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.

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things Blog Tour: Book Spotlight + Giveaway

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!

Welcome to the Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Today I just have a quick spotlight of the book (aka me just promoting it) along with a super unique giveaway going on Instagram (click HERE to go to my bookstagram). Find the tour schedules for both the blog and Instagram tours below to follow the tour and enter more times!

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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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.

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👫 G I V E A W A Y 💔 . . Happy Wednesday, Beautiful Bookish People! Have you visited any Christmas Markets? What is your favourite drink during winter time? . Today, we have a very cute and special book to share with you: #HeartsStringsAndOtherBreakableThings by Jacqueline Firkins. I say special, because I love summer romances, and this book is perfect for this winter because it makes me start daydreaming about summer and my favourite stories! In this novel, we meet Edie about to spend her last summer before colleague in a place she would rather not be while dealing with her mother's passing. While she keeps trying to stay focused on colleague, 2 distractions in the form of a bad-boy and her old-time crush come knocking on her door, leading to heartbreak and romance. Edie just needs to make sure she's not the one getting her heart broken! . I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE stories like this one and today we have partnered with Jacqueline (@jfkillsdarlings) to give you not only the chance to win a hardcopy of #HSAOBT but also a book-inspired dress! 3 designs available. 3 prizes! Swipe left to see pics (⬅️). . . ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Follow @theffbc & @whatmakespatri ▪︎Follow the author @jfkillsdarlings ▪︎Follow the publishing house @hmhteen ▪︎Comment (to let us know you are participating!): Which dress do you like the most (& why)? . EXTRA ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk & @artsyreadergirl . ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let us know on the comment section who did you follow). Check everyone's Instagram handles below: @wishfulendings @l.m.durand @BookBriefs @stars.brite @booknerdanonymous @shelflifechronicles @agingerlyreview . Also, stop by my site to read an interview with Jacqueline and learn more about #HSAOBT! . . #bookshimmy #giveaway #bookstagram #bookblogger #bookstagramming #bookgram #yabookstagram #ireadya #booksatgrammer #bibliophile #bookphotography #booknerd #booklover #amreading #yalit #booksofinstagram #bookgiveaway #booksbooksbooks #bookcommunity #bookworm

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December 11th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

December 12th

Pages and Pugs – Review
We Live and Breathe Books – Review
Wishful Endings – Review
Snark & Squee – Review
Write, Read, Repeat – Review

December 13th

The Candid Cover – Guest Post
L.M. Durand – Review
Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
What’s She Reading? – Review
Devourbookswithdana – Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes

December 14th

Jinxed Reviews – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Book Briefs – Review
Bookishaestha – Review + Favourite Quotes
Star Is All Booked Up – Review
Book Nerd Anonymous – Review

December 15th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
The Lovely Books – Review
Books of Amber – Review
The Shelf Life Chronicles – Promotional Post
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

December 16th

Here’s to Happy Endings – Review + Favourite Quotes
Jill’s Book Blog – Review
A Gingerly Review – Review + Favourite Quotes
Cover to Cover Book Blog – Review
Lala’s Book Reviews – Review

December 17th

To All The Books I’ve Read Before – Guest Post
Yna the Mood Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
A Lovely Book Affair – Review
Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater – Review

December 11th

TUABFC
The FFBC Tours

December 12th

Wishful Endings

December 13th

L.M. Durand
The Candid Cover

December 14th

Book Briefs
Star Is All Booked Up
Book Nerd Anonymous

December 15th

The Shelf Life Chronicles

December 16th

A Gingerly Review
Lala’s Book Reviews