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All booksYoung adultHearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
Young adult

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Jacqueline Firkins, on your first book!

by Jacqueline Firkins

Quick take

Your modern retelling of Mansfield Park. Cue cute love interests, witty dialogue, and awfully difficult decisions.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic

Why I love it

Kerri Jarema
Arts & Culture Writer

Take one part Jane Austen romance, two parts ‘90s teen movie decadence, add a generous splash of youthful introspection, shake it all up, and divide it into two tall, equally beautiful glasses: That’s my recipe for the sweet and sour cocktail that is Jacqueline Firkins’s debut YA contemporary novel, Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things.

Our heroine Edie Price has just moved to her aunt and uncle’s home in Mansfield, MA, after a year spent in foster care. Following her free-spirited musician mother’s death, Edie is struggling—with her creativity; a falling out with her best friend, Shonda; and figuring out where she fits in the high-stakes world of her sophisticated cousins, Maria and Julia, and their wealthy friends. Things only get more complicated (and the book’s plot delightfully steamier) when Edie is thrust into a love triangle with her longtime crush, Sebastian, and Mansfield’s most sought after bad boy, Henry, whose reputation as a heartbreaker precedes him.

I wouldn’t consider myself an Austen fanatic, but you don’t have to be familiar with the source material to fall in love with this modern Mansfield Park retelling. Firkins perfectly captures the all-consuming emotions of first love(s), the struggle to decide who we truly are, and the exhilaration of standing at the precipice of adulthood—feelings that anyone who is, or has ever been, a teenager will know all too well.

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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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Check out a preview of Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things.

Member thoughts

All (437)
All (437)
Love (177)
Like (211)
Dislike (49)
454 ratings
  • 39% Love
  • 46% Like
  • 11% Dislike
  • Indianapolis, IN

    This was a great read i loved how it keep me guessing on who this amazing character would end up with. Im glad “henry crawford” had good intentions and didnt cheat like the jane austin book did .

  • New York, NY

    This was the perfect romance novel, especially due its unconventional characters, not just preppy private school girls who get the guy they want. Thank god Edie and Sebestian ended happily ❤️

  • Carson, CA

    I thought it was an amazing book. I loved the characters and was super interested in it the entire time. Some choices I disagreed with, but a lot of high school students are well, stupid. Loved!

  • Omaha, NE

    Loved this book and was thoroughly torn by the choices Edie had to make. Loved the bantering throughout the whole book and found myself laughing out loud a few times. Cute and well written!

  • Aberdeen, SD

    I love a good Austen based story and this made me happy even if I had a decent idea how it was going to end. It was a fun, modern retelling that felt authentic to Austen and the times.

  • Bethel, PA

    I loved this book! I could not put it down from the moment I started reading. While I am definitely team Henry, I can see where Edie's ending choice comes from. 8/10 would recommend.

  • Dixon, IL

    This book surprised me! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, but by the end, I was rooting for Edie and her choices. It was a light and charming story!

  • Beavercreek, OH

    The drama and love triangles were so so real in this book! It was a fast easy entertaining read for me. Makes me want to read the actual Jane Austen novel.

  • North Benton, OH

    This book gave me all the feels. Though I wanted her to end up with the other guy, the ending was pretty darn good. It’s definitely one I would reread.

  • New York , NY

    This was so cute! The perfect contemporary read for summer and I loved the two love interests so much. I also thought Edie was a great main character!

  • Lincoln, NE

    Loved this book. Very sweet story and loved the pace of the book. I had to finish it in a day because I couldn't wait to see who she ended up with!

  • Chandler, AZ

    It was fluffy and adorable that had me smiling the whole way through. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a light and happy read.

  • Pembroke, NH

    I thought this was going to be a lighter read than it was. But I’m very glad it wasn’t! Compelling characters and a wonderful storyline.

  • Howard City, MI

    I love how the book is set up and i was always rooting for Edie and what she was doing. It truly suprised me how much i loved this book.

  • New Braunfels, TX

    This is an easy to read spin on Austen’s Mansfield Park which touches on friendship, family, forgiveness, and staying true to oneself.

  • Largo, FL

    I really loved this book! I felt like it was a very well done retelling and the characters were well written. Definitely recommend!

  • Missouri City, TX

    Edie is my fave character. Shes headstrong, but she knows how to make the system her aunt has set to work to her advantage.

  • Parker, CO

    Cute story, quick and easy read. Enjoyed the characters and was quickly invested in both of Edie’s love interests!

  • Lubbock, TX

    I really enjoyed this book. It provides lots of angst and frustration that I love when reading romance-y stories.

  • Dublin, OH

    This book is amazing. It made me want to just keep reading and reading and reading! Would recommend.

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