The Ballad of Neverafter (Once Upon a Broken Heart, Book 2) by Stephanie Garner


Fantasy | Fairytale | Young Adult | Romance

Reasons to Love

📚 Magical quest
📚 More vampires
📚 Old friends, new enemies 
📚 Enemies to lovers
📚 Time travel 
📚 Dreams
📚 Enchanted villages
📚 More pocket-sized dragons 
📚 Story curses with personality
📚 Royalty
📚 Immense character growth

Main Themes

Healing | True Love | Redemption | Trust| Friendship | Betrayal


Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets are undoing everyone. 

And with all the lies and blank spaces left behind by the story curse, it’s not difficult to see how you could walk away confused or not walk away at all. You might even begin to wonder, Is this how my story ends?

And this is right where we meet with Evangeline Fox in Book Two of the Once Upon a Broken heart Series, The Ballad of Neverafter. (Which has one of the most beautiful covers. Although I am slightly obsessed with the cover for the first book too.) 

When we left Evangeline at the end of the first book, she had finally put together some of the puzzle pieces about the curse on Apollo, the true story of what happened between Luc (her former love) and Marisol (her stepsister), and all of that had created yet another puzzle: Jacks. Just when she thought she could trust him, he proved her wrong. Evangeline is, well, puzzled, and still trying to piece things together in a way that makes sense, but will things ever really make sense in a world where the truth itself seems to be cursed?

As Evangeline pursues a mission of her own—to seek the truth—she begins to see Jacks in a different light and begins to wonder if he’s the only one she can actually trust at this point. But as she travels into his past and into tiny enchanted place called The Inn for Travelers and Adventurers, she steps into (or is carried into) a place where time and curses cease to exist—at least for those on the inside. Through Evangeline’s adventuring, Garber takes us deeper into the Magnificent North and begins to answer the question we’ve all been asking: Who is Jacks? Was he always the Prince of Hearts, or was he ever just a normal boy with hopes of meeting his true love? 

There were some twists and turns that were altogether unexpected and some that had merely been hinted at that became crystal clear. My heart broke for Evangeline—and Jacks—and I laughed and cried and had to fan my face a time or two from the intensity of it all. 

I loved the way Garber continued the story and let us start to see Evangeline’s naivety fade away, along with Jacks’ glacial heart and cavalier attitude about life and love. This story kept me hooked from the ending of Once Upon a Broken Heart all the way through to my pre-order of A Curse for True Love, which should land on my doorstep this October.

Garber is such a creative worldbuilder and storyteller, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Ridiculously Quotable

Evangeline p. 3

She believed that people could change; she believed that everyone’s life was like a story with an ending that was not yet written, and therefore everyone’s future held infinite possibilities.

Evangeline’s Mom p. 32

I think there’s a happy ending for everyone. But I don’t think these endings always follower the last page of a book, or that everyone is guaranteed to find their happily ever after. Happy endings can be caught, but they are difficult to hold onto.” They are dreams that want to escape the night. They are treasure with wings. They are wild, feral, reckless things that need to be constantly chased, or they will certainly run away.

Evangeline p. 151

Now she wondered if love was more like a war with new foes constantly appearing and battles creeping up. Winning at love was less about succeeding in a battle and more about continuing to fight, to choose the person you loved as the one you were willing to die for, over and over.

My Take

Even those with the hardest most selfish hearts can change. Love is a powerful force, capable of breaking the unbreakable in the very best way.



(None | Mild | Medium | Harsh)

No foul language in this book.


⚔️ ⚔️ ⚔️

Again, with the whole spells and good vs. evil and breaking curses thing, there are several mentions of blood and instances of violence. The book doesn’t shy away from murder but also does a good job of showing consequences.


🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ –  This book didn’t contain any sex scenes, but there were some caresses that some might be uncomfortable with reading about; occasionally someone is pushed against a wall and kissed passionately, but nothing beyond these two types of things. At one point, Evangeline is only in a slip. There’s also a scene where a passionate kiss occurs in a bed, and the thoughts definitely lean toward the passionate side. But there are curses involved, so there’s that. The relationship between Evangeline and Jacks does send some disturbing messages, but there are also messages of redemption and change, so I’m not ready to write them off yet.  

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Other Reviews on This Series

Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart Series, Book 1) by Stephanie Garner

Publisher’s Summary 

Not every love is meant to be.

After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can. . . .

About the Author

Stephanie Garber is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Once Upon a Broken Heart, The Ballad of Never After, and the Caraval trilogy. Her books have been translated into thirty languages.

I’d like to check out The Ballad of Neverafter—where can I buy it?


Barnes and Noble

Macmillan Publishers



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