48. Elizabeth Maxwell – Happily Ever After

Wowza, two posts in two days, it’s almost like I’m back to my normal reading schedule!

The book I finished today (that I only started last night) was called Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell.

I found this book at a discount bookstore full of books I’d never heard of. I picked it up mainly because it seemed like the most interesting book out of all of them, and it only cost 2 dollars!

So, I did not have high expectations for this book. I basically thought it would be a classic cheesy romance novel and that I wouldn’t like it.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, although it had a really weird concept.

Elizabeth Maxwell - Happily Ever After (photo taken by me)
Elizabeth Maxwell – Happily Ever After (photo taken by me)

The book is about a 40-something year old single mom named Sadie who writes erotic novels. At the beginning of the book, Sadie is starting her latest book, a love story between two characters named Aidan and Lily.

One night, Sadie goes to bed in the middle of her third chapter. The next morning she wakes up and feels really weird. She sits down at her computer and finds the third chapter completed – by someone else.

In the middle of her otherwise normal chapter, a witch shows up and transforms her two main characters to another world. Sadie is confused, naturally, because she doesn’t know where this writing came from. However, she tries to go about her day as usual.

This means taking a trip to Target to pick up a few things. In the middle of her shopping trip, she sees a man standing in an aisle looking really confused. She asks the man if he needs help, and he tells her that he can’t remember his name or anything about how he got there, but that he gets the feeling he’s met Sadie somewhere before.

Through an interesting turn of events, the man ends up staying at Sadie’s house and it only gets weirder from there. When he finally gets his memory back, he remembers his name is Aidan – and that he is the character from Sadie’s book come to life.

Basically, the witch in the story transported Aidan to the real world, and he has to work together with Sadie to find his true love, Lily, and get back into their fictional world.

The book follows their mission to find Lily and return them to the world where they belong.

As I said before, this book has a really strange premise, but I really enjoyed it. I started it last night before bed and could not put it down. I ended up reading half of it before I finally went to sleep.

I really had low expectations for this book, and although most of it was pretty cheesy, it was still an interesting and enjoyable read.

The writing is catchy and makes for an easy read, so I would recommend this book for some light reading if you think you might like it.

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42. Taylor Jenkins Reid – After I Do

So, I’m pretty much the most lame person ever. I just moved into school last Sunday and then this past Thursday, I went home for the weekend. I know, lame, right? But, it was so I could see my cutie cute nephew who came out to visit.

So anyway, since I went home, I had a six hour train ride, and I finished a whole book on the way. Yay!

The book was After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I don’t know if any of you remember, but I recently found a new favorite book, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Forever, InterruptedSince I loved that book so much, I was eager to read After I Do and had high expectations for it.

Those expectations were definitely met. I also loved this book. Not as much as the last one, but I still loved it.

Taylor Jenkins Reid - After I Do (photo taken by me)
Taylor Jenkins Reid – After I Do (photo taken by me)

Basically, this book is about a married couple who fall into too much of a routine and grow to resent each other. They decide the best way to move forward is to do a “trial separation” – they agree to spend an entire year apart with no contact at all, and at the end of the year see if they want to get back together. The reader follows the wife, Lauren, through that year of her life.

The book starts out by showing bits of their life together over the past eleven years, so the reader can see how their relationship has gone downhill. Then we meet up with the couple as they decide to split up temporarily and see the whole thing through.

You have to admit, this book has a unique concept. I wasn’t sure if I would like it all that much, but Reid does a beautiful job handling the subject. I really grew to love all the characters in the book and Lauren’s family had me laughing the whole time.

This book definitely pulls at your heartstrings and makes you appreciate all your loved ones. Toward the end of the book, I really wasn’t sure how Lauren and Ryan’s relationships was going to end up, which I really liked. I thought that it would have an obvious ending, but it kept me hooked all the way to the end.

I really enjoyed this book and continue to look forward to reading Reid’s other book (and any future books she may write). I would definitely recommend this book to others, especially if they have read Forever, Interrupted and enjoyed it.

36. Taylor Jenkins Reid – Forever, Interrupted

You guys. I think I’ve found the one.

