B O O K R E V I E W : How Not to Fall in Love by Jacqueline Firkins

Harper Jamison works in her mother’s bridal shop and has seen too many bridezillas focus on appearances and seating charts to believe love is behind marriages. Her best friend, Theo Turner, however, falls in love after a first date—and always gets his heart broken.

Harper finally tires of seeing Theo in distress and promises to teach him to date without falling in love. Harper, though, as far as Theo knows, has never dated, so he challenges her to follow her own lessons. She didn’t realize how hard it would be to keep from falling for Felix, the handsome athlete she started dating to prove her point or how painful it would be to see Theo with someone who might appreciate his quirky personality. Most challenging of all is being honest to herself about her true feelings.

I loved Theo! Smart, romantic, and unabashedly himself, he eschews fashion, sword fights at LARP events wearing hand-crafted chainmail, and hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house. If you are familiar with Don Quixote, you might recognize the inspiration for Theo.

I really felt for Harper who had a lot of responsibility for a teenager and thought Pippa was a delightful character.

The book included two steamy scenes (without sex) that I thought were more effective than most sex scenes I’ve read in adult romance novels.

A great choice when you want to read a sophisticated YA romance with multidimensional characters you’ll become invested in.

Thanks to @marychasewrites for organizing a fun buddy read and @jfkillsdarlings for an advanced reading copy of the book. Mary also set up a Zoom with Jacqueline that was so fun! She was so generous in her responses to our questions about the book and her writing process.





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