Not That Kind of Ever After
Not That Kind of Ever After is one of those stories that would work better as a YA novel. There’s little original to be had here, and the characters read as juvenile, making it a fairly mediocre offering.
Bella Marble once had dreams of being an extremely successful author. Instead, she’s just working as a receptionist at a small, independent publishing company called Porter Books Publishing Ltd. Her love life – which includes dates with all sorts of scummy men, like a guy who calls himself Charles Wolf – is stagnant. All she wants is to fall in love, but she’s chasing the dream so hard she doesn’t have time to slow down, or absorb the news of her parent’s divorce, or the marriage of her best friend Ellie to the odious Mark, which means she’s also down a roommate. The only silver lining is meeting Ellie’s cute brother, Marty Mathews.
Marty encourages Bella to follow her dreams, so she starts fictionalizing her real-life dating mishaps under the name B. Enchanted on a popular storytelling app. That pushes Bella into viral fame – and into dealing with her problems with Ellie’s marriage, her job, and her new roommates. Her fans are panting for her next story, but will she be able to come up with a tale to keep them entertained?
Well, yes, obviously, but first she has to fall in love with Marty. Not That Kind of Ever After is…obvious. That’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes it’s an annoying thing. Bella is painfully emotionally immature, though, and that is a huge problem. She’s childishly judgmental on top of that, yet she has a bunch of over-the-top hookups which fuel her stories (the romance does not kick in until a third of the book has passed by). If she were a real person, I would slap her and beg her to snap out of it. She does reconcile this, apologize to the people she needs to apologize to, and make things right with the people she loves, but this also takes forever, and the book makes it feel like ice ages are passing by as Bella tries to figure out her stuff. It’s all crushingly dull in the worst of ways.
Marty is a fine hero, but I kind of wish they’d both stayed wild carousers in the end. The drama with Ellie is actually fascinating, but everything else feels derivative and weak, like Sex and the City but with a fairytale sheen. Rarely, it entertains, but there are so many well-done fairytale retellings out there – ones that make you think and feel, and although That Kind of Ever After briefly amuses, it fails to feed the soul, making it an exercise in dull futility and bad detours.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
|Review Date:||March 16, 2023|
|Book Type:||Contemporary Romance|
Another wonderful review by you, Lisa! Although I’m not sure I 100% agree with your rating… this book has got to be one of my favorites! My best friend Sharoll recommended it to me a few weeks ago, and I’m so glad I’ve had the pleasure of reading it. 10/10 would recommend!
Different strokes for different folks, fellow Lisa!