Wednesday 18 January 2023

Book Review | The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber | prettylittlewriter

‘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. . . .’


I cannot believe how this ended. Thank you Stephanie for making me so desperate for the next book that I don’t think I’ll survive the wait!!


Ballad starts right where Broken Heart left off, Evangeline having been betrayed by Jacks and feeling alone.

The entire story is Evangeline deciding whether to help Jacks open the Valory Arch, and locating the stones that are required for this. With new curses put upon Evangeline and Apollo, she is eventually persuaded to help. She has no idea what will happen when the Arch is opened, or why Jacks wants to open it up, but she goes along with it in the hopes there will be something within the Arch that can save Apollo.


Now, I will say this. Evangeline actually irritates me quite a bit. Jacks is mean, manipulative and deceitful, yet she is constantly finding a reason to still care for him and want to be with him. I understand that the enemies to lovers trope is massive (I enjoy it myself too) however, her need to find a tiny shred of humanity within him is just infuriating. Apart from saving her life a couple of times, he treats her very shitty and I just don’t think he deserves it. I think I’d much rather her end up with Apollo or even Luc at the moment (but I think we can all agree that that’s not where this story is going!)


Stephanie’s writing is just so brilliantly done, she keeps you hooked right from the start, and after every chapter you find yourself saying, ‘just one more’ until you’ve actually finished the book without realising! It also helped that none of the chapters were ridiculously long (I like them short and snappy!).


Each individual character is incredibly interesting, from LaLa to Chaos, I wanted to know more about them and their pasts, and some unexpected characters were involved quite a lot too, which I enjoyed. Chaos was especially interesting, and his story takes a turn I did not expect!


I love the ideas within the book, including the story curse, that changes all stories after each time they’ve been read, so the truth can never really be revealed. It’s very cleverly done.

There is a little bit more sexual tension in this novel that in the first, which I was surprised to see within a YA novel, but I’m certainly not complaining. It can’t be denied that Evangeline and Jacks have some intensely good chemistry!


Without going into the storyline too much as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that has yet to read Ballad, I think it’s a brilliant sequel with some great twists and turns, and the ending shocked me TO THE CORE.

I now desperately need to read book #3 to find out how Evangeline’s story is going to end!

 ps. how beautiful is the fairyloot edition?!

5/5 stars

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