Stunning photo by @thebritishbookgirl
How are we all doing? I’m so excited to be hosting this readalong and reading Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber with you all!
In today’s section of the Readalong, we’ll be reading Chapters 1 to 10 so be sure to get cosy, grab a snack and a drink, and bundle yourself up in blankets as we dive into this gorgeous read! When you’ve finished reading this section, you can join me back here in the comments to chat all about it!
Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber, from Chapters 1 to 10! Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!
We begin with a short and rather cryptic prologue (and a very cute description of a shop bell chime), which has definitely intrigued me, before launching into the first chapter! According to The Whisper Gazette, we learn the door to the Prince of Hearts’ (AKA Jacks for those of you who have read the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber) church has disappeared, but not for a certain protagonist! We’re soon introduced to Evangeline Fox—a character I immediately like and not just because she has amazing pink hair! (heart-eye emoji alert).
After the door pinches her fingers, drawing a drop of blood, Evangeline manages to get the church doors to open before finding a statue of the Prince of Hearts. While admiring it, she recalls the Fates’ tragic existence…
‘According to myths, the Prince of Hearts was not capable of love because his heart had stopped beating long ago. Only one person could make it work again: his one true love. They said his kiss was fatal to all but her—his only weakness—and as he’s sought her he’d left a trial of corpses.‘
I can’t be the only one super intrigued by the Prince of Hearts, right?
After surveying the statue, Evangeline draws more blood and prays to the Prince. Not only an orphan, Evangeline is also at risk of losing the boy that she loves—she believes Luc has been cursed and was made to fall in love and become engaged to Evangeline’s step sister, Marisol (most likely the work of her stepmother Agnes). Desperate, Evangeline begs the Prince of Hearts’ statue to stop the wedding before she is interrupted by a young man with a sharp wit, who withdraws a white apple from inside his pocket. Drawn to him and his mouth (we love to see it), Evangeline pushes against her sudden swoony feelings but soon realises exactly who the young man is: the Prince of Hearts in the flesh.
Dismissing her love for Luc, the Prince of Hearts (or Jacks as he introduces himself as), advises Evangeline to forget about him. However, because of Evangeline’s stubborn refusal (a trait I also love about her), Jacks eventually gives in. He agrees to stop the wedding in exchange for three kisses from three people of Jacks’s choosing. As part of the agreement, Jacks sinks his teeth into her skin imprinting three white scars in the shape of tiny broken hearts. One for each kiss. And is it me or is the tension between these two palpable?!
When Evangeline returns to the home she shares with her stepsister and stepmother, she finds the garden (where the wedding is supposed to take place) deathly quiet. Instead of the wedding guests, the garden holds nine statues of familiar people including Evangeline’s step family. Angry at Jacks for what he’s done, Evangeline demands he undo the damage, but he reveals that he can’t unless someone is willing to take the statues’s place. Determined to save the boy she loves, Evangeline drinks the poison to take their place.
Stuck in an endless nothingness, Evangeline waits for someone to save her… And is eventually rewarded. Poison, another Fate like the Prince of Hearts, saved her. THANK THE FATES! That got tense for a second there…
Evangeline learns how much time has passed and where Jacks is (dealing with some trouble in Valenda) before she leaves. On her return to her father’s curiosity shop, she is greeted and smothered with hugs and kisses before learning of her rise to fame: her sacrifice to save her family had not only made her stepfamily oddly grateful but had also caught the attention of many potential suitors. After a short conversation with the writer behind scandal sheet, The Whisper Gazette, who wishes to feature her, Evangeline learns of what happened to her stepsister once she was turned to stone: Marisol is now known as The Cursed Bride after she and Luc attempted to get married again (much to Evangeline’s dismay), and Luc was attacked by a wolf. Refusing to see anyone, Marisol is convinced Luc blames her for what happened and Evangeline debates on whether to tell Marisol how she really feels about Luc.
Later, Evangeline receives a note from Luc asking her to meet him at her father’s curiosity shop. Much to her dismay, once she arrives Evangeline discovers that the shop has closed its doors and is under new ownership. But that’s not the worst news she discovers in that moment: a passerby informs her of The Whisper Gazette’s latest article, which features Evangeline and announces her availability for marital suitors!
