I’M SO EXCITED THAT I CAN’T DO INTRODUCTIONS. I’ve been waiting to be immersed in the world of Caraval again for far too long. So when I heard Stephanie Garber was releasing a new book featuring my favorite character, I was literally overcome with excitement. So a huge thank you to Flatiron Books for inviting me to a part of their blog tour for Once Upon A Broken Heart in exchange for an honest review!
Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.
But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…
It’s official: Stephanie Garber is one of my favorite authors of all time. Her books carry magic unlike any other I’ve ever experienced, flowing with whimsy and romance and creativity. I was terrified that this new series wouldn’t hold the same sense of wonder for me, since it wouldn’t be following a magical game.
i was wrong.
Once Upon a Broken Hearts has two of my all-time favorite characters, one new and one old. Evangeline Fox is a romantic, a believer in love at first sight. She always sees the best in people, and while she’s flawed, she’s flawed in such a believable way. I saw so much of myself in her character, like I’ve never seen in a character before. Also she has rose-gold hair??? Like, how did I lose the non-existent genetic pool that bad. How.
So…if you’ve been around for a while, then you probably have heard me mention a certain someone named Jacks. I’m extremely happy to report that he does in fact show up in this book! And he plays a major role! And I’ve fallen a little more in love with him! Jacks is a complex, mysterious character whose true motives and personality only grow murkier the more his character arc is revealed.
“He was a thousand cuts happening all at once. Devastation made of hair as blue as dark ocean waves, and lips sharp as cracked glass that would delightedly cut her.”
Can we just talk about the prose for a minute? Stephanie Garber is so, so brilliant at fashioning worlds made out of words. Every time I read one of her books, her whimsical imagery never fails to stun me. I know a lot of people thought that her prose was a little over-the-top in Caraval, and it’s definitely toned-down here. But there’s just enough curiously crafted metaphors to make me happy!
In this book, we go the North, a land of indecisive fairy-tales and wintry frost. Evangeline is put into a contest to win the prince’s heart, and we get to see more Fates. A lot of people might be wondering if they can read this book without reading Caraval, and my answer? Technically yes, although you do have to keep in mind that this book will spoil that trilogy since it takes place after.
I’ve managed to sound pretty calm and collected so far guys. Please be proud of me because at this point I just want to scream from the rooftops of the void*. Truly, this might be my favorite book of the year so far because this story is just so addicting! I relate so much to Evangeline, literally every time Jacks is mentioned I lose my mind, there’s new wonders on every page…I finished this book way too fast for my own good.
*oh yes, i live in the void. it smells like chocolate here and there are RAINBOWS (i’m a little insane tbh)
You all might be wondering about the romance? So I’m going to do what any good reviewer would do and say: no comment. Seriously. Just know that I am EAGERLY anticipating the next book because the crumbs we got in this book has me losing it! Like, I know Jacks is the Prince of Hearts and all that but he wasn’t supposed to steal my heart. How utterly rude.
“Just love him the same way you live your life – love him without holding back, love him as if every day will be more magical than the last, love him as if he’s your destiny and the world will be better if you two are together, and he won’t be able to ever stop loving you.”
I made my way through this book as slowly as possible, because now I have to wait at least a year for the second book and my heart cannot take that ending. Also, I’m really bad at rereading and have not reread a single book this year! But I honestly think that once my finished copy comes in with the fancy, illustrated map that I might just have to reread this. FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES. Not because I’m obsessed guys. Definitely not because I’m obsessed.
So that’s it! Needless to say, I adore this book with my whole being. This is probably the easiest 5/5 stars I’ve given all year! Tell me: are you excited for this book???