Author: Abby Jimenez
“You can’t control the bad things that happen to you. All you can do is decide how much of you you’re going to let them take.”
I want to start by saying that The Happy Ever After Playlist, by Abby Jimenez, is actually the second book of a series. However, I didn’t know this when I started reading it; I only realized it after I had finished the book. The Friend Zone is the first book in the series but, The Happy Ever After Playlist can definitely stand alone. Zero knowledge of The Friend Zone is needed to read this story.
I picked this book up from the bookstore because I felt it was time to read a lighthearted, fun, romantic book that would make me smile. This book did just that. My last few books had been pretty dramatic, serious and emotional, so this was a welcomed break.
What is this book about?
The main character, Sloan Monroe, is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after her fiance suddenly died in a motorcycle accident two years ago. The first book gives the excruciating details of the accident and the hospital scene; in this book, you are left to imagine how terrible this experience would have been for Sloan. I, for one, am very glad I didn’t have to read about those details. This story is focused more on how Sloan will help herself move on from this loss and bring happiness back into her life.
One day as Sloan was driving and stopped at a stoplight, a dog (which we later find out is named Tucker) ran into her car, causing quite a big scene. Once Sloan pulled off the road with this dog, she tried to look for the owner but could not find anyone that knew the dog. She decided to bring the dog home and care for it until she could locate the owner. Little did she know this encounter would change her life. Tucker brought so much energy into Sloan’s life, and you begin to see Sloan coming out of her depressed shell while trying to care for this dog. Eventually, we find out the dog owner is a man named Jason, who is currently in Australia for work. Sloan and Jason begin speaking over the phone, at first only concerning Tucker, but gradually, they find themselves more interested in learning about one another. Jason is the first man that Sloan finds herself crushing on since she lost her fiancé. This is how their romance begins. The beginning of their relationship is exciting and playful, everything a new relationship should be. Eventually, as they start to fall more into one another, their relationship becomes a serious love affair filled with dramatic ups and downs, especially once Sloan realizes that Jason is an up and coming musician.
My thoughts on the book…
This is an enjoyable, lighthearted romance novel. You know the characters will fall for one another right from the beginning, but the turns and twists it takes along the way are pretty surprising. I also really loved Sloan’s character; I was always rooting for her. I truly wanted her to find happiness, whether it was with Jason or in her own life. I think the character development of Sloan was the best part of this story. You watch her struggle in the beginning to find a way to move on with her life after her sudden heartbreak, then slowly see her trying to put happiness back into her life. I liked that even though Jason had a big part in helping her move on from her loss, Sloan individually worked on how she could better herself and move on from her tragic story. When she finally gets back into the hobbies she loves, it is genuinely heartwarming. She began as a fractured love hurt young women and grew into an independent artist who woke up every day prioritizing her happiness.
Jason’s character I fell in love with right from the beginning, I think most women would. He was incredibly charming, flirtatious, kind and caring. He knew what Sloan had gone through and approached it perfectly. He always put her happiness at the forefront of his life, which is something every woman deserves. His character definitely hit many women’s fantasies of falling in love with a beautiful famous singer.
This book was a very enjoyable read; I especially loved the ending. This is a perfect book to lift your spirits and make you feel so warm inside. The songs Jimenez included before each chapter really represented the feelings you experience when reading that chapter, and I thought that was a unique twist to this romance novel. Whenever I would read this book throughout my day, I was instantly in a better mood and really, what more could you want from a book?
A little bit about the author…
Abby Jimenez is the author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist. Jimenez is also a famous baker who has won many Food Network Competitions. She first showed off her literary skills through comments on her baking page: Nadia Cakes. She has a new book coming out in spring 2021 called Life’s Too Short.