Distraught, Evangeline returns home to find suitors at her house (the house she resides in with Agnes and Marisol) and dismisses them by telling them that she’s cursed and anyone she kisses will turn to stone. Once they depart, Evangeline and Agnes have a heated conversation involving Luc and how he’s forgotten about Evangeline—Agnes shares a note with her that details his love for Marisol. Heartbroken, Evangeline goes to Luc’s home to find answers, but nobody answers the door.
Time passes and Evangeline manages to persuade her stepmother to let her work at her father’s bookshop (which is not as magic as the curiosity shop but is at least connected to her father). She recalls the tale: The Ballad of the Archer and the Fox—a romantic story about a crafty peasant girl who could transform into a fox and the young archer who loved her, but was cursed with the need to hunt her down and kill her—which Evangeline loves because she sees herself as the fox. While working one day, Marisol comes to see her, handing her a beautiful red envelope. The note inside is from Scarlett Dragna (and yes, for all of you Caraval fans, that is THE Scarlet Dragna—our Caraval crossover dreams have been answered) inviting Evangeline to afternoon tea with her and her sister to discuss an exciting opportunity.
Delighted, Evangeline accepts and goes to visit the sisters and indulges in the most delicious-sounding afternoon tea I’ve ever read. After dining, Scarlett and Tella lay out their opportunity for Evangeline: to visit the Magnificent North in their place and attend the Nocte Neverending festivities (an event that sounds absolutely delightful), which will go on until the prince of the North, Apollo has found a bride. Afraid of having to see Jacks if she attends, Evangeline is initially tempted to turn down their offer, even though she’s desperate to go to move on from Luc, but after the sisters agree to Marisol coming with Evangeline, she accepts (much to our delight)!
On her return home, Evangeline overhears her stepmother make cruel jibes at Marisol and interrupts to announce her news: that she and Marisol will go to the Magnificent North and attend the Nocte Neverending festivities. Though her voice is far too sweet to be genuine, Agnes approves of Evangeline’s announcement giving them her permission to attend. But what will happen when the pair go to the North? And will we see Jacks again? We’ll have to wait and see…
And that’s the end of today’s section. What a start! I’m in love with this book and can’t wait to see what happens net in the Magnificent North!
But what did YOU think? Let me know your thoughts on the first few chapters of Once Upon A Broken Heart in the comments below, and I’ll be back again tomorrow to talk more about it!
60 thoughts on “Once Upon A Broken Heart Readalong Day 1!”
This is my first book by Stephanie Garber and I’m impressed so far!
I love the gossip in the paper excerpts in the chapters , they add comic relief in a way.
I already know Jacks is going to be my favorite character.
Evangeline gives me a Cinderella vibe with Agnes being the evil stepmother.
I didn’t read Caraval so I wasn’t familiar with Scarlett and Tella , but I feel like there has to be an ulterior motive for them to have picked Evangeline!
At the moment I trust no one but I’m curious to see if we will see other faiths.
I wonder if we will see Luc again?
so glad to hear that you’re enjoying it so far!💜
I also love Jacks already. Can’t wait to see more of him!
My first thought was also that Evangeline reminded me of Cinderella. Jacks actually also made me think of Sleeping Beauty since he needs a true loves kiss to get his heart beating again.
I think the gossip articles are so fun and remind me of the style of caraval!
I just get the impression that Jack’s one true love is evangeline but itll end badly! Or there will be a love triangle between the prince of the north and Jack’s!
Love that evangeline is such a relatable character feeling guilty over her decision and how it affected her step sister.
Already loving this book and cant wait to see what happens next.
yay! so glad you’re enjoying it so far. the gossip articles are so fun! 💜
i maybe have finished it already TWICE… 🥲
that is dedication! love that!💜
I think the start to this book is great. It drew me in right from the start…even though I was hoping she was going to be stuck as a statue for like…a long time. Lol. And I wanted to reread the Jacks parts of Legendary and Finale.
Hi Shannon and everyone.
The name Evangeline immediately made me think of one of my favourite Disney movies: ‘The princess and the frog’, so that’s a good start 😉🤗
I like the story so far, it’s really fairytale like.
I’m still wondering about Luc, did he really love Evangeline and was he cursed somehow or not?? 🤔 Will he make an appearance in the next chapters or not??
