Title: Happily Ever Afters (Happily Ever Afters #1)
Author: Elise Bryant
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.
Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.
When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.
But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?
Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson is a romance writer, but she’s never experienced a true romance herself or seen herself in the pages of published romance novels. When she moves to Long Beach and starts attending an arts high school, Tessa experiences one of the worst things a writer can have: writer’s block. Her friend from her old town has the perfect solution. She suggests that Tessa find her own romance to give her inspiration to write. Luckily, one of the students in her class looks like the dreamy main character in one of her stories. However, as Tessa spends more time with that guy, she starts to turn into a different person, lying to everyone around her. Her neighbour, Sam, is someone who she’s never afraid to be herself with, but he isn’t her type. Tessa has to figure out what her real love story is so she can get her writing groove back.
I loved this book so much. I could relate to Tessa. I also loved to write as a teen. I didn’t know much about writing back then so I wouldn’t have been able to do a program like Tessa did, though I would love it now!
Tessa experienced some realistic relationship problems in this story. There were a lot of red flags with one of the guys that Tessa liked. I recognized these red flags right away, but Tessa tried to brush them off. I would have and did try to ignore some of the problematic things that friends or boyfriends did, so that I could still be with them, but now I realize that was harmful to myself. I loved that this aspect of problematic and toxic relationships was explored in this book, because I wish I had learned that lesson sooner in life.
Happily Ever Afters is a great YA romance! I can’t wait to read the sequel!
What to read next:
One True Loves by Elise Bryant
Serendipity by Marissa Meyer
Other books in the series:
- One True Loves
Have you read Happily Ever Afters? What did you think of it?