Reviews

Once Upon a Broken Heart, by Stephanie Garber

elcoles99's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I'm not a fan of cliffhanger endings but this book really did have me hooked (and slightly confused) towards the end!

Set in the same world as the Caraval series, this book follows Evangeline Fox who makes a deal with the infamous Fate the Prince of Hearts after she learns that her one true love is about to marry someone else. But this deal leads her to unexpected consequences, spells and magic that are more dangerous than she imagined. 

I really enjoyed being back in the whimsical world of Caraval (although I never really left it), but this book has far more of a fairytale feel to it rather than the circus-y carnival one of the original series. However its more of a grim fairytale where the characters aren't as trustworthy as they seem and the endings aren't always happily-ever-afters. 

I thought the writing and general storytelling of this book greatly improved upon Caraval and I enjoyed being introduced to new characters as well as existing ones. I think Jacks is a really interesting Loki-esque villain who you know you can't trust but can't help hoping they'll change. 

Even though parts of the story felt a bit all over the place
Spoilerincluding the random vampire bit
  I'm really intrigued to see what happens next!

ranaisna's review

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adventurous emotional funny lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

herheadinherbook's review against another edition

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5.0

It's desperation and heartbreak which leads Evangeline Fox to enter the church of the Prince of Broken Hearts. Everyone knows to make a deal with a Fate like the Prince is a last resort because they trick and deceive humans for fun and the human is never the same again. Evangeline has lost the love of her life, Luc, who despite professing his love to her has now shunned her and has proposed out of the blue to Evangeline's stepsister. Fearing Luc has been cursed, Evangeline makes a deal with the Prince - he will stop the wedding in exchange for three kisses....but the kiss of the Prince of Broken Hearts is known to be fatal. How can Evangeline save Luc and live to be reunited with him?

Wow, I really enjoyed Once Upon A Broken Heart, the first book in Stephanie Garber's new series. I loved how within the first few pages you were straight into the heart of the action, so I was immersed in Evangeline's world straight away. It's a charming story which I struggled to put down. It's totally relatable to anyone who has been a fool in love as well! What I loved most was the mythology in the world the author created, especially the cursed stories of the North. I really enjoyed the the details within Evangeline's world, like the dragon roasted apples in the markets, and the gossip rag which the reader is treated to excerpts of. I was hungry for details of the world they live in and Stephanie Garber laid on a feast with her writing. I loved the change in relationships within the book and the heady tension towards the end. I cannot wait to delve back into this world for the next book. I'm not going to lie - I am so impatient for it to arrive. Having only just discovered this author, I will be reading the Caraval series whilst I wait, to get my fantasy fiction fix.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for an opportunity to review an advanced copy of this brilliant book in exchange for an honest opinion.

alexandra200177's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

apokhias's review

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3.0

I loved the Caraval trilogy so when I heard about the new spin off series I was sold immediately. While I did not find this as good as the original trilogy, I still found it enjoyable and will definitely read the sequel.

avega10156's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

I loved this book. Jacks has my heart and evengeline she’s amazing. I hated caravel and I honestly thought I wouldn’t like this book but I did I loved it it’s just so magical. Deadass have so many theories.

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em_frost's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

i enjoyed the magic of fairytales that was woven throughout the book! the lore of the world was also very interesting, and the worldbuilding was done at a good pace.
Spoilersomething that frustrates me was how Evangeline couldn’t seem to trust anyone or anything at any turn. i can understand a suspicious character, but this felt like a mystery that couldn’t make up its mind.

halleeberri's review

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adventurous lighthearted fast-paced

4.25

readinginthegarden's review against another edition

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5.0

4.5/5 stars!

I have to admit I was not sure about this book at first. I tried to read Caraval by Stephanie Garber a few years ago and I just couldn’t gel with it. But ‘Once Upon a Broken Heart’ sounded a bit more my style. The first 150 pages didn’t impress me much I have to be honest. The writing was a bit cringe it was so sickly sweet and I just wasn’t sure but negative reviews about this book are so rare so maybe I might be missing something.

Jacks is and was a character that kept me reading for the first part I love a cynical character who secretly has a heart of gold. I really wanted to see how his story and his chemistry with Evangeline was going. I think the part of the book that really kicked off for me is when they went to that palace. The drama! Oh the drama! The jealous, potentially, evil step sister, marrying a prince, murder, betrayal, magic, vampires it just got so exciting.

The book is also pretty fast paced even though it is 402 pages which isn’t big nor small but it felt so short! So much going on and the pacing was fast, sometimes maybe slightly to fast, but still I felt the pacing was right. This book is never boring. It is sometimes really cheesy, slightly cringe and a bit sickly sweet but it does feel like a fairy tale even a Disney fairy tale to be honest.Just with a sprinkle of poising and murder. It also has a feel good feeling to it. If you ever feel down or anxious I defiantly recommend!

Iv already purchased the next book because I can’t hold on to wait to know what’s going to happen next any longer. I can’t believe I was going to DNF after 150 I’m so glad I carried on because it got so juicy and so good!

laurahopia's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5