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.
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable ThingsFeatured
After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally has a home-- though not one she's excited about. Taken in by her mother's estranged sister and thrown into a life of wealth where private schools were the expectation and summer jobs were considered beneath them, Edie has little to hold on to. Except the boy next door, the one she hasn't seen since she was a kid. Her first kiss.
And also the boy with a girlfriend. Navigated the minefield of loving someone who was unavailable, Edie finds herself taking solace in the arms of the resident bad boy, but is it enough when her heart belongs to someone else?
What I loved:
There's a feeling in this book. I'll call it nostalgia. It brings back memories from being a teenager unsure of the future where every decision, every relationship feels enormous. It's a beautifully written tale of first love with struggles the reader experiences right alongside the characters. The side characters grow on you until you fall in love with their quirks and issues. And through it all, you never lose faith that Edie will be okay no matter what happens.
What was just okay:
The main characters each had their own issues that made it hard to fall in love with them. Edie's desperation and illogical choices. Sebastian's indecision, stringing two women along. And Henry's serial cheating. It almost seems like we're supposed to root for them, but against Sebastian's girlfriend - who is shown to be mean, but is really the wronged character. Through all this, the book is still a one-sitting read which shows the true talent of the author.
Finally Verdict: A can't-put-it-down type of read where everything is a beautiful train wreck, but it's our train wreck as we root for the flawed characters and are drawn in by the wonderful prose. It's not a book that one will forget about.
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. Just like with Sebastian, Edie can feel a chemistry between Henry and he doesn't seem as bad as everyone says. The two spend more and more time together and go back and forth with bar jokes that bring humor to the story. The only problem is who will Edie choose? Sebastian or Henry?
HEARTS, STRINGS, AND OTHER BREAKABLE THINGS is modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park that will have your heart soaring. There are many cheesy things about it, but it works perfectly in this story. I love both Henry and Sebastian, but Henry won me over. He was there no matter what. I like how Edie is a strong character who won't change who she is because she's brought into a wealthy word.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of Jane Austen, contemporary romance, and love triangles.