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Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

“Sometimes the hardest place to live is the one in-between.”

Name: The Happy Ever After Playlist

Author: Abby Jimenez

Series: Book 2 of The Friend Zone Series

Genre: Adult, Romance, Music Romance

The Happy Ever After Playlist can be definitely described as a feel good story. From the successes and challenges of both characters we root for them from the very beginning. Plus the wonderful addition of the cutest dog in the world, what more can you ask for?

The Happy Ever After Playlist begins the story of Sloan and Jason. After loosing her husband a few years ago Sloan is still stuck in her grief, however the day of his death anniversary a surprise comes to her life in the shape of a dog named Tucker. Believing in fate she keeps the dog as the owner doesn't respond to her many calls and slowly starts doing things she wasn't doing for the dog. However, the dog's owners soon comes to the realization that his dog is lost and he wants him back. What they didn't expect is for them to fall into an easy and flirtatious banter. However, Jason is a rockstar who has signed with one of the best companies to work for but his success comes with a price.

I felt as the story was very well built. We saw the whole development of the relationship, the story didn't only have one climax and one resolution but instead it was told in a very real and raw way where we got to see the relationship evolve and the characters go through their ups and downs. I felt as we really saw their whole relationship and not pieces as some other romance stories are developed.

Many readers believe that it was kind of not right or bullshit how Sloan basically held on to Jason to get over her own grief instead of doing it by herself but I disagree. I felt as if Sloan needed a push and the dog and what Jason represented (opening up, new experiences) gave her the push she needed. I never felt as if though they were using each other to move on or improve themselves, however they accomplish just that with the influence of the other.

“I was a ghost, wandering the rooms of a museum of the person I used to be, and Jason was like one of the living who could somehow see me and decided to wander the place with me.”

The story also deals with a very big "lie" that basically destroys the relationship, which is one of the big climaxes of the story. I actually adore how this fight or this event was dealt with. I really was able to see Sloan's maturity and growth with how she dealt with her feelings about Jason and how in the end she gives herself the time she needs to feel better and forgive.

The story is a beautiful tale of forgiving one self and overcoming grief. It talks about the shrines ones makes for the people that we love and how we might not want to become codependent of one another but it ends up happening, destroying your world when that person isn't there anymore. I also really enjoyed the take on the "rockstar" trope and although I don't have many stories to compare it too I think it never took too much of the story but it was one of the "challenges" the couple had to go through.

-- 4.5 stars --