Let’s go to the Magnificent North! I’m curious what it’s like!?!!
See you guys tomorrow 🤗
hi Sandy! glad you’re enjoying it so far. I’m loving the fairytale vibes too 💜✨
Wow, what a start. I had a really bad feeling about how the wedding would be stopped. But statues? Didn’t see that coming.
The hook has really drawn me in and has a very Cinderella and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe feel.
I feel like Jacks will kiss Evangaline and she will be his true love but it won’t be that simple.
Totally shocked she drank the poison and liked the short chapters to convey time passing. The welcome back party seemed very surreal, more like a dream.
I started to get the feeling Luc played her at this point, but I have a bad relationship history and trust doesn’t come easily.
My heart broke when she realised Agnes had sold her fathers shop! I really hope there’s a way for her to get it back as it was willed to her.
Agnes is very suspect, she never reacts how I think she will – I also dislike her very much and hope she meets her downfall.
Also I’ve not read Caravel – it’s on my to buy list so didn’t know about the crossover
Caraval is on my tbr so I feel I’ll be reading it soon!
I’m enjoying it so far, I like Evangeline. Is anyone using the character cards. I’ve have had them all in front of me trying to match the characters!
I really like Jacks even though I can’t tell if he is just a morally gray character or is truly someone to avoid (either way I’m here for it!)
Caraval has been on my TBR for awhile and I definitely need to read it now!
The situation with Luc and Marisol just seems off to me. Was Luc truly cursed like Evangeline thought, maybe he just played her like Jacks seemed to think (in which case I’ll fight him)? Seeing as Luc fled, I guess I’ll find out later.
But I’m glad the two stepsisters get to leave behind the drama of what happened to them – and get away from the step mother – to go to the North. Evangeline’s optimism is definitely contagious!
Let the readalong begin! I am so so excited about this one. I powered through to read the whole Caraval trilogy as soon as I realised what this month’s book was and I am just so happy to read about Jacks again 😍
Evangeline seems to be an amazing character already!
As someone who adored Caraval, I was SO excited to come back into it’s world and get more of Jacks 👀. I love all of the easter eggs that are littered throughout the first few chapters of the book, and I am honestly obsessed with Evangeline. She is such an amazing character right off the bat. She has such a kind and compelling personality (and her having pink hair is a bonus!!).
I love Stephanie Garber writing style. Seriously, the way how she described the tea meeting…I would like to participate in meeting with Evangeline.
Evangeline Fox is a little blind with her love to Luc. I try to understand her feelings and behavior, but come on is it love when you try to destroy your sister and your lover wedding day, because he chose another girl. It’s a little cruel, if you ask me. Her feelings to Luc look a little toxic for me, like she can’t break free and move on. I hope she will forget about him and find true love.
Prince of Heart is super interesting character for me. I’m curious that he really doesn’t care or it’s only his mask and under it he has feelings.
We will see what will happen at the North. I hope that Evangeline and Marisol will find some peace, new friends and start the sister’s bond. It would be great, but Marisol can be as well like a bad sister.
I love the idea of the Fates already I can’t wait to read more about them and see what sort of powers they have,
Poor Evangeline turning herself into stone because of the situation she wanted from the Fate, all this for the love of one man who could be cursed or could just be a fool of a man
Also the articles are such a great little extra
I am fresh off finishing the Caraval trilogy and loved the little throwbacks to events that were mentioned in the final book. I didn’t look into where the timelines crossed over so it was a nice surprise to see that the two series actually crossover sightly.
It was interesting to see Tella and Scarlett from an outsider point of view after having been following them for a while now too!
I’m curious as to what Jacks was doing ripping up his clothes…but also hoping for some fairytale magic in the Magnificent North. Looking forward to seeing what has been going up on there!
This is such a good start! I totally dive in, but wondering about a few things… Does Agnes love her daughter ? I feel something strange. And with Luc too (even if the bells told us that he wasn’t really nice for Evangelyne…)
I’m so excited for the North part, with all those fairytales and magic!!
