For some, falling in love is one of the greatest things in the world. For Natalie, the main protagonist in “16 Ways to Break a Heart,” by Lauren Strasnick, it's the opposite.
Natalie met Dan, her ex-boyfriend, who she can't seem to forget, at a coffee shop before school. As she caught herself staring at him, he made his way over toward her, and accidentally spilled his coffee on her.
That's where memories began for both of them. From roaming Silver Lake all day together, going to an awkward party with most of Dan's friends, to eating Chinese takeout on Valentine's Day, and all that falls in between, the two shared an unspoken bond.
Natalie decides to write Dan letters about their past relationship, and the lying and betrayal that took place in the final days of their relationship. Natalie and Dan continue to have feelings for one another, but will their love be enough for a future relationship, or might it be best if they remain “broken-up.”
An enjoyable aspect of “16 Ways to Break a Heart” was the different perspective it offered on love. In most books, everyone gets a happy ending, but this book is relatable for anyone who has experienced heartbreak or hardship in a relationship.
I highly recommend this novel, targeted for young adults ninth grade and older.