Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things, by Jacqueline Firkins
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Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Length: 384 pages
Times Read: Once
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.
Well, it wasn’t my favorite, but it does feature a TRULY EXCELLENT love triangle!
♥ This book is VERY PREDICTABLE. If you think you know what happens, congratulations! You probably do. I started a list of things I thought were going to happen, down to what gifts given were going to be and quotes quoted were going to end up being written by, but it got to be too long because I was right about them all so I stopped. That doesn’t make it a bad book. I generally know what’s going to happen in a rom-com too, but that doesn’t mean I like them any less, and this is the same idea. Just don’t expect any surprises. The cheese is gonna cheese, the haters are gonna hate, and the love triangle is gonna resolve exactly the way you expect it to even though you don’t want it to.
♥ This is a modern retelling of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Having never read this (I’m not a fan of the classics, sue me), I’m not positive about how closely the ending of Hearts resembles the original. From what I can gather in other reviews though, it’s a pretty faithful retelling, so if you were a fan of that novel you might be a big fan of this one!
Google tells me this is from Mansfield Park. T/F?
♥ I fully hate Edie’s best friend, Edie’s aunt, Edie’s cousins, and a large majority of Edie’s cousin’s friends. They are stereotypical mean girls who mock her for coming from less money, not having the same wardrobe options, for wanting to get an after-school job. Her aunt, her parental guardian, says all of the same things plus constantly talks about great she is for taking Edie in, how charitable, and how Edie isn’t grateful enough for the few months of support she’s willing to provide until her 18th birthday, after leaving Edie in foster care for years.
♥ If you are in this for the kissing, at the halfway through point there has been NONE. At page 287 there has still been NONE. There is a REALLY HOT fake make-out (one of my favorite things), but no actual kissing until there are less than 100 pages left in the book.
♥ But my favorite part? This is a really, truly well done love triangle. Sure, Sebastian is a little whiny and spineless but he’s still a solid leg of this.
Henry, though…oh, Henry. He’s flawed and admits to liking the challenge, but is also the director of the aforementioned really hot fake make-out scene that featured a ten second countdown.
But if you really want to get me? Really want to pull me into a romance? Give me a guy who talks about my favorite thing, and he becomes the sexiest guy in the book.
“Don’t worry,” he assured her. “I’m strictly transportation.”
“I find that hard to believe. Unless you have a broad definition of transportation.”
“Transportation, maybe, but I have a very clear definition of consent.”
YOU POOR MEN IT’S BEEN SUCH A HARD FEW YEARS
“Can I kiss her again?” He laid a hand on either side of her face and looked into her eyes.
Edie nodded, already breathless just from a look.
“Say my favorite word,” he implored her.”
What else can I really say about this? Henry cares about consent in a deep way, and he really gets it. The girl he’s transporting in the first quote is drunk, and the thought of trying to do anything with her doesn’t even enter his mind. Before his kiss with Edie, he doesn’t just want to assume her nod means yes. He wants to hear it, and he wants her to have the opportunity to say yes or no clearly AND I LOVE IT!
Final Thoughts: If you can get past the mean-girling that won’t quit and no one ever gets called out on, if you can put up with ZERO KISSING for most of the book, if you’re fond of Mansfield Park and enjoy a well done love triangle, this might be the book for you!
Favorite Quotes:“‘Gets easier’ doesn’t mean ‘gets easy.'”
“Why couldn’t emotions line up as neatly as Norah’s lawn chairs? Why were they such experts at contradicting each other?”
“That’s the hardest thing about loving someone. You only get to choose how you love them, not how they love you back.”
All quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof of the book
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.
TOUR SCHEDULE & GIVEAWAY
Make sure to follow along with all of the other great blogs on the tour! We’re doing an Instagram giveaway this time, and you can find that schedule on the following link as well. See you there!