Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins | Book ReviewHearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on December 17, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Social Themes, Dating & Sex, Friendship, Romantic Comedy, Coming of Age
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780358156710
Goodreads
two-stars

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 suburban mothers 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. She’s got her own plans, and they don’t include any prince charming.   But as she dives into schoolwork and getting a scholarship for college, Edie finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys strumming for her attention: First, there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love, who’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player who’s totally off limits—even if his kisses are chemically addictive.   Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help herself from being caught between them. Now, she just has to make sure it isn’t her heart that breaks in the process.

I do love a good Jane Austen re-telling from time to time. Hearts, Strings, And Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins is a contemporary young adult retelling of Mansfield Park. To be honest with all of you, I’ve never read Mansfield Park or seen any film adaptation of it. So, I walked into this book with literally no re-telling context. That’s fine though because the plot is super easy to follow. However, I do find myself wondering if I would have been able to appreciate this more with actual context.

Edie Price has been in the foster care system since her mother passed away. That is, until the spring of her senior year at high school. Her aunt Norah obtains custody of Edie as a charitable project. Edie is whisked from Ithaca to Mansfield, MA where she will finish out the year at a private school with her cousins Maria and Julia. The book basically covers what Edie’s life is like during that school semester and her love triangle.

Edie has a thing for Sebastian, the boy next door that she’s known since she was a child. However, Sebastian is in a relationship with Claire. Claire’s brother, Henry, is attracted to Edie and is a bit of a player. Meanwhile, Edie is trying to concentrate in school and get some scholarships to set herself up for college. But also, she’s dealing with the fallout of an incident with her best friend Shonda, where Shonda is refusing to speak with her.

Hearts, Strings, And Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins had some real potential. The kissing scenes are just wonderful. I loved the interactions with Maria and Julia – the cousins. However, it felt like this whole book was really underdeveloped. It could have gone into real depth but instead things are brushed over rather quickly. I thought the resolution between Henry, Sebastian and Edie was just too quick.

Also, it bothered me a little how the one cousin consistently made fun of Ithaca as though it is some tiny backwoods town. Ithaca has Cornell, Ithaca College, waterfalls, a commons and much more. It is very much a hippie/liberal enclave as well. So the character’s assessment of Ithaca was totally wrong and it just threw me for a loop. There’s just something really lacking with this book and it never really had that special click with me.


two-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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