The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
Publication Date: April 14, 2020
So I reviewed The Friend Zone last year (review here) and it was sort of an unpopular opinion. As I said in my review and I’ll say again, I truly think I went into the book with the wrong expectations which impacted my enjoyment of the story.
Even though TFZ wasn’t my cup of tea, I was a big fan of Abby Jimenez’s writing and thus was excited to read The Happily Ever After Playlist. (Thanks to Forever Publishing & NetGalley for an eARC)
Fair warning: most of my notes I took while reviewing make NO SENSE. I’m mad at my past self. So if this review is missing something blame Past Tree who was frustrated while reading and took notes too fast.
Brief summary: Sloan, lost her fiancé two years ago and is still struggling in getting her life together. She finds a lost dog and tries to contact his owner, but no one is claiming him. Jason is getting back from Australia where he was on tour and realizes that his dog got out. They start engaging is some flirty banter and have a strong connection. But, Jason’s music career is bigger than Sloan realizes and he is just getting more and more famous.
Trigger Warnings: Self Harm, minor groping
WHAT I LIKED:
- The beginning was SO GOOD! Sloan & Jason’s flirty banter was a delight and so much fun to read
- I just love flirting over texting done well in novels
- Abby Jimenez is funny and it truly comes through well in her books
- Tucker the dog! I loved that Sloan finds Jason’s dog and gets so attached
- The slideshow she makes LOL
- That Sloan has tattoos! So many times in romance novels the guys have tattoos, but aside from like one singular tattoo, the girls do not! Sloan has a full on sleeve
- I’m so mad her tattoos are not on the cover *eyeroll*
- How Sloan chooses happiness and how we explore the themes of how it is can be a lot of work to be happy
- How respectful Jason is a Brandon
- He starts the novel being the IDEAL man & then…well this is the positive section
- SLOAN! I loved her and her journey. This woman has gone through hell and I respect her so much and loved seeing her build her life back up again.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE:
- There were a few jokes that sat with me the wrong way (which being an arc could be edited out).
- Jimenez lives for miscommunication, which I get is a big trope in romance, I felt like it was over the top in this novel (and in TFZ)
- The timing of this book
- Jason & Sloan get together so quickly and we have so many time jumps
- This means we don’t get to see them as a happy couple for very long because we get to the ANGST
- The whole Lola plot line, basically Jason has a costar who seems to be obsessed with him and in the end it is not what we thought it was and we are supposed to forgive her, but she gropes Jason in public and I do not think we should just casually forget that. Like, that is not okay.
- The second half of the novel got bogged down in cliche romance novel drama, miscommunication, and angst.
- I am not a fan of angst
- Like we know the two characters are going to get together, don’t make use suffer through pining unless there is a good reason
- Jimenez again brings up some dark issues that do not necessarily work since she set ups her novels are being FUNNY AND CUTE and then all of a sudden…BAM SADNESS
- Which I get makes them real and stuff, but I read to escape & Sloan already has some tragic baggage herself, we don’t need more
- As mentioned earlier, Jason starts as the IDEAL man, but then by the end he is just another cliche love interest who I did not care much about (sorry)
- I literally thought this was called The HAPPILY Ever After Playlist and not going to lie I like my title better.
Overall, If you enjoyed The Friend Zone, I think you will like this one. If you struggled with TFZ you might not enjoy this one either. I’m conflicted because Abby Jimenez starts her novels so strong and I fall into the story extremely quickly and then they just fall flat. They start off being superior romance novels and by the end they are just average (just my opinion). I want to say I will read more from her, but honestly it is going to seriously depend on the plot of her next novel.
Goodreads Link: The Happy Ever After Playlist
Thanks for reading!