti hanno entrambi un carattere troppo incerto e insicuro, hanno buone qualità ma non sanno sfruttarle e nonostante il sentimento che li lega all’inizio sono totalmente incompatibili per stare insieme.

Però devo dire che l’autrice ha avuto davvero un’idea brillante nell’impostare in questo modo la trama del romanzo, perché è stata capace di tenere il lettore incollato alle pagine, lettera dopo lettera, per scoprire un tassello nuovo di questa vicenda. Ci fa conoscere i due ragazzi un passo alla volta, attraverso due punti vi vista e quando pensiamo di averli inquadrati ecco che salta fuori un nuovo particolare che stravolge tutto quello che avevamo pensato! La narrazione è veloce, coinvolgente e dinamica ed è un susseguirsi di emozioni.

Mi sento davvero di consigliarvi la lettura di questo romanzo. Lo troverete diverso, insolito, molto schietto e crudo ma vi assicuro assolutamente interessante!
Profile Image for Adrienne.
295 reviews38 followers
February 15, 2018
“I loved you so much.”
“We destroyed each other.”

Well, that perfectly echoes the beginning and end of most relationships.

I love how the author told Dan and Nat’s love story. The book alternates between witty letters written by Nat, and Dan’s present-day thoughts on the letters and their overall relationship. There were also some text/chat conversations which shed more light on their inevitable destruction.

When I first read about their earliest memories, I kinda wished they’d get back together. They seemed like such an adorable couple that just needed to talk things through. Later on, though, I realized that they were just horrible for each other. And not the scary-yet-exhilirating-rollercoaster-ride kind of horrible but just plain old what-the-fuck.

Oh, Dan. He almost had me fooled with his sweet, I-could-do-no-wrong narrative. The way Nat described him - he seemed like the ultimate dream come true. I only began to see what an insecure little shithead he really was when he started painting Nat as the bad guy - in EVERY single chapter. He just had some SERIOUS self-esteem issues. Boo-fucking-hoo.

And Nat - well, I loved her. No argument about THAT. I completely understood all of her (slightly neurotic) reasons for everything that she did. I was actually disappointed with the ‘payback’ that she had in store for Dan - I mean, if I had been in her shoes, I would have done WAAAY worse. Possibly involving immediate castration.

In conclusion, GO READ THIS BOOK. The title isn’t misleading - their story really breaks your heart... sixteen fucking times.
Profile Image for Ashley.
258 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2023
Okay so… I decided for one of my challenges this year that I would reread a couple of books that I liked years ago. That being said, this one ended up being a top choice for the challenge. Now.. Did I end up liking the book this time around? Honestly not so much as I had back when I’d first read it, but that’s okay. With that being said however.. If you’re into books that are essentially in a letter format and give you dates, times and whatnot to follow along with.. I’d recommend reading.
Profile Image for Caitlyn.
440 reviews39 followers
August 26, 2017
Schadenfreude. It's truly a fitting word to describe the messy, ugly, and distasteful love story of Nat and Dan. Yet I didn't fall for Nat or Dan as they fell for each other. I didn't fall for their giddy, intoxicating yet toxic love. And thus I did not watch wide-eyed, heart flayed as they broke apart and broke each other—their breakups and rage sex, spectacular implosion and self-sabotage. Theirs was a cocktail romance: short, pretty, fireworks in your eyes—and? The hangover hits. And it hits you hard.

