Author: Stacey Lee
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
Love chose me, and I tried, but I couldn’t stop the arrow in its flight.
As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, fifteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of using her extraordinary sense of smell to mix base notes, top notes, and heart notes into elixirs that help others fall in love.
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 existence—taking up a sport and limping away flush from victory, joining the debate club and saying things like “That’s a logical fallacy!” Having a boyfriend.
When she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the school soccer star to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that when it comes to falling in love, the choice isn’t always hers to make.
The Secret of a Heart Note was a very unique and quiet kind of story. Magical Realism normally isn’t my thing, but this one sounded more Contemporary with a hint of magic. Mim and her mother are the last two aromateurs on Earth. They have heightened senses of smell which can detect a person’s unique scent and their emotions. They use their ability to make love potions, but are not allowed to fall in love themselves. Doing so would mean losing their nose.
The plot of The Secret of a Heart Note was fairly predictable but I really enjoyed it. Mim’s mother is traing her to make the elixirs and strengthen her sense of smell. Mim is also to deliver the latest elixir to her math teacher’s crush, but something goes wrong. She gets the wrong target! This is exactly the plot that I expected and it’s exactly the plot that I got. I didn’t mind though. I love watching Mim try to set it right without her mother knowing. She’s not alone though. Court promised to help her, since it’s his mother who accidentally got the potion instead.
Of course, there’s also a romance between Mim and Court, much to her dismay. Mim is always fending of unwanted advances, but nothing seems to work on Court. She knows he can’t possibly really like her; it’s just her “aromateur pollen.” Plus, she can’t fall in love without activating the family curse. They’re super cute together though. I also loved how Court didn’t pressure her. He’s just happy to be around her. In addition to the romance, there’s also a lot of focus on Mim’s relationship with her mother which is not all sunshine and rainbows.
The Secret of a Heart Note was very cute and unique. The magic was subtle and interesting, and actually fit the character and the story. Sometimes to me, the magical aspect of Magical Realism seems random or too “literary” but this one was just right.