Once Upon A Broken Heart
by, Stephanie Garber
Review by Esther
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Once Upon a Broken Heart follows Evangeline, an orphaned peasant who makes a deal with Jacks, a Fate, in order to save her relationship with Luc, who she believes is her true love. Honestly, I was just extremely underwhelmed by this book. The pacing was irregular and at times just downright confusing, and the writing was simply mediocre. The worldbuilding was relatively weak for a fantasy novel, as was the plot, which as predictable and not very engaging.
The characters largely fell flat for me too. The main character, Evangeline, was underdeveloped and I couldn’t bring myself to either sympathise with or root for her at any point in the book. The same applies to the majority of the other characters, who felt one-sided and again underdeveloped. The only exception to this would perhaps be Jacks, but elements of his character remained extremely stereotypical of a male love interest in a YA fantasy.
I suppose I could stretch to recommending this as a cute, light fantasy read, and, providing the reader doesn’t go in with particularly high expectations, they might enjoy it. I know I’m in the minority disliking this, so if you think it sounds like your thing, go ahead and give it a try as it’s a quick and easy read, in the end it just wasn’t for me. Content warnings: death of a parent, murder.