Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Young Adult Fiction Romantic Comedy

How Not to Fall in Love

by (author) Jacqueline Firkins

Initial publish date
Dec 2021
Romantic Comedy, Friendship, Coming of Age, Contemporary, Dating & Sex
Recommended Age
14 to 18
Recommended Grade
9 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


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

Jacqueline Firkins' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"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....(Im)perfectly real and endearing." — Kirkus Reviews

"Firkins creates an adroit, even suspenseful dance of push and pull. . . 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." — Publishers Weekly

Other titles by Jacqueline Firkins