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Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  88 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, 384 pages
Expected publication: December 17th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  123 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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

review coming soon...
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
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.

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 predictability has me bored by the fourth chapter. Needless to
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.

Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
This book sounds like it is going to be so much fun to read, and I love the summer before college setting. The fact that it is a Jane Austen retelling has me really intrigued as well. I can’t wait to find out how this book ends.
Sam - Spines in a Line
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very cute story, 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?
Jun 09, 2019 marked it as 2019
Modern day retelling of Mansfield Park? Sign me up!
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
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
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
Michelle Tichota
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for an ARC copy!
***Solid 4/5 Stars***

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if there is a retelling of any Jane Austen story, it goes to the very top of my TBR list. When I found this modern adaptation of Mansfield Park while perusing new titles on NetGalley, I did a little happy dance. This book was a lovely, quick read and I gobbled every syllable! I thought the story line was excellent, the book had great flow, and the characters
Vidya Tiru
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts
Austen, All the Boys, and Other Related Things
The name of the town the story is set in should have been a dead giveaway – or so I thought, after I finished reading the book. I had wondered at its vague familiarity. And when I checked what other people thought about it, it hit me – this is an adaptation (or is it a retelling?) – of Jane Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’. I read Austen’s book decades ago now so can honestly say my recall of it is mild-ish (but somewhere in the labyrinth that is
Chan ( inbedwithabook )
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to NetGalley, Jacqueline Firkins, and HMH Books for Young Readers for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

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Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things rating: /

The cover of this book caught my eye as I was perusing through NetGalley late one night, and I thought, “seems like a cute, light-hearted, YA read.” Four hours later, my eyes couldn’t read the words fast enough, my heart was screaming for the conclusion, and I was so pleasantly surprised.


Patsy Goodsir
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Hearts, Strings and Other breakable things.

It is a story about love. Teenage, will he? won’t he? heartachingly beautiful love, that lifts you to the clouds only to plummet you to the depths of despair. It’s also a story about friendship and its importance.
Edie has had it tough. Her much loved mother is gone and her rather stiff Aunt Norah and good old Bert who does as he’s told, have signed a legal guardianship until she is 18, when she hopes to go to
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
An orphaned, impoverished, and clever teenager goes to live with her wealthy cousins in a place called Mansfield. Charming cads, snooty socialites, affairs, engagements, romantic intrigue, and fancy dance parties ensue. Sounds familiar? Well, if you think you know this story, author Jacqueline Firkins takes the literary roots of romantic comedy to new, witty, and thoughtful places in this charming novel about first love, first heartbreak, and the endurance of friendship.

It is a truth universally
Abby Hargreaves
There's a storm coming and her name is Jacqueline Firkins. In her debut, Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things Firkins retells the Jane Austen classic (and my second favorite) Mansfield Park. Readers meet seventeen-year-old Edie, who moves in with extended family after her mother passes. The boy next door, Sebastian, is as sweet as she ever remembered him, only now he has a girlfriend, Claire, who is a little more sour than sweet. To get her mind off of Sebastian (all while trying to ...more
Molly Mason
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
**Thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers, Jacqueline Firkins, and Netgalley for this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Hearts, Strings and Other Breakable Things follows upcoming high school senior Edie in her adventures as a foster child who has just been taken in by her wildly rich aunt in an effort to show off for her wildly rich friends and use her as a charity case. She will be going to the all girls prep school nearby with her spoiled cousins. She used to spend a lot of time at
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 friends boyfriend, knowing that it was wrong. She also expected
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Edie moves back to Mansfield to life with her aunt, uncle, and two cousins, she is reunited with her childhood crush Sebastian. She can't stop her feelings for him from returning with full force, but he already has a girlfriend. She's rich, beautiful, and nothing like Edie who would rather wear flats than high heels.

Enter Henry. He's the brother of Sebastian's current girlfriend and is a known bad boy/player. Knowing how Edie feels for Sebastian, Henry still wants to spend time with her.
Jul 05, 2019 added it
Shelves: borrowed, paper
This was such a fun, cute book. There are plenty of adaptations of Jane Austen novels out there, but this one is a winner. I know my Jane Austen well, but readers who don't know Mansfield Park will still really enjoy this book, and those who do will just get that much extra out of it.

My frustration with the source material (Mansfield Park) is that the heroine, Fanny Price, is such an inactive character - she's always waiting for something to happen to her. Hearts, Strings, etc loosely follows
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This one reminded me of the Cinderella story. We have Edith who has lost her mom and her father is not in the picture. She spend three years in the system to all of a sudden being taken out by her Aunt. I think that its weird that the foster care system would allow someone to basically adopt their relative after them being in the system for three years. That has to be the only real issue I had with this one as it just felt off and not realistic.

This title is over the top with tropes of falling
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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