My new favorite book.

I just finished Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid. And I loved it. Every second of it.

Taylor Jenkins Reid - Forever, Interrupted (photo taken by me)
Taylor Jenkins Reid – Forever, Interrupted (photo taken by me)

The main character of this book is named Elsie. At the start of the book, Elsie is a newlywed. She’s been married to Ben for nine days and they were only dating for six months before that. But they’re madly in love.

Elsie and Ben are sitting on their couch in wedded bliss when she says she’s craving Fruity Pebbles. Ben jumps up to save the day and heads out on his bicycle to get Elsie the cereal she wants. But he never comes home with it.

On his way home, Ben is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Just like that, the man Elsie loves is gone.

She’s soon in the hospital, waiting to see her husband’s body, when his mother, who doesn’t even know Elsie exists, comes in. Elsie has to introduce herself to Susan and explain her relationship with Ben, but Susan wants to hear nothing of it.

The book flashes back and forth in time to tell two stories at once – Elsie and Ben’s love story alongside Elsie and Susan’s healing process.

I loved this book. The whole time. I could hardly put it down (until last night when I forced myself to stop reading just so I could have one more day with it).

The writing style is great, I really came to love the characters and feel like they were people I knew. I loved how Jenkins went back and forth between the two stories. Ben and Elsie’s love story was amazing and romantic, while the story after his death was emotional and moving. If the story had just been about Elsie dealing with her husband’s death, it probably would have been too sad for me to read, but interweaving their relationship makes the book warm your heart.

I honestly feel like this is my new favorite book. It moved me in a way no other book has. It also really made me appreciate the love I have in my life.

For anyone who’s read the book, you’ll find it funny that my copy was a used one bought from a library. But I can totally see myself buying a brand new copy in the future. I’ve heard it said before – you can never have too many copies of your favorite book.

I definitely think I’ll be reading this book again in the future. I absolutely love the story. I also can’t wait to read Jenkins’ other books (and hopefully she writes lots more!).

I would 100% recommend this book to others, it’s an easy read but a great story. The book pulled at my heartstrings the whole time and made me tear up more than once – no easy feat with me.

35. Gayle Forman – Just One Day

I’m going to start off this post by saying that I love this book.

So, I don’t remember when I first heard about this book, but it’s been on my to-read list for a while now. So long, in fact, that I forgot what the story was even about. But lately, I feel like I’ve seen people talking about this book everywhere, and they all had great reviews. So I felt like I had to read it next (it was like fate, which if you read the book, you’ll appreciate ;)).

Gayle Forman - Just One Day (photo taken by me)
Gayle Forman – Just One Day (photo taken by me)

The story is about a girl named Allyson who is on a trip in Europe following her high school graduation. Allyson has always been a “good girl” and has done what she’s expected to do.

On one of the last nights of her trip, she meets a boy who’s appearing in a play, and she and her friend Melanie go to see it. The next morning, Allyson and Melanie are on a train to London, where they’ll stay for a few days before returning home. But on the train, Allyson runs into none other than the boy she had met the night before, Willem.

They talk during the train ride and once they get to the train station in London, Allyson mentions that she’s upset she didn’t have a chance to visit Paris. Naturally, Willem suggests that they take a trip there – for just one day.

It’s totally unlike Allyson to say yes, but something about Willem makes her feel different from her usual, safe self. So she goes.

Now, I thought this book was just going to follow their one day in Paris and be all romantic and have a happily-ever-after ending. Boy, am I glad I was wrong about that. This book is so much more than that.

Towards the end, I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. I couldn’t figure out if the ending was going to be happy or leave me feeling like something was left out. I think it’s great when a book can affect your emotions like that.

I loved the way the book ended and it left me feeling really happy. I also can’t wait to read the sequel, Just One Year.

The only “complaint” I have about this book is that I wish their had been more resolutions in the relationships with other people in Allyson’s life. There are a couple of people who Allyson has rocky relationship with, and I would have liked to have seen how they turned out. But I understand that those didn’t really fit in with the ending.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people, it’s so good. It did take me a while to get into it at the beginning, but after that I just couldn’t put it down.

29. Junot Diaz – This is How You Lose Her

I’ve been busy with homework for my summer class lately but still managed to finish a book this week. I actually read it in just two days because it was a really easy read.

Junot Diaz - This is How You Lose Her (photo taken by me)
Junot Diaz – This is How You Lose Her (photo taken by me)

The book was This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, but (as usual) I don’t remember where I first heard about it. Anyway, it was a good book, although there’s no real story to it.

The book is a bunch of different stories, most of them involving a young man named Yunior, but they’re all stories about relationships. The only thing is that at the end of the book, I realized there was no real plot to this book. The stories were entertaining, but after I finished it I just felt like there was no real point to it.

I can see why this book is popular though. Diaz has a great writing voice and you just fly right through the book. It’s definitely a nice book for some light reading over the summer. Some of the stories are sad, but it’s still a good read.

27. Jennifer E. Smith – This is What Happy Looks Like

This post will probably be on the shorter side because I’m rushing to get ready for a date. Tonight is my anniversary so I’m going out to dinner soon! But first, let me tell you about the book I finished last night.

It was This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Last year, I read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by her, and I enjoyed it so I decided to give another one of her books a read. They’re YA books so they are an easy read, which I like every now and then.

Jennifer E. Smith - This is What Happy Looks Like (photo taken by me)
Jennifer E. Smith – This is What Happy Looks Like (photo taken by me)

This is What Happy Looks Like starts out with a guy typing in his friend’s email address wrong, so his message goes to a stranger across the country. She responds to his email and they begin talking and getting to know each other without even knowing the other’s name. As it turns out, the guy is actually a teen movie star named Graham, and his newest movie is looking for a small town to film in. Graham suggests the town in Maine where the girl he’s been emailing lives so he can finally meet her.

The rest of the book is the story of how they meet for the first time and what they do after that. It’s kind of predictable, since it’s a Young Adult book and they pretty much all are predictable, but it was still a cute story and a good book.

One thing I really liked about the book was that part of it takes place on the Fourth of July and it talks about the fireworks show and then the two of them spending time together. The Fourth of July is always a special holiday for me and my boyfriend and I always watch the fireworks together, so that scene was just a little cuter for me because of that.

Overall, I liked this book, it was nothing special really but still a good read. A plus side is that it’s 400 pages long, so if you’re looking for an easy read but one that you won’t blow through in just a day, this is a good choice.

24. Sandy Hall – A Little Something Different

Yay for two posts in one day! I guess that’s what happens when you go away for the weekend and you finally have time to update this. For more about my weekend away, check out my last post, which also includes a review of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

The second book I read over the weekend was A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. I read half of the book in Central Park on Saturday and then finished it on the bus ride home yesterday.

Sandy Hall - A Little Something Different
Sandy Hall – A Little Something Different

The book is a story of two college students who like each other but they are both really shy and won’t make a move. The story is told from fourteen different viewpoints, none of which are the two main characters.

I thought it was kind of cool how we get to hear the story from other people, not the two love interests, but I think fourteen is a bit too many perspectives. Some of the people that we hear from seemed to me to be kind of unnecessary, and I think it could have done with less.

Also, the whole idea of this story is that these two are so obviously meant to be together that everyone sees it, including a Chinese food delivery boy, a bus driver on their campus, and even a squirrel. That’s right – one of the viewpoints is that of a squirrel. Don’t even get me started on the bench.

I might be wrong here, but I just don’t think that happens in real life. There’s no way two people can be so in love but never talk to each other, and somehow every single person that sees them knows they should be together.

The ridiculousness of that premise mixed with the overwhelming amount of viewpoints left me not really liking this book. I was disappointed. From reading the back cover of the book, I thought it would be really good, but it was just too outlandish and cheesy for my taste. Plus, as a college kid myself, it seems to me like the author has no idea how college kids actually act.

This book was an easy read, and I’m sure a lot of people like it, I’m just not one of them. If you read the description and think it might be interesting, there’s a chance you’ll enjoy it, but there’s also a chance you’ll end up disappointed like me. My advice is to proceed with caution.