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Happily Ever Afters

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,686 ratings  ·  516 reviews
Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflec
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 5th 2021 by Balzer + Bray
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Alex Not at all. There is some talk about a friend possibly losing their virginity, and some talk of necking and fooling around, but other than that, it is…moreNot at all. There is some talk about a friend possibly losing their virginity, and some talk of necking and fooling around, but other than that, it is light kissing. (less)
Alex There is an adorable side couple that is MM but all main relationships are heterosexual.

Community Reviews

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,686 ratings  ·  516 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it

Just finished an Unboxing and Review Video for the December, January, Holiday and New Year's boxes from Once Upon a Book Club!

Reading this book as just like watching a teen rom-com from the 80s and I just ate that right up.

Tessa loves to write romance, and when her family moves, she gets into a prestigious arts school where she is going to be a part of their writing program. Tessa has never actually shared her writing with anyone but her best friend, but she's excited to write and have this new experience. But the first day, she freezes up and finds herself not being able to write. Anything. The solution her best frie
Jessica | JustReadingJess
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
I loved Happily Ever Afters. The story is cute and talks about important issues. Tessa grew up around very few black people. Tessa is in multiple situations with racial problems. Bryant discusses how Tessa feels and why she handles the situations the way she does. After moving, she is now around black people and feels like she fits in. Tessa’s brother Miles has disabilities and she discusses how people don’t usually treat him right. Tessa’s parents are always looking out for Miles which sometime ...more
Jun 10, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
like Jane the Virgin??? black girl magic ?? wake me up when this is out
I really wanted to love this almost how desperately Tessa wanted to love someone. Some parts of this book I enjoyed while others I was unimpressed or let down by.

Let's get into this.

Happily Ever Afters had amazing representation which includes: a bi-racial main character, anxiety rep, a disabled character, Black side characters, and a Filipino best friend.

I personally can't judge if (most of) the representation is accurate, but I will say that I personally feel like one of the characters was
Chidimma Desiree
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was definitely cute! But I have never witnessed such a self sabotaging main character like,Tessa, OMG! I found her accepting all the problematic nature of dream boy, Nico, and the villainization of Poppy, even though she was the one trying to steal her boyfriend, to be so annoying. Haven’t we moved past the days of having the main girl hate the “perfect” popular girl who has the “perfect” popular boyfriend? And I get the whole point was to see Tessa’s growth in the end, but I felt we d ...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Tessa has never been the hero of her own story, even though she's written plenty of heroes and happily ever afters in her writing. But she's about to start a new school at a prestigious academy dedicated to cultivating fine minds and she's really nervous. Because she's never shared her writing with anyone besides her best friend before and now she's going to have to read aloud to a classroom of gifted students. And worse, her words are gone. Vanished. Blimp.

Her best friend devises a scheme to ge
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
i have so much love for YA books where the characters act and think and f*ck up and learn and grow like real, actual teenagers, and this book is a perfect example of that. plus, a writer main character and a baker love interest, with an art school setting and a realistic and lovable cast of side characters! i enjoyed this so much.
I had an amazing time listening to the audiobook, and I want this book to be translated immediately. It gave me all the To All the Boys vibes, with a main character who wants to be a romance author, and a boy who's an amazing baker, baking stuff that I could practically smell, it sounded so good.

I loved how much this book let its main character be messy. She has flaws, she fucks up, she struggles to make the right decisions, and it was so good to see her get that space to grow and learn what she
Jun 10, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-releases
June 10, 2020: The cutest cover has just been revealed and I'm so excited to meet Tessa! Mainly because books about readers is THE theme and also because 'creating your own real life love story' sounds fun and I need pointers so I don't stay single forever so yeah, EXCITED. ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it liked it
2.5/5🌟: i was so excited about this "jane the virgin"- like romcom and there were definitely things i loved: the writing style, the positive rep of Black people and tessa's desire to become an author because i can relate a lot to that. but unfortunately, there were so many things that i didn't like:
1) for the most part, making another girl the villain of the story
2) tessa constantly neglecting all of her friends, which makes her very unlikeable
3) tessa not caring that the boy she wants to convi
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Happily Ever Afters is a YA contemporary romance.

The narrator is 16 year old Tessa (1st person POV). She has recently moved with her family to Long Beach, California.

She is a writer and is starting at a special school for the arts. She has a 19 year old brother with disabilities (this is a big part of the story). And a best friend named Caroline (who is also a big part of the story).

The book has a bit of a love triangle as there are two possible love interests for Tessa.

When I started this book
rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ]


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Tiffany (Read By Tiffany)
4.5/5! This book was so freaking adorable. 😍✨ I LOVE IT HERE~~! Highly recommend the audiobook too. Full review to come.

