Once Upon a Broken Heart (Book)

“Heroes don't get happy endings. They give them to other people.” ― Stephanie Garber, Once Upon a Broken Heart

Once Upon a Broken Heart Age Rating, Parents Guide, Review 2021
Once Upon a Broken Heart Age Rating, Parents Guide, Review 2021

Once Upon a Broken Heart is the launch of a new series from Stephanie Garber about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after. It was released on the 28th of September 2021. This book is a part of the Caraval universe, it expands on the Caraval universe, but you do not need to read the Caraval series prior to reading Once Upon a Broken Heart.

The book contains a new protagonist, Evangeline Fox. It tells us what happened to Jacks after Finale. Finale is the third and final book in the Caraval series. Through Once Upon a Broken Heart, you are going to enter the world of Evangeline and Jacks. That world is filled with tiny dragons, magical arches, beautiful gowns, huge castles, books of spells.

Once Upon a Broken Heart Age Rating

Once Upon a Broken Heart is suitable for the age group 13 and up. 

Book Name Once Upon a Broken Heart
Series Once Upon a Broken Heart, #1
Author Stephanie Garber
Genre Fantasy, YA, Fantasy, Romance
Recommended Age Rating 13 and up
Language English
Date of Publication September 28, 2021
No. of Page 416
Publisher Flatiron Books

Once Upon a Broken Heart Plot Summary

Once Upon a Broken Heart follows a story of a girl named Evangeline Fox, who grew up working in her late father’s curiosity shop and drinking in the fairytale-like stories of her late mother’s homeland in the Magnificent North. So when the love of her life suddenly becomes engaged to another girl – and her stepsister no less! – despite the fact that they’ve never really talked before, Evangeline is convinced that Luc has been cursed or put under some sort of spell.

Desperate to stop the wedding, she turns to a dangerous Fate for help, the tragic Prince of Hearts known as Jacks. She knows that bargains with him rarely end well, but she nevertheless promises to trade three kisses for his aid.

Naturally, Jacks’s help proves the source of a whole new set of problems, which will ultimately send Evangeline on a journey that will change her life forever. She must travel to the Magnificent North of her favorite childhood stories to attend Nocte Neverending, a ball that won’t end until the dashing Prince Apollo finds a bride. Evangeline thinks it just might be her chance at a real happily ever after of her own, but the Prince of Hearts isn’t through with her quite yet.

Evangeline makes for an utterly charming heroine, a mix of almost too twee to be believed physical traits (she literally has pink hair) and messy emotions. She’s a good person at heart, but a hopeless romantic, and desperate to believe in fairytales and an infinite possibility of happy endings for everyone. Yet, she’s also reckless and rash and makes plenty of poor choices along the way. (Including the very deal with a Fate that kicks off the story.)

Jacks is the sort of heartbroken, snarky, morally gray prince with a secret we’ve seen in a lot of YA fantasy stories – Once Upon a Broken Heart is at his most interesting when it’s exploring the world of the Fates he inhabits and introducing us to more of their kind. 

Once Upon a Broken Heart Review

Firstly I will say that this story is so beautiful, candid, poetic. You can feel like a little girl listening to fairytales before bed, with stars in my eyes, while reading this one. But the light and the merry world filled with tiny dragons and beautiful dresses will morph slowly into a worrisome universe where hidden players have secret agendas and don’t hesitate to curse and kill to further them. 

Marisol, look, tiny dragons!” “Oh, my—” Marisol went pale as a robust pop sounded and a tiny pepper-black dragon about the size of a chipmunk shot out streams of red fire to sear a fish stick at a nearby stall. On the docks, the adorable little beasts appeared to be as common as squirrels.

You know from the synopsis that Evangeline, the main character will make a deal with Jacks to stop the wedding of the boy she loves: Luc. But of course, we learned in Caraval that bargains with fates are not without fallout!

“The Fates weren’t dangerous because they were evil; the Fates were dangerous because they couldn’t tell the difference between evil and good.”

Jacks has a price and he will collect when the time is right.

Evangeline will be sent to the kingdom of the North by Scarlett. The prince of the North, Appollo, is holding a royal event where girls will compete in the hope of becoming his bride. On her way to the north, Angeline will travel with her stepsister Marisol.

Once in the North, Evangeline will go through very dramatic events and we will never know if Jacks was her enemy or became her friend. He has a hidden agenda, that’s for sure!

You’ll also get murder, curses, vampires, poison, and betrayal!

Now, about the main characters – I loved Evangeline, with her rose gold hair. Some will find her naïve maybe but I thought she was very courageous and a firm believer of HEA.

“This was one of the reasons she’d drunk the poison that had turned her to stone. It wasn’t because she was fearless or terribly heroic; it was because Evangeline simply had more hope than most.”

I think it takes courage to remain hopeful, to believe that something good is waiting for you rather than succumb to cynicism and abandon hope.

“Evangeline had always had a weakness for hoping in things others thought impossible.”

“She knew her story had the potential for infinite endings—and that belief hadn’t changed. There was a happy ending waiting for her.”

She chased her true love, wanted something like her parents. And she felt so alone since both died.

“She just wanted someone to want her the way Jacks had wanted this girl. And she didn’t want it to be because of a spell or a curse. Evangeline wanted a real love powerful enough to break a spell.”

Evangeline is brave, loves discovering new worlds and she is also selfless. She couldn’t stand the idea of people paying the price of her error.

Once Upon a Broken Heart Characters

  • Evangeline Fox– new character Evangeline is a strong and bold young woman who cares about others very much. She might seem to be incredibly naïve at first, a girl who desires her one true love and a happy ending. She might come across as childish, but who didn’t once believe in happily ever after? Her character developed a lot throughout the book.
  • Fate Jack– In Once Upon a Broken Heart, Evangeline makes a deal with Jacks to stop her beloved from marrying another.
  • Garber cleverly linked this new book with her previous series
  • Scarlett Dragna- She is the main protagonist of Caraval and Finale. In Chapter 9 of Once Upon a Broken Heart, Evangeline is invited to a tea party with Tella and Scarlett.
  • Donatella Dragna

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Stephanie Garber

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