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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

Once Upon A Broken Heart is MUST READ!!

Once Upon a Broken Heart is a spellbinding book by Stephanie Garber. The first book of her trilogy series was published in 2021, and it instantly became a hit like all of her other books.

She is most famous for her first trilogy series Caraval, released in 2016. The Caraval series does not need to be read first to read Once Upon A Broken Heart but I have been told it has a similar fantasy world and includes a backstory of one of the main characters. This series is about love, curses, and lengths people will go to for a happy ending or “happily ever after.” 

Related: 4 Fantasy Book Series You Need to Read This Fall 

The protagonist of Once Upon A Broken Heart, Evangeline Fox, is a young girl with rose-gold hair who has always believed in true love and happy endings. However, her beliefs are shattered when she discovers that the man she loves, Luc, is marrying her step-sister, Marisol. She suspects that Luc has been cursed by her stepmother to fall out of love with her and fall in love with Marisol. 

Evangeline is heartbroken and devastated by the news. She cannot imagine a life without Luc and is determined to find a way to break the curse. To stop the wedding, she decides to try to make a deal with the Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses to be given to whomever he chooses. After she fulfills the first kiss, which is very manipulative, she realizes the kind of man she made a deal with and tries to find a way out. 

In this book, Evangeline travels with her step-sister to discover a world full of adventure. She begins to learn more about her past and culture with magic and how that relates to Jack, the Prince of Hearts,  and his plan. 

This book is filled with a mix of romance, fantasy, paranormal, and a touch of mystery. Evangeline tries to figure out her lineage and discover more about the Prince of Hearts, and she constantly questions everything. As she uncovers more about Jacks, she learns that he is not what he seems, and his intentions are not entirely pure. Evangeline eventually realizes that Jacks has plans for her that go outside of those three kisses. 

In this book, you find out what happened to Evangeline’s cursed love Luc, and what Jacks’s plan is. Throughout this book, we are able to watch Evangeline evolve into this powerful young woman. At the end of the book, a surprising twist leads to Evangeline realizing who she can and can’t trust. 

Once Upon a Broken Heart is a must-read for anyone who enjoys fantasy, romance, and mystery. Stephanie Garber has done it again, creating a book that is impossible to put down and leaving readers eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, which is The Ballad of Never After. It is a beautifully written book that will captivate your interest from the beginning. I personally cannot wait to dive into the next book. 

Jamie Gholson

George Mason University '25

Jamie (she/her) is a junior at George Mason University, majoring in Communication with a concentration in Journalism. This is Jamie's first year as a staff writer for the HER Campus website. She aspires to be a medical writer in the future. Jamie enjoys writing as an outlet to express what is happening in the world. In Jamie's free time, she enjoys reading and exploring the D.C. area.