Stacey Lee’s UNDER A PAINTED SKY was one of my favorite reads of 2016, and I also thoroughly enjoyed OUTRUN THE MOON, so I was thrilled when I won a copy of her latest, THE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE. Here are the cover and description.
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 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 dreams of ditching the hermetic life of an aromateur in favor of high school, free time, and a boy to kiss.
When she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the school soccer star to help fix the situation, she quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice. It’s a calling.
Here are the five things I loved most:
1. The scents – I don’t think I could talk about this book without mentioning how much I learned about the sense of smell. I can’t even imagine how much research Stacey Lee conducted for this book. Imagine a world where you could read emotions based on how the person smells … well, I suppose that would be both a blessing and a curse. But I certainly found it fascinating to read!
2. The descriptions – Ms. Lee’s descriptions–particularly of the characters–are so evocative and artful. Here are a couple of them that stuck with me after I had finished reading the book.
My own nose–which looks like someone took pliers to Mother’s, tweaked it longer and pinched a bump on the bridge to be funny–doesn’t detect a single wayward molecule, though Mother’s the expert.
Sure, he’s cute, even up close, but overrated-cute. His eyes squint and he has one of those Count Dracula hairlines that, like the economy, is one day headed for a recession.
3. The stakes – On the surface, the stakes in this book might seem more quiet, but to Mim they’re all-important. The contrast between Mim’s calling as an aromateur and her longing for more out of life is so well-drawn. I loved how the tension kept ratcheting up with every choice she made until the stakes became all or nothing.
4. The love clients – Obviously the nature/course of love is a theme in this story, and I enjoyed seeing how it played out with the client Mim and her mother start out with at the beginning of the book. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s super sweet!
5. The resolution – I think it’s a sign of how great the tension in the story was that I was worried it couldn’t end well, but I was satisfied, which is all I can say without giving anything away :).
Have you read THE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE yet? If not, go pick it up!