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Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  351 ratings  ·  157 reviews
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
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published December 17th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Jessica Laddaga School Library Journal says grades 9 and up - stating, "Alcohol use and sexual activity make this most suitable for older teens." Publishers Weekly…moreSchool Library Journal says grades 9 and up - stating, "Alcohol use and sexual activity make this most suitable for older teens." Publishers Weekly also agrees with ages "Ages 14–up."

Hope that helps :) (less)

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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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DNF @ p. 25

Reading this book was like the visual equivalent of hearing nails on a chalkboard. It's so saccharine and is trying way too hard. I picked this up because I heard it was supposed to be a Jane Austen retelling, but if Jane Austen is a gourmet wedding cake, this book is a plastic-wrapped Hostess cupcake.

Maybe if you like Morgan Matson and Stephanie Perkins, and the legion of other YA books featuring idiotic and ditzy leads whose
Yna the Mood Reader
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Thingsis a (sickeningly)sweet YA contemporary retelling that reminds of TATBILB and a mellowed-down version of Gossip Girl. It is also linked to be a retelling of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, which I do not have a clue about because your girl has not read any classics at all.

Anyway, for a quick warning about the story, you must be prepared to deal with a love traingle, and rich teenagers managing their rich people problems and one little outsider in the
Samantha Hastings
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘The whole delightful and astonishing truth’ is this modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park is a must read!

Edie (Fanny) Price is a foster kid who is spending the last few months of her senior year with her wealthy Aunt Norah and her two daughters. Maria and Julia (the cousins) aren’t necessarily likable but they are relatable and more complex than Austen’s original characters. Edie quotes women’s authors including Edith Wharton for whom she was named (loved that!). Sebastian, the boy
Stacy Fetters
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Either Henry had hugged a tree recently or Lucifer endorsed cologne after all."

Everyone who knows me knows that there is one thing that will make me dislike a book and that’s for the author to make it seem like cheating is okay. This book made me think that and I almost gave up reading this book a few times but I powered through. That was such a bad idea and a waste of my time.

Edie, the female protagonist made out with her best friend's boyfriend, knowing that it was wrong. She also expected
May 30, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
Another Jane Austen retelling that I'd like to read because it sounds so good? Unprecedented pt. 2
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Edie Price has been rescued from foster care by her wealthy aunt and uncle who care more about looking like do-gooders than they do about her. She moves in with them for the end of her senior year, right next door to her childhood best friend and first crush, Sebastian. Unfortunately, he's got a girlfriend. Despite the fact that Edie can't stop thinking about him, she's absolutely not going to come between him and Claire. She distracts herself with Claire's brother, Henry, who leaves a trail of ...more
The Nerd Daily
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

There’s nothing better than love-hating a book to the point of shouting it to the skies, which was my exact reaction to this book. Did I absolutely fall in love with it? YES. Did I also hate the way that it ended? ABSOLUTELY, and I would read it all over again just to experience the agony of the ending, with the hope that it might be a little different each time. Like any good romantic comedy, it’s fun, dramatic, and full of
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things is a young adult contemporary romance by Jacqueline Firkins. This book was so stinking cute. I absolutely loved it! it is a retelling of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I have read almost all of Austen’s books, but Mansfield Park is one that has escaped my attention. Regardless of the fact that I have yet to read it, I was very much able to enjoy Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things, and in fact it made me want to pick up Mansfield Park to see if ...more
Nina (JustAddAWord)
It’s good, it’s cheesy, and it’s good BECAUSE it’s cheesy, but honestly, rating-wise, it’s tricky to gauge just how good this was.

It’s addicting, for sure. Edie is a fine lead - she’s easy to understand, and while some of her decisions are questionable, she’s realistically messy and that, I think, is the exact point that HEARTS, STRINGS, AND OTHER BREAKABLE THINGS is trying to bring across. Did it succeed? Yep. I get it. I get its message. We’re good on that front.

On the plus side, this is
Lindsay (pawsomereads)
Aug 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
A Jane Austen retelling?? Perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before?? Say no more, I’m hooked
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kali Cole
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars,

Although this story was filled with romantic quirks and well developed characters. I really disliked how Edie’s thoughts were kind of manipulative without her really being aware of them. I kind of connected to this love triangle thing on a deep level in terms of my previous ex and how our relationship felt like Edie’s and Henry’s and how trusting your partner and being confused in a relationship is normal and you should end it before it progresses. This book would definitely have
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Looks like I’m going to have an unpopular opinion here, but I wasn’t a big fan of this book. First off, there are a lot of female characters in this book, and none of them are terribly likable. Edie, the main, is really hard to get behind. She supposedly has this “unbreakable” string of attachment to Sebastian, but let’s be real here. She hasn’t seen him in YEARS. They haven’t kept in touch, and their last interaction was as children. But the first time she sees him, she’s irreversibly attached ...more
Laura Namey
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I came for Jane Austen, but stayed for Jacquline Firkins and her beautiful Mansfield Park retelling. Witty dialogue, lovely prose, well drawn characters and plenty of swoon worthy moments make this a winner on my shelf, and this talented debut author a must-buy from now on. Well done!
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Joke time. So, a girl walks into a bar ... which hurt because she had her nose stuck in this book and couldn't see where she was going. I know what you're thinking and I disagree with you. Because I'm hilarious and delighted with this book.

Full review and blog tour stop at Write, Read, Repeat.

