Book Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber


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…


This is going to be a difficult review to write, not because I hated this, but because I loved it so much I don’t know how to put it into words. Once Upon a Broken Heart was a completely refreshing read that I really needed in a month of average books.

It feels so good to be back in the world of Caraval but not be with Scarlett and Tella. Which sounds savage, but after leaving it so long to read Finale, I was over their story and Evangeline brought a fresh perspective on the world. 

Evangeline is an excellent main character, she’s flawed, but she’s also compassionate, stubborn and probably a little too caring. Don’t even get me started on the pink hair, I’m so jealous, I wish mine was naturally pink. 

Also, getting more of Jacks is an absolute treat. He was definitely one of my favourite characters in the Caraval trilogy and seeing how he is dealing with the aftermath is interesting to say the least. Is it bad that I really want him and Evangeline to get together even though if he kissed her she would be dead, well unless he was two true loves, but that can’t be right because his story is about him finding his one true love. Which he has already done, Tella. Their chemistry is amazing though and I definitely prefer Evangeline to Tella. Sorry Tella.

Getting to witness another area of this world was also a treat. The North was such a fun setting and the magic was so interesting. Especially as the Fates’ magic doesn’t work the same as it does in Valenda. I needed more of the Fates after reading Finale and while you only meet a few, they were not disappointing. I really hope the next book kicks it up a notch and we really get to see what they can do.

There was that innate sense of magicalness (is that a word?) missing from Once Upon a Broken Heart that the first Caraval book captured so well. It didn’t feel as mystifying and ethereal, but I suppose that comes with having read all of the books so you know what’s going on by now. 

The pacing was set very well. I seemed to fly through the book and with the slump I currently find myself in, this couldn’t have been more perfect. My focus really seems to have dipped lately and long books are very off-putting.

I’m going to end this review now as I’m sure I could talk about Once Upon a Broken Heart for days on end, but no one wants that. I adored every second of this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Check out Young Creative Press on all socials

You can also check out my StoryGraph here

Like this post? Why not read this one too: The Best Of: Retellings #3

One comment

Leave a Reply