Blog (Read By Tiffany) | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
Sep 11, 2019 marked it as anti-library  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
As if the 'Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before' wasn't enough, this book is also gonna be 'full of Black girl magic' and like, I already love it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ...more
nick (the infinite limits of love)

This was really cute!
Never Without a Book
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-releases
A book I didn't know I needed. I loved it!!! ...more
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
There's nothing like a story that allows teens to mess up while learning about themselves in a realistic way. Tessa's not perfect and that's okay, which adds to the vibe of the story ultimately. Furthermore, I loved seeing a biracial girl (black/white) navigate her life in Long Beach, CA (a city often overlooked for L.A., Beverly Hills, and other typical cities/suburbs) with characterizations not often explored (e.g. natural hair, a brother with a disability that is approached realistically, not ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is the epitome of all the good and potential that comes with being the main character of your own story and god dammit do i feel so happy that tessa johnson got the story that she deserves.

this book is tagged as a romance, you see. and a romance it is. but what does that mean? what’s the first thing that pops up in your head when you think about what a romance looks like? i asked this question to myself as i was halfway through this story, as i was aching so badly seeing tessa so desp
Layla (Between the Lines)
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
“I've got all the lines for you. As many lines as you could possibly dream of, because you are deserving of lines from here to eternity.

A 16-year-old romance novelist who doesn't feel like the protagonist of her own life? That is the only thing I needed to convince me to read this.

Tessa Johnson, like other reviewers have mentioned, can be accidentally selfish and make mistakes and (unintentionally) neglect her friends, but she is real. Real life is getting swept up in your feelings and being una
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears

I'm giving this book four stars mostly for how lovingly the author writes about Long Beach, a city I've spent many wonderful days exploring and hanging out in. It's always great to read books set in Southern California that are NOT about posh enclaves like Beverly Hills or the OC (mainly Newport Beach). There are wonderful neighborhoods in LA with great people and beloved local places. Even a shout out to Long Beach Creamery and one of its signature ice cream flavors LB Crack - homemade va
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
lesson learned:

don't trust a man that likes J.K Rowling.
Actual Rating: 3.5⭐️

This book made me exceptionally hungry for every kind of dessert ever and I'm not mad about it.
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
“You need to learn the subtle art of not giving a f*ck.”

Happily Ever Afters was not a book for me.
I can see why it’s compared to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. These books do have many similarities – that’s probably the reason why I didn't like it and stopped caring for the last third of the story.

It started off pretty good. The first few chapters addressed many important topics making the reader more aware of under-representation of black people in the main cast of books, movies, and t
Fernanda Granzotto
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars


I really wanted to like this book, but in the end it just pissed me off and I just finished it because I was listening to the audiobook.
I found the tone of this book very youthful.
Is a very teenage book, which could very well be a movie because it would cut the boring parts and it would be much faster.
What really pissed me off was Tessa, I understand that she suffers from anxiety and I was able to identify with her a lot but the way she thought some things went much further an
Danika at The Lesbrary
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I accidentally stayed up all night reading this.

This follows and celebrates a lot of romance novel tropes, and as Tessa points out, there aren’t a lot of cute romances with a Black girl main character. It’s also just as much about her family, her friendship with Caroline, and her writing, though.

I haven’t read a lot of romance novels, which I think added to this being an emotional rollercoaster of a read for me. They really break down the heroine in that third act, hey? I wasn’t sure how she co
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, romance, arc, young-adult
Thank you to Balzar + Bray/Harper Collins (via NetGalley) for the ARC!

Just FYI: There are a lot of Harry Potter references in this book

3.5 stars

Sigh. I had high hopes for this book, but it let me down a little. I'm having a hard time articulating what exactly I didn't like about it, but it just left me feeling slightly disappointed overall.

(view spoiler)
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Give me a black girl who loves writing, loves writing romance, and is a hot mess outside her laptop.

Yes, this book had its moments of cheesiness. There were times I got annoyed with the main character since the right love interest was there, the signs all there. But it is was cute
This book was adorable and frustrating. I loved Sam and Miles’s characters. They were the only two characters I loved from beginning yo end. I do wish, though, that Tessa’s character development didn’t feel so rushed in the end.
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Young Adult Conte...: #4 Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant 1 8 Feb 01, 2021 08:36PM  

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Elise Bryant was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her BA in Africana studies from California State University, Long Beach, and her MA in special education from Loyola Marymount University. For many years, Elise had the joy of working as a special education teacher in South Los Angeles, and she is also a National Board Certified Teacher. Elise now lives with her husband and two da ...more

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