Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist (Friend Zone #2)

Published April 14th 2020, 400 pages

Author: Abby Jimenez

Overview from Goodreads:

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.

Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone comes an adorable and fresh romantic comedy about one trouble-making dog who brings together two perfect strangers. 

Personal Review

As a word of caution to other readers, this novel takes place after the events of The Friend Zone. Unless you don’t mind having Sloan’s backstory spoiled, then I would suggest reading the first novel before starting this one.  In addition to our main character’s backstory, there are also the other players, such as Sloan’s best friend Kristin who was the main in The Friend Zone so her story is spoiled too by skipping ahead to this novel. That being said, it’s not impossible to catch up and understand everything that’s going on if you choose to read it as a standalone.

At the start of every chapter there is a song (if you search on Spotify, you’ll be able to find the full playlist). It’s not required to listen along while you read, but it does add a complementing element that adds a new dimension to the reading experience. I loved the song choices as there’s a lot of variety in the songs and artists chosen. They all truly match each chapter and I commend the author greatly as that alone is a ton of effort to get right.

Our main character Sloan is putting her life back together in the house she and Brandon once shared. While driving through the city at a stoplight, a dog jumps through the sunroof of her car. I had a hard time getting behind this idea as it’s extremely implausible (more-so than a lot of things in rom-com novels), but I moved past it fairly quickly as it was essential to move our story along.

The dog ends up belonging to a famous singer, Jaxon/Jason, who is currently out of town indicating that Sloan must now dog-sit. This is where the romance starts up through the beginnings of flirting over text.  Eventually Jason returns home to fetch his dog and that’s where the fun romance takes place as they try to navigate forming a relationship with each other.

Eventually Jason must go on the road for his tour, this is one of many obstacles they face as Sloan must choose to either go on the road with him or stay behind.  They start on the road together, but eventually this leads to issues. This is where the story loses its spark a little as it gets a little mundane as they move from city to city. The tour and whether Sloan should tag along is a huge conflict as Sloan would have to give up her artist dreams if she’s on the road. Again, it’s a necessary part of the story, but it still isn’t as fulfilling as the first half of the novel.  This whole part of the story does eventually work itself out and we are instead faced with other issues that lead us to the ending.

Jason and Sloan complimented each other well and had great chemistry. They built a great friendship on top of their romantic relationship which was a nice change to other novels where it seems just about love and not about that extra bond of friendship. Jason is definitely a swoon-worthy love interest as he has his normal flaws, but he is very charming and understanding that make him extremely lovable as a character. It was hard to find any faults with him and he was relatable and believable as a character. Each decision he made or each thing he said made sense for his character and is something that you can imagine real people doing.

I thought the ending was fantastic as it was heart-warming, but not quite to the super unrealistic happy ending that make it too over the top.  This novel touches a lot on the themes of grief, friendship, love, and finding your path to happiness (different meanings for different people as it could be career, love, etc). I completely adore Abby Jimenez as so far she is two for two on novels that I have loved. She has another being released relatively soon and I will definitely put it at the top of my TBR list whenever I have the chance to read it!

8 thoughts on “Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist (Friend Zone #2)

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