Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 17th, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Retellings, Contemporary
In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.
But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.
Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jacqueline’s a writer, costume designer, and lover of beautiful things. She’s on the fulltime faculty in the Department of Theatre & Film at the University of British Columbia where she also takes any writing class they’ll let her into. When not obsessing about where to put the buttons or the commas, she can be found running by the ocean, eating excessive amounts of gluten, listening to earnest love songs, and pretending her dog understands every word she says.
Confession: I had no idea this was a retelling of Mansfield Park and I haven’t read that, BUT the great thing is you really don’t have to to appreciate the story!
Let’s start off with the characters. All the characters (ALL OF THEM) are flawed and I LOVE IT. And yet you still will find yourself rooting for people. It’s awesome! It’s very rare to see every character be not-so-perfect and especially when it comes to a novel with a lot of secondary characters!
Edie was really relatable in the sense that she was a musician and a reader with extensive random knowledge of quotes. I loved the scenes where she would quote authors and I especially loved the jokes she would tell!
The other main characters were Sebastian and Henry. I’m not going to lie, Henry was totally my favorite character. He was flawed and one of those typical jocks that had a soft side. Like, duh of course I’m gonna love him! I loved learning about his character and the scenes with him and edie were definitely the highlight of the book.
Sebastian was… average. Edie kept going back to him because he was the “boy next door”, but he had a girlfriend. While he and Edie’s few interactions were cute and I could see them together, I also just didn’t care for him that much. I didn’t really get why Edie was pining over him, but whatever.
Edie’s cousins were also intriguing. They weren’t completely the “snobby egotistical” girls and it was fun getting to know them especially as they started to come more into their character and stop hiding behind facades.
The plot itself had a few different layers and I was so surprised when one of my favorite tropes (I won’t say which because it’ll ruin the fun) was implemented! I liked that Edie had more than just the love interest conflict. I liked the strained relationship with her friend from back home and the little blog posts she would do to try and keep up with her.
The only reason I didn’t rate this a 5/5 was because there were a few things I had a problem with. Some of the lines were just sort of cringe-y but overall, the story was great. And though I was very very angry with how the book ended (not because it was bad, but it just didn’t go the way I hoped), this is definitely a recommendable book because it was fun and interesting!
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys music, book quotes (especially cheesy Shakespeare), hilarious “man walks into bar” jokes, flawed and three dimensional characters, friendship drama, pining over the boy next door, really fancy parties that you have no businesses being at, really dramatic poker games, pixie sticks, and high school drama! If you like boys next door and arrogant but actually really sweet “bad” boys, really great gifts, a weird sort of love triangle and trying and failing to “find yourself” in an effort to get scholarships, this is the book for you!
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE BLOG TOUR HERE:
In addition to the blog tour, there’s also a BOOKSTAGRAM tour where we’ll be giving away 3 copies of the book along with a dress! Make sure to go check out MY INSTAGRAM for more information about the giveaway!
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