Book Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist

November 6, 2020


I haven't read quite as many romances this year, but The Happy Ever After Playlist is definitely one of my favorites! This is the companion novel sequel to The Friend Zone (and even though this can be read as a standalone, I'd still recommend checking that one out just for the extra nuance and background it provides). Sloan Monroe can't seem to get her life back on track after the tragic loss of her husband two years ago. But her life is changed forever when an adorable pup named Tucker falls (literally) into her life, and she's got no choice but to care for him until she can reach his owner. Just when she's convinced she'll get to keep Tucker, who's carved out a place for himself in her life, Tucker's owner reaches out to let her know he's been unreachable because he was in a remote Australian location for work and that he wants his dog back. Their text message exchanges eventually turn into phone calls as an undeniable connection springs up between them, and they make plans to meet up in person when Jason returns to the country. But will they be able to find a happily ever after together for real?

I already said this, but it's absolutely worth repeating: I loved The Happy Ever After Playlist. It really hit every sweet spot imaginable when it comes to the kinds of romances I enjoy: shenanigans that made me laugh out loud, sweet moments that had me swooning, delicious banter between our main couple, individual character growth journeys and some really great and supportive secondary relationships. Throw in a semi-epistolary aspect with the initial text message exchange, just a pinch of the drama that comes with celebrity (and more on that momentarily), and a fictional dog that I love to pieces, and that's basically what this book is.

When it comes right down to it, the couple is always the make it or break it factor for me when it comes to romance. It's really lucky that I enjoyed both Sloane and Jason so much! I'd already had a huge soft spot for Sloane after meeting her in The Friend Zone, but this book fully cemented my love for her. She's really struggling with her grief, and it's so heartbreaking to see someone so vivid and bright so diminished. Witnessing her journey towards making peace with the lost, and finding a way to embrace life and happiness again - it was really something special. And then there's Jason, one of my favorite fictional heroes ever, a talented musician who is just so darn good and wonderful. Outside of the fact that he's good for Sloane, he really demonstrates the variety of ways he cares for the people (and pup) he loves and it makes it easy to trust in him. While his individual arc is more heavily related to his career goals, it was still entertaining to read it as well. These two are so undeniably right for each other at this point in both their lives, and it was lovely to watch their relationship (even with its stops and starts) unfold on the page.

Just thinking about The Happy Ever After Playlist brings a smile to my face, honestly, even with the minor quibble I have with a dramatic turn of events towards the end. I still think that this is one of the most enjoyable romance novels I've read this year, and would highly recommend checking it out!

(P.S. I listened to the audiobook and I highly recommend it! The two narrators did a great job bringing the characters to life, and it just made the overall experience of this story more fun for me. If you do end up deciding to go the audio route, I recommend grabbing the book through Libro.FM!)

The Happy Ever After Playlist was published on April 14, 2020 by Forever.
I received an advanced listening copy (ALC) from Libro.fm for review.

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