Subversive and bold yet wanting in 16 different ways.
Profile Image for TIFFY 🖤👻.
510 reviews8 followers
September 26, 2021
I took my time with this book, but it’s told from two point of views each break up has two different stories but which one would you believe in? Dan definitely wasn’t very smart and Natalie wasn’t a fan of her really but overall I enjoyed the book.
Profile Image for Kate.
463 reviews9 followers
September 17, 2020
2.5 What a roller coaster that was. It was definitely ambitious subject material to break down a break up, but it was just lacking in any real closure for me and the very last page was wacky and seemed too far removed from the rest of the narrative. I did like the formatting of the book tho, the letters and texts were a good way to keep the flashbacks clear.
Profile Image for yagmur.
34 reviews9 followers
June 20, 2021
3.5 ⭐️ kitabın sadece mesajlar ve mektuplar içermesi okumayı zorlaştırdı, ama bu kitabın kötü olduğu anlamına gelmez :) bence yazar kitabı akıcı yazmayı başarmış <333
Profile Image for Jack Reynolds.
756 reviews
May 13, 2018
When I read the premise for 16 Ways to Break A Heart, it immediately appealed to me. Though I had never head of Strasnick prior to this (my high school's library has her first book despite that), it caught my eyes scrolling through Harper's teen releases for the summer. Though there was no cover for it (that would come later), I was instantly curious to see what would happen in a complete breakdown of a relationship that started off so well.

So when I was able to receive an ARC, I definitely wanted to get this read before it came out since the cover was also pretty cool and I was still interested in what would commence. After all, this had to be juicy.

Well, what I got was exactly what I expected.

Is this a good book? Yes.

Is it an amazing one? No.

While I was utterly fascinated in what what wrong between Natalie and Dan and with the novel's fast pace and snappy writing, I feel like there was something missing overall that would have made me like this book more. Not the length, since I thought it was appropriate (compared to two other short contemporaries I've read in the past), but added substance to the characters that would have made them more engaging and not as flat. There was also the ending, which felt really odd and kind of mean. But we'll burn that bridge when we get there.

First up, following this relationship was just as interesting as I thought it was going to be. Both Natalie and Dan were responsible for the fallout, even if they wish to blame the other for the main cause. With the former's manipulative attitude and the latter's unfaithfulness as they spent a longer time together, it was clear just sticking the blame on the other person wasn't the way to go. And as we go further down the rabbit hole, the more Dan's role comes into this whole mess. It’s utterly inescapable and it pulled me in from the start.

To help with this book's pace is the writing. For a pretty short book (there's a total of 192 pages), the writing was really good and actually quite engaging. It suits the book's incredibly fast pace and can be unexpectedly descriptive at various parts, at times sensual and coy, and others dramatic and dark. I honestly didn't know what to expect before I started this book to what I was going to get in terms of the writing, but I'm happy with what I received.

But on to the pace in general, this is a very quick read I could see some readers having no problem finishing in a day. It's unputdownable at parts and the curiosity as to what went wrong lingers and never lets go. Even if you end up hating everyone's guts, there's still that hidden mystery you may end up missing if you decide to put this down and move on to something else. Since I believe
shorter books like this one are relatively brisk reads, I think they deserve a good chance to be finished.

Now on the problems. For starters, while I did get a general understanding of who Dan and Natalie where, along with the people around them, I honestly feel like they weren't developed enough. The former is an aspiring filmmaker who is currently working on a documentary, the latter is an aspiring artist who makes portraits out of various body part cutouts and seems to be too Manic Pixie Dream Girl. There's also their relationship (and Dan's friendship with Ruby), but that's honestly about it. There isn't much to define them other than their occupations and bond. It's kind of a shame, since due to that, I didn't feel as attached to them as individual people. And it's important for me to feel more than just a singular emotion for a character.

Then there's the ending, which was pretty abrupt. After the last letter, there's only a few pages left, and the book just awkwardly ends after that. It doesn't feel like a fully conclusive ending, and Dan kind of gets some unfair treatment. Granted, he did do some things he shouldn't have done, but how Natalie went about getting her revenge just didn't really work for me. It felt somewhat cruel.

Regardless, I still liked this book with its problems, and I do think that fans of he said/she said stories and some fans of YA contemporaries will enjoy this. As for Strasnick's other novels, I'm not exactly sure if I want to explore them, but I guess we'll have to see.
Profile Image for Zali.
158 reviews5 followers
January 28, 2020
Points for original narrative structure and the two leads being so well balanced in hateability.
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