eARC Review – How Not to Fall in Love by Jacqueline Firkins

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Title: How Not to Fall in Love

Author: Jacqueline Firkins

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication date: December 21st, 2021

239 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A hardened cynic and a hopeless romantic teach each other about love in this swoony and heartfelt contemporary 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?


How Not to Fall in Love is a friends to lovers YA starring Harper who works at her mother’s bridal shop and her best friend Theo. Theo has been unlucky in love, where he comes on way too strong with girls and they break up with him only a few week in. Harper has never dated and wants to help Theo so he stops getting his heart broken. So they agree – Harper with teach Theo how not to fall in love and Harper will start dating. But instead, Harper and Theo start to get closer and lines start to blur…

This one was fun. I read Jacqueline’s first as well and what I’ve learned is that she really likes love triangles. Which is fine for those who love them, but I’m ambivalent at best about that trope. I didn’t love it in her first book but wanted to give this one a try anyway. Whereas I did enjoy it more that the first, I still can’t get behind the love triangle. Other than that, I have no complaints about this one. Harper and Theo were adorable and I was rooting for them from the beginning. I love nerdy, awkward boys and friends to lovers so I was in my happy place with this one.

Definitely recommend if you aren’t the type of reader that really hates love triangles, because I did really feel bad for the guy Harper blew off for Theo – even though I seriously shipped Theo and Harper.

Thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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