Like many of you I’ve changed the genres I’ve been seeking out during the pandemic because my emotional state already seems a bit wobbly. I've read Abby Jimenez’s The Friend Zone and, since that book had me in knots, I was kind of dreading this one tbh, especially at this moment in time. But for much of the book The Happy Ever After Playlist is a freaking delight, crackling with humor and devotion of all kinds, giving me enough drive to get through the heavy parts because I knew there would be even happier stuff on the other side.
We met Sloan in The Friend Zone, where she encouraged her BF Kristen to accept true love and where she suffered the tragic loss of her own fiancé. Set two years later, THEAP opens with her stuck in a pretty stagnant state. A dog—someone’s lost pet—helps pull her out of it.
Sloan eventually learns that the dog’s owner’s name is Jason and he’s a musician currently traveling in Australia, and before she knows it they’re texting and then eventually, finally meeting in person.
Even when Jimenez has held my heart crushed between her fingers I’ve never doubted her characters’ love for each other. It sings. It dances. In this case, I felt Jason’s love like it was a tangible thing & that made what was to follow a little easier to bear. This book is INTENSELY romantic and gives me some major flutters.
As much as I appreciated how THEAP is lighter in angst than I had anticipated, I was kinda surprised that Brandon—and Sloan’s feelings about moving on from him—didn’t take up even more of the story. There’s also a scene with Jason when he’s initially processing that her fiancé died and his reaction is a little off-putting. To be clear, Sloan is definitely devastated by Brandon’s loss but I expected even more introspection, maybe even more guilt, about dating someone new...although maybe I’ve just read too many books like that and that’s just my problem ;).
There are a couple of things about the plot that I was somewhat resistant to but overall this book is a joy...with some heartache thrown in. It’s sooo funny—there’s one line from Kristen I’ve been wanting to share with people so badly haha—and I stan a creative, talented couple who care about their careers...and making it work with someone very special.
I felt the love in this one, people!
The Happy Ever After Playlist releases on April 14th. Thanks to Forever Pub & Grand Central Pub for my complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Overly excitable book reviewer. My favorite reads have kissing & HEAs.