The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo
Published by: Swoon Reads
Pub Date: May 16 2017
Format: arc| Source: gift from OTSP Secret Sister
Genres: young adult, contemporary, romance
Chin up, Princess, or the crown will slip.
A theme park princess must put her life back together after her happily ever after falls apart in this contemporary YA romance from Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall andHow to Say I Love You Out Loud.
Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa’s perfect summer falls apart.
Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her friend Miller’s support, she’s determined to prove that she’s more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she’s finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she’s ready for something real.
Of course this was going to be a Morgan book- it’s about a college age girl working as a princess at a Disney-inspired theme park! But The Truth About Happily Ever After took me by surprise with its depth and friendships and I love that. I also liked that it straddles the line between YA and NA age-wise without the requisite NA content. It’s easy to think you have the characters all figured out, that Alyssa is a somewhat shallow sorority girl for example. But that couldn’t be further from the truth and that’s what I mean about depth. The story makes you examine your preconceived notions of other people, both through reading and through the characters themselves. There are so many amazing friendships, both old and new, and some really interesting relationships. I appreciated how real the characters felt- they are young but they’re growing and they apologize for mistakes and try to be mature with one another. And the setting was so fun- unique but it also it reminded me of my college/after graduation days with the roommates & dorm-type setting. Plus there’s plenty of romance!
There is an emphasis on body image, on having to look a certain way for work, as well as looking/feeling good but I liked how it was presented in the story- no numbers are mentioned, there isn’t too much judgment, and the emphasis is on all kinds of healthy. But most of all, I loved the slowly blossoming romance! Care is taken to build the friendship first and that makes all the difference. Plus Miller is a really great guy, a NICE guy, and I adored him. He’s funny, he’s thoughtful, and he’s romantic. I adored Alyssa with him even more; she didn’t change herself to be with him, she blossomed into the best version of herself. I just enjoyed this book so much. It would make the cutest movie! It made me happy and is a must if you love contemporary romance. And Disney 😉
Have you read The Truth About Happily Ever After? Do you wish there were more books that successfully straddle the YA/NA divide like I do?