How Not To Fall In Love

– Jacqueline Firkins –

Clarion Books

Published 21 December 2021



How Not To Fall In Love is a cute, sexy and slightly exasperating (just kiss him already!! or maybe don’t kiss him!!! arghhh!!!) YA romance novel.

Harper knows all about love. Or at least how phoney it is. She has seen enough bridezillas in her mother’s wedding shop to know love is fake. And let’s not even talk about her last relationship. It’s better of avoiding. When her best friend, heartbroken after another failed relationship, asks for her help on how not to fall in love, Harper makes him a deal. She’ll start dating and prove she can keep her emotions out of it, if she can teach him how to protect his own heart. But as Harper finds herself falling for her new not-her-boyfriend and Theo finds himself inundated with interested girls, Harper discovers love isn’t as easy to figure out as she thought. Especially when the only guy she finds herself thinking about might just be that boy next door after all.

Love triangle, best friends to lovers, not quite fake dating but maybe like arranged dating or bets around dating. This book uses lots of YA romance tropes and does it really well.

I really enjoyed Harper’s voice. She is cynical, kind, caring, sensitive and very touchy feely (seriously, with the amount of snuggling, cuddling, touching, patting and generally being in close contact at all times they are, I’m not sure how she missed her attraction to Theo.) Harper is also good at business and that’s why she thinks she can make dating and love follow her patterns, predictions and spreadsheets. Not so much.

I loved the wedding dress business backdrop for this story. Of course, it gives some great comparisons for Harper to make about love and romance but who doesn’t love a sparkly wedding gown? I also equally loved Theo’s LARPing and the time he and Harper spend at the LARPing event. So cool.

Yes, there is a love triangle. Yes, Harper falls for both guys in different ways. Yes, the reader at all times knows who the right guy is for Harper. Does it take a while for her to wake up to this? YES!!!

This book is also being described as “sex positive”. That means there are lots of touching, heavy making out scenes and sexual references and relationships with details. It makes for a sexy story. Harper is also confident about sex but does have some learning to do about the power of sex in relationships and being more careful of it. Her mother is a very kind and understanding mother, guiding her and yet not offering too much advice.

Need something light, fun and sexy to read? Try How Not To Fall In Love.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction.

Genre: Romance

Themes: Relationships, romance, dating, love, wedding dresses, seamstress, friendship, best friends, LARPing.

Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.

Advisory: Occasional course language, f*** (1), sh** (7), ass**** (1), bi*** (8), pi** (1). Frequent sexual references, heavy make out sessions, sex scenes with some details, references to sexual relationships.

Published: 21 December 2021 by Clarion Books.

Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 336 pages.

ISBN: 9780358467144

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