ARC Review

Review: Hearts, Strings and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins

“That’s the hardest thing about loving someone. You only get to choose how you love them, not how they love you back.”
– Jacqueline Firkins

Title: Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
Author: Jacqueline Firkins
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Publisher:  HMH Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 384

Thank you to HMH Books for an advanced finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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.

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Hearts Strings and Other Breakable Things is a modern day retelling of Mansfield Park. Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austens’ most disliked books and now I know why if it’s anything like this retelling. Beware of spoilers ahead, I don’t know how to write a review without any since the synopsis gives us nothing.

➽ Edie – After losing her mom she’s been bouncing around the foster care system until one day her aunt and uncle decide to adopt her. She returns to the town her and her mother swore they’d never set foot in again, Mansfield. It’s a rich area where she sticks out immediately which her two cousins point out to her immediately. Edie has a lot of anger towards her family who are only trying to help. Her goal is to focus on school, get a good scholarship and absolutely no boys. But then she runs into the boy next door who she has always crushed on. Not to mention the annoying but hot boy she meets at her her first party who won’t leave her alone because he likes a challenge.

➽ Sebastian – The boy next door with no spine. He has a girlfriend but constantly flirts and hangs out with Edie. He doesn’t want the life his parents or his girlfriend have set up for him but never stands up for what he wants either. He is a forgettable character with a wet-blanket personality to match.

➽ Henry – The hottie man-whore who can’t take no for an answer, unless it’s in response to consent. He’s all over Edie from the start, along with both of her cousins… sharing is caring? He actually grows on me but we don’t know anything about him except for he’s graduated from high school and is brother to Sebastian’s girlfriend. Oh and he’s funny, hot, and a good kisser.

This contemporary YA hits all the pitfalls of bad contemporaries. Love triangle, insta-love, characters that aren’t well rounded and utterly forgettable. The only reason this gets two stars is because I finished it and Henry. He goes from this hot douchebag of a man whore to this sweet and kind boy who was hiding behind a wall built up to protect himself. I loved his transformation and was sad to see it go to waste.

The love triangle was bad. Sebastian has a girlfriend but is doing some shady crap behind her back which is something I strongly dislike in contemporaries. Cheating is never okay. He strings both girls along with no regards to either’s feelings. Then we get the fake relationship to real relationship with Edie and Henry. I liked them together and if Edie had been all in instead of holding back and waiting for Sebastian they could have had something real. Instead it’s two half-a**ed relationships.

Beyond the romance aspects we have Edie herself and her relationships with her cousins, Maria and Julia. Edie is fickle, rude and ungrateful. Her cousins try to be her friend and help her fit in. There is no effort on Edie’s part to make her new life work or even be nice to her cousins. Maybe her aunt and uncle took her in for the wrong reasons, but her cousins wanted her there. Then again they were all sharing the same guy so there is bound to be a little tension in those relationships. How hard is it to be nice though?

Edie finished the book the same girl she had started as. I didn’t see any character growth on her part. Even her last words are similar to her first words when she arrives in Mansfield. She annoyed me to no end and if it weren’t for Henry I would’ve DNF’d this book. *SPOILER* After the whole love triangle, dumping Henry for Sebastian, and making Sebastian win her back she goes off to college and decides she “doesn’t have time for boys” and is “focusing on her education.” Okay then what was the whole last part of this book. I wanted to strangle her.

After all this hate I’ve been heaping on I feel like I should discuss what this book got right. Consent. While a bit of a man-whore, Henry had consent down. So while white and entitled he wasn’t down with just taking what he wanted. Consent has been coming up a lot in contemporary YA novels lately and I’m here for it.

So yeah I basically hated this book and unless you actually like Mansfield Park I’d pass this over for another contemporary that doesn’t want to make you pull your hair out.

Disclaimer: All quotes used in this review are taken from an advanced copy and may be changed from those that appear in the final version. Quotes will be updated to reflect such changes, if any.

ARC Review

Review: Echos Between Us by Katie McGarry

“All you get to do when someone loves you is either push them away or accept the love they are willing to give you. If you push them away, you’re knowingly hurting them. If you let them love you, there will still be hurt, but at least then you’ll both have moments of happiness”
– Katie McGarry

Title: Echos Between Us
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Continue reading “Review: Echos Between Us by Katie McGarry”
ARC Review

Review: The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord

“But beneath the scuff marks and scars, I could still see us in bright, glossy color…”
– Emery Lord

Title: The Map From Here to There
Author: Emery Lord
Series: The Start of Me and You #2
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Bloomsbury YA for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Continue reading “Review: The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord”
ARC Review

Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

” The most dangerous girl at the party is always the girl alone with a book.”
– Brigid Kemmerer

Title: A Heart So Fierce and Broken
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers #2
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Pages: 464

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Bloomsbury YA for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

Continue reading “Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer”
ARC Review, Blog Tour

A Constellation of Roses Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

Title: A Constellation of Roses
Author: Miranda Asebedo
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 336

Thank you to HarperTeen for an advanced finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Welcome to the last day of The Constellation of Roses blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! This was one of my favorite contemporary reads this year and you can find my review below. There is a giveaway going both on the blog tour and on Instagram (click HERE to go to my bookstagram) both of which you can find the tour schedule for below to follow the tour and enter more times!

Continue reading “A Constellation of Roses Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway”
ARC Review

Review: Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

“For why else would so many other books exist if not to impart different truths about life and all its complexities?”
– Jennieke Cohen

Title: Dangerous Alliance
Author: Jennieke Cohen
Release Date: December 3, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 448

Continue reading “Review: Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen”