The Truth About Happily Ever After is a sweet tale about a girl named Alyssa who works as a character cast member at a theme park. But not just any character: Cinderella. And she loves filling the role of Cinderella, hanging out with her fellow park workers, studying fashion merchandising, her sorority, and especially her boyfriend, Jack. We notice almost immediately that things are not going well for her and Jack. They had one special summer together, followed by a school year almost entirely apart, and now that summer is here again, Lysa is hoping for a perfect summer again before they go back to school. They have both changed though, and Lysa and Jack need to figure out what they really mean to each other. And as a bonus, Alyssa also has to figure out if she is imagining a relationship between Harper, a new princess at the park, and Jack.
Alyssa is a very sweet girl, easy to like, if not a bit stereotypical at first. She has a lot of fears to overcome. She is nearly OCD about her calorie intake, calculating how much she can eat or drink and what anything would take to work back off at the gym. This is a touchy subject to me, though I imagine it is more common than one might think with all of the apps available. I think it could be triggering for some teens, but its also possible that they are used to it… it’s not something I see often in books, and it didn’t seem like a super healthy relationship with food and maintaining her princess-like figure. But perhaps this was also reflective of what she was trying to do to keep her relationship together too… overcalculating to the point of being unhealthy.
Her relationships to her sorority sisters also highlighted the distance she felt between them fiscally speaking, which was another concern for me, but something that she was working on in a more healthy manner by making sure she balanced her work and personal and school life, making smart choices with her funds… even if she was perhaps still engaging in an unhealthy relationship with them by not sharing the truth. But mostly, they took over the stereotypical sorority girl once introduced, which allowed Alyssa to have a little more depth.
Though the story was predictable, and Jack was less than desirably written in comparison to love interest #2, Miller, overall I did like the story. Having had friends who have also worked as cast characters, I could see a lot of what they said in their stories reflected in these pages, which perhaps propelled me forward at a quicker pace than I expected. An interesting tale for a one-night sitting. 2.5-3/5 stars.
Note: Thank you to NetGalley and Swoon Reads for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.