Review: The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Title: The Truth About Happily Ever After
Author: Karole Cozzo
Genre: contemporary
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Published: May 162017
Source: ARC via publisher
Rating: 3.75/5

 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.

It seems like Swoon Reads is finally hitting their stride: for the third time this year, I find myself finishing one of their titles with a giant grin on my face. The Truth About Happily Ever After is charming, silly, and fun; it's a pure fluff read but it's one that boasts some great characters in both Alyssa and Miller. The romance between them is as expected as it is sweet but that doesn't detract from the fun and the drama of getting to their fairytale ending.

Though the plot of this is a bit shallow and easily predicted, it's admittedly entertaining to watch everything unfold over the summer at the Enchanted Dominion. Alyssa is a dedicated Princess; she's kind and funny and dorky and pretty earnest -- wholly dedicated to doing service to the image of a Princess. She grows up a lot over the course of a relatively short novel; it all might happen a bit too fast at the end of the book*, but she's an engaging and self-aware person so it works more than it doesn't. 

I had fun with The Truth About Happily Ever After but a couple things stood out for the wrong reasons. I do think some of Alyssa's eating behavior verges on the edge of destructive; I appreciate Miller's concern but even before then the rigorous and rigid attitude Alyssa had toward eating was worrisome. Additionally, one of Miller's comments about "other pretty girls [not being nice]" as a way to compliment Alyssa was unnecessary and also a harmful stereotype. Disappointing to see, especially from a character that was pretty atypically swoonworthy at all other times.

The characters here are a bit older than usually seen in Swoon Reads' books  - they're in college and pledging sororities with fake IDs and love interests have beards -- and I liked the change. To be sure there are some YA cliches in the pages of The Truth About Happily Ever After but it's one of those books that grows on you as you read.

*[however her dressing up as a giant lizard for her big moment was fabulous and hilarious]


  1. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I just don't read contemporary. But this? Actually sounds really cute. lol I haven't had the best of luck with Swoon Reads but I may have to give this one a go.

    1. it was such an unexpected surprise. I'd also had uneven luck with SR but I think they may finally hitting their stride :)


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