I realize I sound like a broken record in saying this, but contemporary YA romances are a hard sell for me. I rarely relate, get irritated by how irritating the main characters tend to be, and the
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

This book was exactly what I needed right now. I have been reading emotionally charged novels lately and needed something on the lighter side. This is a retelling of Mansfield Park. After spending three years in foster care after the death of her mother, Edie is moving in with her uncle, aunt, and two cousins. She knows that this is only temporary until she graduates high school and heads out to college in the fall. Soon after moving in, she rekindles her friendship with Sebastian, the cute
Cassie O. | Lost In Tomes
Jan 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF @ Chapter 10 / 25%
This reads like it's written by someone whose only knowledge of what it's like to be in high school comes from watching bad teen movies.


Cliche, in the worst kind of way. I can't get behind any of the love interests or our MC. There's no chemistry. It all just feels so... fake. None of our characters have any redeeming qualities and are riddled with "rich kid" stereotypes. It was hard to like anyone. Our cast didn't "mesh" well together, which is strange because they also
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arc
This was a delightfully light and romantic read! It’s loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park.

A lot is modernized obviously, including a few bits I wish hadn’t been, but I appreciated the addition of a sort of slow burn family relationship. It was sweet and genuine and heart-warming.

Some of the changes from the original story involved the romance, and those - to me - were the most clunky and disappointing. I think the end was rushed into trying to get the right people together,
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
* Thank you Raincoast Books for the advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review *

ACTUAL: 4.5 stars

Edie is stuck in Mansfield, Massachusetts, for her last summer before college. She wants to avoid her rich cousin's and their friends, and focus on applying for scholarships. But soon enough, two guys have caught her attention. Sebastian, Edie's childhood friend, is sweet and smart... and already taken. Henry, on the other hand, is a bad-boy and player, who should be off-limits. Even if
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
4/5 Stars

Author: Jacqueline Firkins

Publisher/Imprint: HMH Books for Young Readers

Edition: Paperback ARC, 371 Pages

Hardcover Publication Date: December 17, 2019

A Spine that Shines? Quite Well!

*This review is based on a paperback ARC edition received from the publisher. All quotes used in this review come from the uncorrected proof. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

‘Hearts were fragile things, prone to fractures, though they were surprisingly strong, too.’
-Jacqueline Firkins, Hearts,
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and HMH Books for Young Readers for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

I guess I can add an additional disclaimer here and say that I personally have never read Mansfield Park nor watched any of the adaptations of this book, so I was pretty lucky
Mari Johnston
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Content Warnings: parental abandonment, death of a parent, foster care, fatphobia, underage drinking

As much as I was looking forward to Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things and wanted to like it – it just wasn’t for me.

For the first few chapters, things went well. The author’s voice is immediately quirky and fun with a dramatic flair. As the book continued though it started to become too much. Similes and metaphors
Jennifer Paquette
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I just finished this sweet teen romance! It was an easy read ( I flew through it) with plenty of romantic drama to keep me squealing with delight throughout! Many of your favourite romance novel tropes are at play here and I was there for every single minute of it.

Perfect for fans of To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Jun 09, 2019 marked it as 2019
Modern day retelling of Mansfield Park? Sign me up!
Samantha (WLABB)
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, 2019-debut, 2019
Edie was trying to keep her eyes on the prize. She aspired to earn a college scholarship, and start her future the right way. But first, she had to endure several months in her wealthy aunt’s home. While there, she reminded herself of the pact she made with her best friend - NO BOYS, but as she attempted to fit into this new world, she found her heart torn between two. Would she still be able to focus on her future or would these young men be her undoing?

This book is a update of Jane Austen’s
Jennieke Cohen
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a Jane Austen devotee, I HAD to read this book, and I’m so glad I did! Firkins’s high school-set MANSFIELD PARK is a cute and sometimes cheeky romance that has everything you’d hope a MANSFIELD PARK retelling would have. Firkins has made her protagonist Edie Price (her analogue for Austen’s Fanny Price) far more relatable to a modern reader—she creates song lyrics in her head, creates clever word definitions that had me smiling, and she’s a bit of a smart-ass, to boot—yet she still *feels* ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thisisaverysophisticateddebutnovelthatmaynestleintheyoungadultbracketbuthasamuchwiderappeal.Forthoseofusa couple of years(/decades)beyondtheir teens, it will evoke all manner of emotions as you take this journey through Edie.
One of Firkins' many strengths is her ability to distill the complexities of the human heart with an equal measure of humour and insight. Clearly her background in both theatre and literature has served her wonderfully detailed imagery and characterisation. Thesubtlywoven
Sam - Spines in a Line
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very cute story and a great homage to Austen, but I wish YA would stop trying to normalize underage girls in relationships with adult men. Can I just pretend all the characters are teenagers? Thanks to the publisher for a copy to review!

Firkins has written a very cute story and seamlessly transitioned Austen’s work to the young adult genre. Some things obviously need to change – we get a modern time period, the more acceptable romantic interest as I mentioned, and different interests for the
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**4.5 Stars**

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group and NetGalley for this opportunity to read this eArc.

I read this last night, thinking to go for some light teen romance story and a few hours later, past midnight, with my heart racing, I thought, THIS BOOK.

Reading the book, I thought, is this a Jane Austen Mansfield Park retelling?! Yes, I silently screamed it in my mind, as to not wake anyone up but I didn’t get the memo! The blurb said nothing obvious about it, except
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 ...more