Nice reading everyone \o/
Too bad I’ve already read this book before I got my Fairyloot edition. I was actually already in love with reading my Barnes and Noble edition when I got this edition in the mail and I got tears in my eyes at how beautiful it was. I guess I’ll have to wait till the next readalong. You guys will not be disappointed with this book. It will keep you intrigued. Love it! <3
Such a great start! I have a feeling I’m going to love this even more than Caraval 😍 I already adore Evangeline! I’m very suspicious of Luc though, I have a feeling there’s been no misunderstanding or curse, and he’s actually just not very nice…
I always get concerned when reading a spin off series that I loved because how could it possibly live up to the same type of magic: then we had a sentient doorbell in the prologue and I felt right at home.
Here are some ideas:
– The prince might be Jacks,
– Luc could have bought the shop, would explain the letter,
-Marisol is no where near as innocent as she appears
-Jacks ‘if he really loved you he wouldn’t be marrying someone else’ line is one of the best ever, so many YA books need it rather than glorifying fighting someone else for their spouse.
Loving it so far. Have the week off so I’m hoping I can, for once, make it through the whole read a long, rather than get behind by Wednesday.
Agnes reminds me so much of my own step-mother that I had to take breaks when reading about her because I got so angry (cry laughing at myself hahaha!)
I love this story so far! The gossip articles are such a nice addition to it, but I agree with the comment above mine!! I think Jacks & Evangeline are meant to be together, so I’m excited for all the twists that are no doubt coming!!
I was hooked right from the start!with this book. I was enchanted by the mysterious and cryptic prologue.
I wonder why was Evangeline able to find the door to the the Prince of Hearts church and why it opened for her. I’m also intrigued by Jacks who appeared to be reluctant to help at first but then suddenly changed his mind. There must be an ulterior motive, as he doesn’t do things just for the sake of helping someone; there’s always a personal gain for him.
I’m in two minds about Luc. Was he really in love with Evangeline and has now been cursed? Or was he lying and two timing Evangeline with Marisol from the start? I’m feeling a bit cynical like Jacks, as I don’t really believe Luc was actually in love with Evangeline to begin with, which would mean there was never a curse and Evangeline ended up making a deal with a fate for nothing and this will only bring her trouble from now on.
I’m also intrigued by Jacks and his back story. When the part of the myth about him was mentioned again (especially the part about his kiss being fatal to all but his true love, and that only his true love can make his heart beat again), I wondered what the significance of Tella in regards to this would be, and what would this also mean for Evangeline.
Definitely looking forward to finding more about all of these in the next chapters!
Hi! This is my first Fairyloot readalong and I am so excited.
My thoughts on the first section is that I am loving it so far. I only had read Caravel but I was happy to see Scarlett and Tella in the book. Also, for some reason I had the Prince of Hearts give off the Goblin King vibes from the movie, The Labyrinth.
I am curious to see if Luc will appear once Evangeline and Marisol head up North. Will they see the Prince of Hearts & Luc?
hello and welcome! hope you love your first fairyloot readalong 💜✨
I want to start off by saying that this book has an amazing map!!!
I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters of this book, I can just tell Evangeline is going to be an amazing protagonist and I’m excited to see what will come of the relationship between her and her step-sister, Marisol. Will we see Luc again? What happened with the whole marriage situation? I’m so keen to find out!
I haven’t read the Caraval series but I am intrigued and will add it to my TBR as I am really enjoying this book so far. The Fate’s have really caught my attention and I can’t wait to read more about Jacks!
I also love having the character cards to try and guess who is who from the description as I’m reading along.
glad to hear you’re enjoying it so far!💜
Speaking of the character cards, I wonder how the other girls and the guard will play into the story.
I like the book so far, but I have a feeling that I should read first the Caravel series.
I like the fact that the explanation for the Ballad of the Archer and fox was explained in the first chapters and not close to the end (I was very curious about the choice for the fairy loot edition).
The stepmother is too suspicious and she agree to easy with the trip to the north.
I can’t wait for tomorrows read.
I was able to read the first 10 Chapters in a little over an hour! This book is so captivating. I was hooked before chapter 1. I love the characters so far and I feel that I’m getting more and more invested in their stories. I’m sooo nervous about what will happen once Marisol finds out about Evangeline and Luc. And I’m so ready for Jacks to come back and for us to be properly introduced to Luc.
I did not realize the author also wrote Caraval and there’s a connection. I actually picked up the series yesterday in hopes of starting it this weekend. I’m definitely more motivated to read it now knowing of the connection.
