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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


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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Free sample

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

Why I love it

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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Member ratings (767)

  • Megan T.

    Dallas, TX

    Really cute, high school romance I wish I had had 20 years ago. It started a little slow, but once it picked up I was hooked. It left me sad, proud, hopeful, and swoony all at once. Sweet little read.

  • Maddie J.

    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 .

  • Kristina M.

    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 ❤️

  • Alamea Z.

    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!

  • Sonia T.

    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!