Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 2/6/21-2/20/21

How I Found It: Instagram/ Once Upon a Book Club

Hello Friends! Today’s book is a rom-com for the book lovers. Other than that, as is the usual for OUABC books, I am going in blind. So I will see you all at the first gift!

Page 46

‘ ‘He laughs and reaches into the backseat to produce a muffin tin….”

Happily Ever Afters, page 46

For the 2021 year (at least I havent noticed on boxes before), OUABC is making their boxes themed. So this particular box is called Butter, Sugar, & Love Stories, so I’m curious if all of the gifts are goiinig to be baking themed. I had a pretty good idea that this was going to be a muffin tin when I picked up the present, but even more so with because with the box was a recipe for brown-butter raspberry muffins.

Page 287

“… something especially fragrant called ras el hanout in glass jars.”

Happily Ever Afters, page 287

These jars are really nice. The problem? I have literally nothing to put in them. However, we persevere, and I will either be putting candy or something else small in large quantities in them.

Page 346

“Giant color versions of all the sketches I’d seen him laboring over this year.”

Happily Ever Afters, page 346

I have always said how weird I was about receiving pictures of people in these boxes. And while I know the difference between a picture and a portrait, I truly do not feel this way about this portrait at all. Also, what an absolutely gorgeous print!

Overall Novel

So story, Tessa moves to Southern California and earns a spot in the writer’s program at Chrysalis, an arts high school. Her new neighbor, Sam, is also a student at that school, so they quickly become friends. But when Tessa realizes that she can’t get words to flow out of her the way they used to, she thinks that maybe the problem is that she needs her own romance to get the juices flowing. When there is a guy named Nico at her school who looks exactly like her character from her novel, she believes that he is the person who could give her her happily ever after, ultimately leading to her characters’ happily ever afters. Of course, as easy as this all sounds, life tends to be a little more complicated, and we follow Tessa as she tries to figure out what exactly she wants and how she can get out of the situation that she is in.

I’ll be honest, this was not my favorite book I’ve read. I personally did not like Tessa. I got probably 100 pages or so in, and I was having a great time. But at a certain point, I was not reading the book because I wanted to actually read the book, and more because I wanted to open the gifts/for glory. I don’t recommend doing this by the way, but I am a very strange breed of human. But by page 300, I truly thought about just putting it down and not finishing. To explain this feeling a little bit, there was an obvious direction for this book. We spent SO LONG building up to this moment, and ultimately that moment was extremely anti-climatic for the build up we had. If you think about your plot structure chart from English class, it was like we went up this very low grade slope to then get to a cliff, where we essentially fell off and died. What I did like about this book is that there was a resolution without adding the extra ten pages of what happens after that resolution that I also find awkward. Tessa played a really large part in this long build up based off her characteristics as a protagonist. And all in all, I felt like she could have been written to be less annoying of a character.

And while I am trashing on this character, I also want to say that I see a lot of myself in her. I too wanted to feel like I belonged when there were a lot of moments where I thought I never would be. I too struggled to find the things that I loved for periods of my life. And I too have dealt with anxiety attacks that leave me debilitated. Maybe the reason why I don’t like her as a character is more because I could see myself as her, while also realizing that there was a clear path to the end. Whatever the case may be, I probably won’t be picking this one up again, and that is disappointing to me.

(Side note: I also feel like I need to reiterate: read whatever you want to read. These are my thoughts that I felt after finishing the book. I am sure that if you look at another review, that person will say something different. It is my prerogative to say my thoughts and share that with the world, and it is okay if you think I am full of bull. I probably am.)

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

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