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.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 3 stars! Overall, this was pretty cute, but unlike many of my friends, I didn’t fall in love with it, but I liked it for the most part. I know the imagination and detail that went into the descriptions of the scents were amazing!

Mini Review: First, just let me get all the good bits that I enjoyed out of the way. I loved everything that had to do with the potion-making and the scents that associated with certain moods and emotions. That part was exceptionally well done. I also loved the description of Mimosa’s home with her mother and their huge acreage of gardens and orchards. I wanted to stumble upon a place like that and live there forever. I even really enjoyed reading about the duties and obligations of an aromateur, and thought it was an original concept and unique storyline. Furthermore, the relationships– family, friendship, and those of the romantic variety– presented in this book were really well done as well. (Aunt Bryony was my favorite with Kali a close second.) Another beautiful element of this story was the diverse representation of different cultures, ethnicities, and sexual orientation.

Now, there were two major issues that irritated me, and not only that, but I feel like they affected the pacing of the story. Probably my biggest hangup was the plot point where Mimosa accidentally gives a love potion to the wrong person and spends a majority of time and a lot of effort focused on fixing her mistake without letting her mother know she messed up. I can remember being a teenager once upon a time and the ache that builds in your chest with guilt when you know you’re going to disappoint your parent. I can also understand that Mimosa was afraid she’d have all her freedom of school and a life outside the family property stripped away if she wasn’t able to show that she could balance the two responsibilities. I totally get the urge to hide it in the beginning. But after that one problem snowballs into multiple problems combined with the complication of her pollinating all the school boys, I went from being sympathetic to quickly irritated. And my frustrations only continued to mount the more time she spent lying to her mother and not fixing her problem. Even worse, she was messing with other people’s lives. Their happiness. Their money. At a certain point, I wanted to reach through my kindle and give her a good shaking and a stern lecture. My other little gripe was the mean girl side-plot. I just found it unnecessary and overly dramatic, and it seemed to overcomplicate a plot that already had it’s fair share of obstacles. Give me less mean girl and more time with Mimosa and Court getting to know each other, please and thank you.

Book Rating Breakdown
General Book Feels
Cute, Fuzzies, Flutters

♥ Rec It? Sure! If you’re looking for something on the fluffier side with a unique plot or need a quick read to sneak in between books, this one would likely be a good fit. I may have had my few little issues with it, but many of my Goodreads friends fell absolutely in love with it, so maybe I’m just the oddball out on this one.

♥ A very special thanks to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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