Not My Cup of Tea, But it May Be Yours! | Review: Happily Whatever After by Stewart Lewis

5:30 AM

Happily Whatever After was at the top of my spring/quarantine TBR. And with good reason! The title sparked the perpetually sarcastic side of me, and the dark comedic aspects of it sounded intriguing. Alas, it wasn't my cup of tea...

Happily Whatever After
by Stewart Lewis

A dark comedy about putting yourself in unexpected places, reaching for your dreams, and believing in second chances.

Thirtysomething Page was content with her life in New York City—until it went to the dogs. Unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend of four years and fired from her art gallery job in the same week, she flees to Washington, DC, and moves in with her big brother. She hopes the new setting and familial comfort will help her finally find her bearings. What Page finds instead is an unlikely refuge: a park for the neighborhood’s poshest pooches, and a quirky pack of companionable dog-run regulars who become fast friends.

Both four-legged and two-, these new allies offer Page a world of possibilities. The woman who hit rock bottom now has dreams: of having her own business, getting her own place, and even wilder ones about the ruggedly handsome owner of a vineyard and two equally fetching Bernese mountain dogs.

Unleashed from all that once held her back, Page finds everything might be falling into place. But just when she thinks her life is headed in the right direction, the road takes a sharp turn to show her just how unpredictable second chances can be. Will Page get her happily ever after? Is there even such a thing?

Witty, smartly funny, and modernly romantic, Happily Whatever After shows us all that sometimes imperfect can still be good enough.

Happily Whatever After by Stewart Lewis
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.   

So, here's the thing. I liked and disliked a lot of things about Happily Whatever After. This made the reviewing process of it all the more difficult. Because, I was pretty much right on the line of adding it to my DNF pile multiple times. And every so often, Stewart Lewis' prose made me go, 'Okay. Just keep reading. The writing is good. Maybe you'll connect with the story soon.'

Call me an optimist. 

But, I didn't. I think that, for me, the biggest turning point in my opinion of the novel lay within the fact that I didn't quite like the main character. I didn't connect with her in the least. In-fact, I found myself actively scoffing at her from the very start to the very end. It really worked against Happily Whatever After, while simultaneously acknowledging the fact that Lewis knows how to portray characters in stories in a way that makes them unlikable.

Although there were some bright spots, and tropes that I enjoy were explored, the novel fell short for my personal preference.

Know this: I never found myself actively hating Happily Whatever After. In-fact, I firmly stick with the fact that Stewart Lewis' writing is fantastic, compelling and, honestly, a lot of people will really enjoy the story. The bad news is that I was not one of them and Happily Whatever After was simply not my cup of tea.

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