Book Spotlight: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.

At this point, it’s safe to say that I will enjoy anything Stacey Lee writes. Her historical fictional continually blows me away with the details of the time periods, the strength and resolve of her protagonists, and the focus on minorities during different eras of history.

But Stacey Lee has one book that is a contemporary novel with a dash of magic. When I started The Secret of a Heart Note, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. It was so different than her other books. I had to wrap my mind around the “aromateur” concept that felt on the edge of magic without actually being magic.

As I kept reading though, a part of me fell in love with the story. With Mim and her unique ways. With Court and his sweet disposition. With Kali and her fierce boldness. Even with Mim’s mom and her traditional, strict outlook.

There is a lot packed into this simple, sweet contemporary. The “aromateur” aspects only enliven the story and make it different than most YA contemporary books I’ve read. Mim’s ability to sense the world through her nose gave the book such interesting descriptions and beautiful prose. It was so fun to read how this or that smell is associated with certain emotions or situations.

But like all of Stacey Lee’s books, the heart of the story is the characters. As I already said, I love Mim’s character a lot. She’s such a fun protagonist and I love the ups and downs she faces as she makes mistake after mistake with the love elixirs. Normally drama like this would drive me crazy in a YA novel, but it didn’t come across as too crazy or over the top in this book because it worked with the “aromateur” love potion angle.

I also really love the romance in this. It’s so cute and sweet. Stacey Lee writes great characters and great romantic tension. When I think about it, I don’t feel like the romantic tension should have felt so thick between Mim and Court, but it did and it worked and I loved reading how they tip toed around their feelings for each other. It was a good balance.

Pretty much, I love this story. I love how everything comes together in the end. Some of it was a little predictable, but I didn’t mind that. I liked having that moment of “Yes, I knew this would happen!” I didn’t expect to like this story as much as I did, but it was fun.

And I learned that Stacey Lee is good at writing character and plot, no matter the genre.


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