Leta’s Book Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

After reading Caraval, I fell in love with Stephanie Garber’s style of writing, even though the world of Caraval didn’t drag me in. When I found out that Garber was coming out with a new novel/series, I knew I needed to check it out.

Once Upon a Broken Heart tells the story of Evangeline Fox as she attempts to find her happily ever after. In order to stop the wedding where the love of Evangeline’s life is going to marry her sister, Evangeline must strike a deal with the wicked Prince of Hearts. She owes him three kisses at the time and place of his choosing in exchange for his help, and she soon finds out that these kisses are not what she expected at all.

Evangeline’s character was strong, but I found her to be more passive than she needed to be. The Prince of Hearts drives the story and plays puppet master to a lot of her actions. It made it feel like she was being pulled along without actively choosing things for herself. Honestly, this was the only qualm I had with this book and by the end, I could see that Evangeline was owning her place in this world and taking action to mould her own fate.

I love the idea that the Fates of this world exist in physical forms. Magic runs rampant and everyone is both accepting and afraid of it, depending on where in the world they live. The North, where most of the novel takes place, is a place where magic misbehaves and acts in wild ways. Evangeline’s mother is from the North, so she has some knowledge about how things like stories work: very slight spoiler, they don’t!

Evangeline goes to the North to attend the parties where the Prince of the North must find a bride in order to ascend to his throne. The Prince of Hearts, Jacks, is there as well, and he has planned to call in those three little kisses that sit as reminders on Evangeline’s wrist.

In the end, I gave Once Upon a Broken Heart 4 out of 5 stars. I took a star off because Evangeline wasn’t as strong of a character as she could have been. I’ve read a lot of other reviews that complain about her naivety and cluelessness, which I found to be accurate. The plot, world-building, and character of the Prince of Hearts were all well put together and made the novel stronger. Because of these reasons, I left it at four stars. I’m excited for the next book in the series to see where things go and how Evangeline develops further as a character.

Thanks for reading!


A Note: I know most of my reviews have been short recently and I’m working on a new scheduling system so that I have more time to expand my thoughts on all these wonderful reads. They’ll get more in-depth and have a higher word count soon!


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