This is my first time participating in a read along. I’m so happy I decided to join in with you all.
I’m so ready to continue with day 2. Happy ready, everyone!!!
yay! we hope you love your first readalong!💜
Good start. Can’t wait to read about the Nocte Neverending. Stephanie Garber’s world’s are always so interesting and whimsical. It’s throwing me off that Jacks’ hair is dark in this book – I’m sure I just need to keep reading 🙂
definitely agree, love the Caraval world!💜
I LOVE the dark blue hair, but it’s hard to imagine him without blond for sure
Before I start, I just want to say all the customizations are gorgeous!! The endpages, the dust jacket, the art on the back of the dust jacket, the foil on the cover, the stenciled edges??? *chefs kiss*
If Evangeline really is Jacks’ one true love, then I have a theory that he messed with Luc’s memory or did something to him for Luc to end up about to web Marisol. Either way, I can’t wait for more interactions between them!
I haven’t read Caraval, but Scarlett and Tella seem very sweet, and my gut tells me they have good intentions…unlike Agnes…something is defintely up her sleeves. Maybe she knows Evangeline’s mother…and wants revenge or something, idk
so glad you like the FairyLoot edition!😊💜
Not gonna lie, I’m pretty mad that I read these first chapters and THEN realized this is related (if not a direct sequel) to the Caraval series. I was just reading along going, huh wow a lot happened behind the scenes with these Fates and the Week of Terror and the way the empress and her sister are talking … I feel like I’m missing A LOT. Ohhh well turns out I am. So yeah THAT’S annoying. :-/ Those books have been on my TBR list for a while and I guess I’ve put them off too long now.
BUT outside of that realization, I was enjoying the book and want to get back to that place mentally haha. Someone else mentioned Cinderella vibes and I definitely felt that too. I also wonder if Marisol is really as nice as she acts…or not?
I love this idea of the Magnificent North. Every time I see the words I think of Narnia and their battle cry, “For Narnia and the North!” The idea that some stories can’t be told or written down or remembered is a really cool idea and just makes it feel very mystical and dreamlike. I can’t wait for Evangeline to get there!
OH and the chapters are amusing me. I was like, wow 10 chapters on day one? And then there was chapter 5 LOL.
All I have to say is YESSSS. This book had me from the beginning. It’s been a while since I found a story that really grabbed me. I am so excited to see where everything goes.
I want to know more about the Fates, but honestly think that Jacks isn’t as bad as he is being made out to be. He did tell her the truth and even though he turned everyone to stone it makes me wonder more about Luc. He had to have been seeing marisol behind Evangeline’s back. That’s the only way I could imagine why they were getting married not once but twice. Maybe the note she found from Luc was his was of telling her before she found out on her own that he was gonna marry Marisol.
And I have a feeling that the deal that Evangeline made with Jacks is what unleashed all the fates. Oh man I can not wait to see what happens next.
so happy to hear you’re loving it!💜
It’d be so cool if Stephanie Garber made a little Guide to the Fates companion book
I did read the caraval series prior to starting this one and enjoyed the first caraval book best!
So far I’m liking the main character and of course I already love Jack’s. I am hoping we see more of him in the next chapters! I also definitely see the possibility of some kind of a love triangle between Evangeline, Jack’s and the mysterious prince of the north.
I think my favorite part so far is that we get to travel to another area of the caraval world. The north sounds super intriguing so I’m excited to see what the North is like.
definitely agree about how fun it is to see more of the Caraval world!💜
So Stephanie said “never fall in love with the Fates” and as soon as Jacks showed up what did I do? I fell, I fell hard. He’s so sassy, I appreciate the little loopholes in the deal he made and I cannot wait to see him more.
Agnus, however, can get in the bin. She reminds me so much of Lady Tremaine.
So far I’m loving this!
in fairness, it’s VERY hard not to fall in love with Jacks! so happy you’re enjoying it so far 💜
1000% agree about Jacks lol
I loved the Caraval series and I have a feeling I am going to enjoy this book even more! It was really difficult to stop reading at the next section! Can’t wait to see what happens next!
yay! so happy you’re enjoying it!💜
I made a mistake starting this before finishing Caraval series lol. I got majorly spoiled (cries in despair). I’m really excited about this series because Jacks is my favourite from Caraval so I’m hoping we get a happy ending for him in this one.
