I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
on December 27, 2016
Genres: Young Adult
An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs
Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.
At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world.
That cover was enough to ensure that I would pick up The Secret of a Heart Note with gusto. Add to that the description full of hints of magic, flowers, and gardens and there was no way I was passing this book up! It had all the ingredients to make a book that I would love, unfortunately it fell a little short of love for me.
The premise for The Secret of a Heart Note was just lovely. There’s a lot of subtle magic in the book. Mimosa and her mother use their extraordinary sense of smell to make love elixirs for their clients. They live in a little cottage, surrounded by gardens. The setting and the elixirs were my favorite parts. It was just so delightful and whimsical.
Mimosa was a fine character. I didn’t love her but I didn’t dislike her either. She was pretty naive and she did her fair share of muddling everything up. Her intentions were always good. I loved her loyalty to her friends and school. One of the main plot points is Mimosa making a big mistake and keeping it from her mother. The problems this caused just kept getting bigger and bigger throughout the story and I found myself frustrated with Mimosa. Things would’ve been so much easier if she would have told her Mom. I understand that she was worried about disappointing her and that a large chunk of the plot would’ve been gone if she had told her. It didn’t stop me from being frustrated though.
The romance aspect was sweet, but I didn’t feel a huge connection with it. I really wanted to! I also found the scent descriptions a bit tedious after awhile. I get that they were a big part of the story and who Mim was, but it made the story drag for me at times. The pace of the story seemed really slow to me at times as well.
The Secret of a Heart Note was still a very enchanting book. The magical elements were certainly my favorite part. Even though I didn’t love it like I wanted to, I would definitely still recommend it. It was a cute story and perfect for curling up with a cup of tea.