Thursday, 5 September 2013

On The Bookshelf: Harriet Evans - Happily Ever After

Today, I am posting my second book review on here. I recently finished reading Harriet Evans' 'Happily Ever After' and I quite simply adored it. So, what better is there to do than to share my love with you, in the hope that maybe you will enjoy it just as much? 

This Summer I've found myself splurging on luxuries I wouldn't normally treat myself to. I'd been trying to curb my spending but, as every book lover knows, bookshops are nearly impossible to go in without buying anything! I had tried to resist, but I knew once I'd read the first two sentences of Happily Ever After's blurb I just had to buy it. 

'This is a story of a girl who doesn't believe in happy endings. Or happy families. It's the story of Eleanor Bee, a shy, book- loving girl who vows to turn herself into someone bright, shiny and confident, someone sophisticated. Someone who knows how life works. But life has a funny way of catching us unawares. Turns out that Elle doesn't know everything about love. Or life. Or how to keep the ones we love safe. Absorbing, poignant and unforgettable, Happily Ever After is a compelling story of a fractured family and a girl who doesn't believe in love.'

I mean, come was I supposed to resist that?! Luckily, the story itself not only lived up to the blurb, but went beyond it. Set in London and New York, you follow Elle through a large section of her life as she begins her career at a publisher's. I found this book to be so captivating because of how real it feels. Elle is such a relatable protagonist that I found myself thinking that if I met her in real life, I could easily be friends with her. The plot doesn't always go the way you expect - again echoing the troubles of everyday life. It isn't a glitzy, slushy romance, instead I felt like I wouldn't be surprised if I found out at the end that it was a true story; I think that's what I loved most. 
Most of the novel focuses around Elle's career and the choices she makes within this. As a self-confessed book lover, I enjoyed reading about the process of publishing books too. Evans explores a couple of Elle's family situations too, as a kind of sub-plot running throughout which I found especially moving. 
For me, I felt the main message of this book is to do with the dilemmas you can face throughout your life and deciding what is most important to you. Elle struggles as she finds herself and we join her on that journey. The book sees her discover what makes her successful, what makes her happy and deciding whether these are the same things, and if they're not, which is the most important to her. 
It's quite simply the classic case of choosing to follow your head or your heart; something I believe we can all relate to whoever we are and whatever we do. 

That being said, if you love books, romance and honesty, I highly recommend you buy this. I finished it a good few weeks ago now, and I'm still in that 'post-book-depression' stage! (For those of you on a budget too, you can pick it up in The Works for just £1.99!)

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you've read Happily Ever After, or if you will now! I love finding new books to read so if you have any recommendations, please comment below.
 Thanks for reading!




  1. Oh I almost bought this the other day! I knew I would regret not buying it. Thanks for the tip about The Works - I will make a trip there soon! x x

    1. No problem! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have :) xx