I’m not feeling any connection with Evangeline and I find her just too trusting and reckless but it’s still early to tell.
It was weird meeting Tella and Scarlet, and the regret of not finishing Caraval is gonna be here for a while lol.
I’m enjoying how easy the writing is, and the short chapters are making it easier for me to keep going. I don’t fully trust Marisol because I’m just suspicious of everyone but I’m hoping she’s one of the good guys.
I’m really enjoying this one so far, I loved Jacks in the caraval series so im so excited that he’s making a comeback in this one. I like Evangeline as a character so far, she’s pretty relatable in that she’s upset that her stepsister and the guy she likes are getting married and is desperate enough to make a deal with Jacks but she’s also selfless enough to drink the poison so the wedding party turns back from stone. Cant wait to see where this one goes
glad you’re enjoying it so far!🧚✨
Catching up to the read along.
Must say I love getting back in to the Caraval world and we even got a crossover yaay.
I do agree that the sister have un ulterior motive to sending her to the north can’t wait to read if it’s true
I love Evengaline she is so sweet and I love that she feels guilty for what she has done and every time she mentions the guilt I just say girl just let it out hehe
I am going to go read todays chapter because I can’t wait to read about the differnt balls and the dresses she will wear. I hope the dances have themes.
But mostly I need to find out why Jacks hair is blue now on all of the pictures instead of blond
I agree, so nice being back in the Caraval world!💜
It’s been a while since I read the Caraval series but I remember thinking reading Finale that Jacks wasn’t in it very much considering he was a major part of Legendary & hinking that his story felt very unfinished…. so I was pleased when OUaBH was announced. Still undecided on how I feel about him as a character though. Anti hero? Actual villian? But the heros in the Caraval series were generally pretty morally grey so at least things are consistent. I’m not generally a fan of pink but this Fairyloot edition is gorgeous in person. I don’t know that I particularly like or trust Luc or Marisol… Definitely dislike Agnes. Evangeline is a tiny bit on the hrey scale as well. It’s going to be an interesting read I feel.
I am starting a bit later than planned, i kept contemplating if i was going to read the caraval series first but i didn’t want to miss the readalong 😂.
It started very dramatic, but Evangeline is really relatable, with how much she still grieves for her parents and her despair about Luc and how her actions affected Marisol.
I do hope she and Marisol get closer, they both need someone they can lean on, although i do have some fear that Marisol isn’t as innocent as she seems but i am hoping that fear is unfounded😅.
This was a good start, i hope by how much hype this book has it will drag me out of my slump “fingers crossed” 😊
happy reading! hope Once Upon A Broken Heart helps with your slump!💜✨
First of all, the edition of this book is absolutely beautiful. As I am reading, I am figuring out who the characters are on the end papers. I love it so much!
I haven’t read a book by Stephanie yet. I picked up Caravel once, a long time ago, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t get into it. But, if Caravel is similar to this book….I should give it a try again!
I like Evangeline. I definitely love the fact that she has pink hair. I like that she wants to do the right thing, but her fear of backlash is getting in the way. I like the fact that she feels guilty and wants to do something about it but doesn’t know what exactly.
I’m not sure how I feel about Jacks yet. But, I have a feeling he’ll appear again soon.
I’m a little far behind in the readalong again. But, I’m doing my best!
I’m sorry to hear that you couldn’t get into it! You just have to be in the perfect mood for it I think – I’ve heard it compared to The Night Circus (which I haven’t read yet) but really enjoyed the circus/murder mystery/ magic feel of Caraval. I would love, if you’d let me know what you think if you decide to give it another go! 🙂
Hey y’all! I read the pages on Monday, but haven’t had access to my account (no computer to log in or type on lol), so I’m trying to catch up and be part of the readalong!
This book started really strong! I missed the magic/mystery of Caraval, but the fantasy Magnificent North sounded really awesome. I’ve always liked fairytales. However, I feel like Evangeline is a bit naive and timid, and the pacing feels SUPER fast.
But those are just a few of my thoughts. I NEED more Jacks though lol. I’m sure we’re in a for an interesting ride.