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How Not to Fall in Love
Cover of How Not to Fall in Love
How Not to Fall in Love
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A hardened cynic and a hopeless romantic teach each other about love in this swoony and heartful romance that's perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and The Upside of Falling.Harper works in her mom's...
A hardened cynic and a hopeless romantic teach each other about love in this swoony and heartful romance that's perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and The Upside of Falling.Harper works in her mom's...
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Description-

  • A hardened cynic and a hopeless romantic teach each other about love in this swoony and heartful romance that's perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and The Upside of Falling.

    Harper works in her mom's wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more.

    Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he's already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rom-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously.

    When Theo's shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She's also checking out her window to see if Theo's home from his latest date yet. She's even watching rom-coms.

    If she confesses her feelings, she'll undermine everything she's taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?

About the Author-

  • Jacqueline Firkins is a playwright, screenwriter, and comics artist who's been creating worlds and characters as a set and costume designer for the past twenty years. She's on the fulltime faculty at the University of British Columbia where she also takes any writing class they'll let her into. When not writing, drawing, or sewing, she can be found running by the ocean, listening to earnest love songs, and pretending her dog understands every word she says.
    Twitter: JFkillsdarlings
    Instagram: jfkillsdarlings

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2021
    Seventeen-year-old Harper Jamison does not believe in romance. Years of working at Beneath the Veil, her single mother's bridal boutique, have shown Harper the reality of love and weddings, and a summer fling that ended badly only added to her cynicism. But this doesn't stop her from sneaking glances at Felix, the cute boy from school who works out at the gym across the street, even if she has no plans of ever asking him out. Her best friend, Theo, on the other hand, is a complete romantic who keeps getting his heart broken by girls who don't reciprocate the intensity of his feelings. When Harper offers to teach Theo how to date without becoming too invested, Theo agrees--on the condition that Harper leads by example. She accepts the challenge and approaches Felix, who turns out to be as attracted to Harper as she is to him. She soon realizes that maintaining indifference might be more difficult than anticipated, especially if the romance that she's been rejecting might be something she wants after all, despite her fear of breaking up. The story effectively strikes a balance between sweet, serious, and steamy (though not explicit), with Harper's sardonic narration adding nice touches of humor. Her anxiety over relationship failure, which she equates with personal failure, is portrayed realistically and with sympathy. Harper and Felix are White; Theo has two moms and has Swedish, Greek, and Puerto Rican heritage. (Im)perfectly real and endearing. (Romance. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 1, 2021
    Spending the summer between her junior and senior years of high school working at her mother’s bridal boutique, Beneath the Veil, isn’t Harper’s dream, but it’s not all bad. She has a fun coworker; a window view of handsome classmate Felix, who works out nearby; and regular contact with best friend and neighbor Theo. Despite the gig, though, cued-white Harper is a “hardened cynic” who’s refused to date since being dumped by her first boyfriend. LARPer Theo, on the other hand, who’s of Puerto Rican, Greek, and Swedish heritage, is deeply romantic, crying over rom-coms, sending roses, and “falling in love with every girl who lets you buy her an ice cream cone.” Tired of having his heart broken, Theo agrees to let Harper teach him to date casually. While persuading readers that the protagonists are MFEO, Firkins (Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things) creates an adroit, even suspenseful dance of push and pull: Harper overthinks relationships and considers Felix’s appeal, and Theo fears being hurt. The resulting will-they-or-won’t-they not only gives rom-com formulas a playful refresh, it makes a strong case for the joys of medieval cosplay. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2022

    Gr 9 Up-Even though it's the summer before senior year of high school, Harper's a workaholic. She helps her mom, a creative wedding dress designer who is not good with numbers, keep the business afloat, to the detriment of her social life. Harper also harbors cynicism about romance after fitting dresses for too many finicky brides and after her first foray into love ended in heartbreak. Her best friend and next door neighbor, Theo, is the opposite: he's a hopeless romantic, fencer, accordion-player, and rom-com connoisseur. When his last crush deflates him, Harper decides to teach Theo how to date casually, without falling in love. In turn, Theo insists Harper go out on a date with her from-afar crush Felix to prove she can do it without falling. But once Felix and Harper begin to date, she can't commit-and finds it's not because of her cynical tendencies. With a fairly easy-to-figure-out romance plot, the novel takes time to gain momentum, but ultimately, it satisfies. Firkins knows how to write swoon-worthy make-out scenes, and her characters are well-developed and full of humor. As the novel evolves, Harper becomes a more interesting protagonist, reinforced by the superbly drawn Theo, quirky coworker Pippa, and her supportive mom. All of the main characters present as white. While the book will appeal to a range of teens, it does contain some steamy moments and the use of a dating app by Harper to find Theo a casual date. Also, the references to Don Quixote in Theo's character will likely be missed by young adult readers. VERDICT A charming story: give this to insatiable fans of high school romances.-Kate Fleming

    Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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