4 star, YA

Review: Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings . . . until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy. . . .

Before I dive into my thoughts about this book, I had the pleasure of buddy reading this book with Leslie @ Books are the New Black. You can find her lovely review of this book here.

Whimsical and full of the magic that has propelled Stephanie Garber as a must-read author for many, this new companion series featuring a certain villain we all love and a girl who believes in happy fairy tale endings was everything I could’ve asked for. And I had pretty high expectations.

While it’s not necessary to have read the companion series, there’s a number of references tying back to those events. It’s explained well enough for new readers to get an idea of what occurred while being a pleasant tidbit for those of us who get to have another glimpse of people and events we enjoyed.

I wasn’t sure how much I’d love this book, but Once Upon a Broken Heart is such a compelling read solely because of its two protagonists. Evangeline Fox, a newcomer onto the scene but immediately likable with her heart to care for others at her own expense and her search for love, is someone I’d love to befriend. With her unique rose-gold hair and interesting predicament that brought her to the Prince of Hearts, she grows in the sense that she becomes less naive while still holding onto who she is.

Our beloved villain-esque character, Jacks, is his broody unpredictable self. I never knew where his motives lay or what his end goal ultimately was but that’s half the fun! Seeing his interactions with Evangeline was PERFECT because they’re such opposing characters at times yet they balance each other out in that way. I wasn’t sure about the potential romance between them (things went down in the companion series with him), but this slow burn enemies to possibly something more was agonizingly beautiful – if agony can be beautiful.

…not all love happened at first; some took time to grow like seeds, or they might be like bulbs, dormant until the right season approached. But Evangeline had always wanted love at first – she wanted love like her parents, love like a story.

Yes, friends, it was slow burn to the very end because hey, our boy can’t kiss someone without killing them. Yet the romance feels were still very much present and that shows you how well crafted the story was to bring the love story alive.

I also wanted to point out how much I enjoyed the additional world building as Evangeline travels to the Magnificent North where magic is even more mysterious and stories are cursed or hold more power than you’d think. The descriptions and the new characters brought in made the overall story feel like a fairy tale. I especially loved seeing more of the Fates and hope their individual stories are further expanded. The potential of magic everywhere and the hope of a happy ending for Evangeline kept me flipping the pages. I wanted that happy ending for her and I couldn’t wait to see where her journey there would take her.

There were a few mysteries I guessed while reading as everything was layered in intrigue from the start while some things I absolutely could not have predicted. It was altogether a very easy read with excellent pacing. The ending was perhaps a little anticlimactic for the build up I was anticipating, but otherwise, this book was such a solid read and the perfect book to read with a friend. I cannot wait for what’s in store for Jacks and Evangeline.

I believe there are far more possibilities than happily ever after or tragedy. Every story has the potential for infinite endings.

Overall Recommendation:

Once Upon a Broken Heart was a splendid read that brought to life beloved old characters and new ones alike. As Evangeline searched for love and her happy ending, it brings her into contact with the enigmatic Prince of Hearts and his mysterious ulterior motives in the northern kingdom. Full of magic, wonder, and love, this story makes me believe in infinite endings but I surely cannot wait to see where this one takes us.


11 thoughts on “Review: Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber”

  1. I remember enjoying Caraval trilogy, but being disappointed by the ending. I’m would definitely be interested in reading this, mainly for Jacks, I’m also glad he continues to be such a fun character to read about. Wonderful review Andge! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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