Happily Ever Afters – Book Review

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant was published in January 2021, and if you haven’t picked up this YA contemporary romance. You’re missing out.

What is Happily Ever Afters about?

Happily Ever Afters is about Tessa, and her happily ever after. Well, it’s about her trying to figure out what a real-life happily ever after is about.

Meet Tessa, 16-year-old romance writer who loves love. But she’s never really seen herself between the pages of the books she adores. So what’s a girl to do, but write swoony love stories and share them with her best friend, Caroline?

When Tessa is accepted into a creative arts program at her dream school, the last thing she expects is for her words to… vanish.

Luckily for her, Caroline proposes a plan to get Tessa’s writing back on track. Complete with a step-by-step plan — She needs to experience a real-life romance. Cue dreamy artistic type, Nico.

But when following Caroline’s plan doesn’t lead where she expected, Tessa feels like she’s losing herself along the way. Then there’s her budding feelings for the boy-next-door, Sam.

What I liked about Happily Ever Afters

This book is sweet, and filled with adorable moments between its characters. But it’s also real, and doesn’t shy away from hard topics or moments.

The main character Tessa, struggles with her anxiety. She’s faced with difficult situations and feels her emotions deeply. But ultimately this is a positive story about overcoming and admitting when you could have done better.

Sam. If you love cinnamon roll characters, he’s here for you. Literally. He’s a baker and it’s amazing. I had a major craving for pastry and all things sweet whilst reading this book.

Characters stuffed up. And owned it. It was empowering to see characters actually struggle to resolve their relationships, because peopling is hard! This book doesn’t shy away from that reality.

What I didn’t like about Happily Ever Afters

Honestly… I don’t think there was anything! This book was a five star read for me. Well written, and I’m excited to see what Bryant writes next!

Final thoughts

This book is adorable, but also real. For anyone who has questions and doubts about their worth or skills it’s a must read.

Tessa is a flawed, but intensely loveable character. Her journey is filled with angst, giggling and just ‘awww’ moments.

But beyond that, Happily Ever Afters wrestles with issues of representation and racism in an open manner. This is a romance that’s about more than loving your parter, but about learning to love and take control over who you’re becoming.


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