Audiobook Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie GarberOnce Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1
Published by Flatiron Books (9.8.2021)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, 403 pages
Length: 10 hours, 3 minutes
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Source: Library

2 Stars

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings... until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy...

My thoughts

I think it’s time for me to come to terms with the fact that Stephanie Garber is not for me.

Caraval was just okay for me – pretty meh, but not bad – and I outright hated Legendary. I got tricked by the hype monster yet again, because this spin off series is WILDLY popular. So, I went in with rather high hopes. Why can’t I just like the stuff that everyone else likes?! It seems like every time there’s a super over-hyped book, I end up being the black sheep (with the exception of Fourth Wing, thank god I can finally be one of the cool kids in the FW fan group lol), and I just constantly feel like-

Did I read a different book than everyone else did? Am I just broken? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! If you need me, I’ll be over here in my sad lonely corner, crying to myself.

Anywho. My issues about being psychologically contrary aside, this book was just so lackluster in so many ways. Everything about it was bland. The characters were not likeable, had zero actual personality to speak of (especially the soggy piece of white bread main character), and the plot was lackadaisical and all over the place. It’s supposed to be a romance, but I still can’t even tell you who the romantic interest is, because there’s so many possibilities…and they’re all fucking terrible?! There is zero chemistry whatsoever between Evangeline and anyone else. Not a single one of them.

Oh and this was supposed to be all about Jacks, a character who is wildly adored – why though?! I honestly don’t get it. He’s a jerk for the sake of being a jerk, and that’s his whole personality? There’s no depth to him. I love a good morally grey character, but only if they’re well-written and have actual depth.

The whole random vampire side plot was wild and so out of left field that it just felt awkward to me.  Actually, most of this book felt awkward and….clunky. Nothing flowed and the plot was trying to do too many things at once. The plot was very ambitious, yet lacking in cohesive execution. It was fast paced, but in a way that felt forced. They did this. Then they did that. Then they did another thing. One after the other, bam bam bam. It felt very mechanical to me. I still couldn’t tell you what the point to any of it was. I also didn’t care much for the ending. View Spoiler »

I won’t bother with the second book.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 1/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Characters: 1/5
World-building: 3/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 0/5
Narration: 3.5/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 2/5

Jessi (Geo)

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