December 27, 2016
Katherine Tegen Books
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.
"Magical!" By Ashia 1 year ago
I'm falling in love with Stacy Lee's writing! How come I never heard of this author before? Her writing is lyrical and expressive, describing things in a different, refreshing manner. I like the way her descriptions set off vivid images in my head. Sadly, I can only give a few examples or this review would go on too long:
"Twilight is my favorite time of day. All shimmery in the ceiling, violet on the carpet. The night bloomers are rolling up their sleeves to do their magic."
"I cry out as another wave yanks the board from my one-armed grip. Then the water swells over my head, cutting off sound and holding me in place. I kick my body upward, but the sea squats on me like a twenty-ton giant."
Ever think of drowning as having the sea squatting on you? Yet, it seems to fit.
Another thing I love about this book is how scent is like another character here. Mim is an aromateur, and scent permeates almost every thought she has, which is truly great for setting the atmosphere. And very realistic. It really brought her character to life. Since this is all new to me, I had great fun reading about all the different scents and how each emotion smells like to Mim. I don't know if the author invented this or not, but if not, I have to say the book is well researched.
I also love Mim, who has a strong sense of self and doesn't let the students' reactions to her affect her desire to go to school and experience life as a normal teenager. Without my knowing, she burrowed her way into my heart and I wanted to cry and panic with her when she realized she was losing her nose. (Aromateurs lost their sense of smell when they fall in love.) I thought her ambivalence over her joy at being in love with Court and at losing her nose were very realistic. Though she was barely fifteen, she's very mature for her age, and her thoughts and dialogue reflect that.
I only have one complaint. Toward the end when Court went to Mim's place with bricks, their interaction left me dissatisfied. I mean, sure, I knew they would end up together, but how the situation went left me hanging. I'm not looking for declarations of love but a confirmation that she felt something for him said to him would've been nice.
Overall, this is a must read. Immerse yourself in this magical tale. You won't regret it.