review

ARC Review: Once Upon A Broken Heart

ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART

STEPHANIE GARBER

SERIES: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Fantasy

GOODREADS

I adore the cover here! As someone without any of the previous books to match up to, I definitely think the UK (with the archway, bright colours and the knights) has blown its competition out of the water in the cover wars.

ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART is the first book I’ve read by Stephanie Garber, and I really enjoyed her writing style. That said, obviously, that means I haven’t read the original CARAVAL trilogy, and I actually didn’t realise ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART was a spin-off/ sequel until after I’d finished reading. Clearly, you can enjoy this without knowing anything from the original books. That said, this has a cliff-hanger ending which left my eager for more, so I might go back and read CARAVAL etc. while I wait for the next instalment. Can any readers of CARAVAL weigh in here? Is it worth reading?

Evangeline is a great heroine. She’s brave and optimistic but makes some truly stupid decisions. She’s impulsive but she does try to think things through, and she does accept her mistakes and d her best to set them right. I really liked her strength and optimism.

I found Jacks an interesting character (and from what I’ve seen now, I’m guessing he was a bit of a favourite in the CARAVAL books?). A little bit of the broody YA male, but in a good way, because he actually has the mysteriousness to back it up. I spent much of the story trying to figure out his angle on what was going on, and how much (and to what ends) he was manipulation Evangeline. I’m still on the fence about his game and his motives, which makes me excited to see where the story goes next.

Something else I didn’t realise when reading (the cover sucked me in and I honestly only skimmed the blurb, okay?) is that ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART is the first in a series. That made the ending a bit of a shock for me as I was expecting a resolution. The ending felt quite the cliff-hanger, but I’m invested enough that I’ll search out the sequel when it’s time.


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…

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: Once Upon A Broken Heart”

  1. Oh I didn’t realise this was a spin-off. I’ve read the first two Caraval books, loved the first one but lost interest in the second, so not sure if I want to return to that world. I thought she’d started something new!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realise either! I think the blurb is a bit misleading if you don’t already know the characters. On NetGalley, it just said something like ‘a new series from the author of…’ not that they were actually connected.
      I do think this ones stands alone entirely though, with mostly new characters and plot.

      Like

  2. I haven’t read Caraval, and something I read made me decide I wasn’t interested in reading those books—though I couldn’t tell you now what that “something” was. I might look into this series, since it sounds like it’s enough of a standalone that I don’t need to read Caraval first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely don’t need to have read the first one. I was put off the first one too for some reason… o think it might have been something to do with an abusive dad and the way that was handled, but too be honest I can’t remember now either.

      Like

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