Published by Swoon Reads on May 16th 2017
Genres: young adult, contemporary
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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 and How 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.
The Truth About Happily Ever After was surprisingly charming. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, and I strongly disliked it at first (even thought about DNFing), but it grew on me like a bad rash. If you’re looking for something fun and light-hearted set in a park like Disney, I think you will probably enjoy this.
My main issue was suspension of disbelief. The author created this Disney World-like setting that was not Disney, set in Tallahassee and called Enchanted Dominion, and it was just not something I could go along with, as a reader. My settings have to be realistic and this felt like a knock-off Disney World, which it was. Also, I practically live next to Disney, and I’ve been there a lot, so it was going to be even worse for me than others. A knock-off Disney theme park was never going to work for me.
And then also, not to insult sororities, but I think they are absolutely ridiculous. Paid friendships. I got asked to rush one in college and I had absolutely no interest in paying dues just to go to parties and hang out with superficial friends. And Alyssa and her sorority sisters were HELLA annoying on top of it. Thankfully the sorority is only in a small portion of the novel, but she talks about it a lot, and it was just another thing that niggled at me.
There was nothing wrong with Alyssa as a character, per se, but she’s not someone that I would ever choose as a friend–she was too perky, social, and wayyyyy too into playing Cinderella. If you like people like that, she’s your girl, but I just couldn’t relate to her in any way. That said, I really liked her relationships with her non-sorority friends and how she handled the breakup with her ex. Even though she wasn’t my kind of person, she was strong and admirable and I enjoyed that.
I think I would have liked this a lot better if it was set in the actual Disney World. The romance was sweet though, and that was the part I enjoyed the most. Miller was the perfect, yet perfectly flawed, guy. Not only was he a great boyfriend, but a great friend as well. I also loved reading about Disney secrets even though they were disguised as knockoff park secrets. The author probably worked there or knows someone that did so she got lots of info. It sounds fun but also excruciating at the same time. That said, Alyssa’s constant love for all things Enchanted Dominion was a bit much. I can imagine certain people love working there and do it for life, but eating, sleeping, breathing, living Disney 24/7 365 is a bit unrealistic, even if it is the case.
I don’t know. This was a quick and enjoyable read, but it wasn’t anything special. Would I recommend it? Hmmmmm, maybe depending on who you are. There are a lot of other light young adult contemporary reads out there that I enjoyed more.