Reviews: The Happy Ever After Playlist + The Rural Diaries

pub 4/14/20 by Forever Romance
Contemporary Romance
Received finished copy from pu
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars | I can't think of a better time to read a book like The Happy Ever After Playlist. It is pure escapism, filled with characters and relationships that made me laugh, cry and swoon. Honestly? I could already tell from the first chapter that I was going to love it and Abby Jimenez did not disappoint! But before you read any further, this is a companion novel to The Friend Zone so if you haven't read that yet, anything after this point will be a spoiler. And I highly recommend reading the first book to truly appreciate everything that happens here. The Happy Ever After Playlist takes place two years after Sloane Monroe has lost her fiancé and her grief has understandably made her feel stuck. But when she finds a cute lost dog and the owner doesn't respond to her calls or texts for weeks, she decides to keep him and starts to find some semblance of joy in her new pet. Until, said owner Jason finally does reach out saying he was on tour in Australia (he's a musician; cue the swooning already) and he most definitely wants his dog back. So then flirty texts and phone calls ensue and I was just living for Jason and Sloane's virtual interactions! It was impossible not to smile hard so you can imagine all the feels I experienced once they did meet face-to-face. The book definitely did get a bit dramatic in the last quarter but I just loved the romance so much! But not only that. I also loved watching Sloane reclaim her life and happiness. I had a million times more appreciation for Kristin and Sloane's friendship (everybody needs someone as hilarious as Kristin in their life). It's such a wonderful book.

Do I recommend? Absolutely! It's the only book I've read in the last two months that I would describe as unputdownable.

pub 4/28/20 by HarperOne
Nonfiction - Memoir
Received e-ARC from pub for review
⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars | I was obsessed with One Tree Hill when it was aired. I adored Peyton with all her angst, love of vinyl and I completely shipped her with Lucas (in fact, I stopped watching after they left!). So when I found out she had written a memoir, I had to read it. And wow, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did! Memoirs (well, non-fiction in general) are definitely a hit or miss with me but her writing was super engaging and I could totally hear her voice in my head as I read. She's just so honest and genuine that even if you weren't an OTH fan, it's still worth picking up. I was vaguely aware of her post-OTH life, namely that she had married Jeffrey Dean Morgan aka Denny from Grey's Anatomy aka Negan from The Walking Dead. I had a lot of questions about how that happened and all was answered in this book. She delves into their whirlwind romance but also the ups and downs of their marriage, personal struggles with fertility and this incredible, unexpected life they built together on a farm. I thought Burton did an great job of going back and forth between the person she was and everything that led to where she is now, including finding a community in Rhinebeck, NY (where I went to for a spa weekend with my bestie!) so I knew a lot of the landmarks she mentioned. It made me want to go back and visit! I knew she was involved in a candy store there (amazing coffee and sweets) but I didn't realize her home was there too. I came away from the book with a lot of admiration and respect for Hilarie. She forged her own path and defined what happiness looked like for her. I think that's something we all can aspire to!

Do I recommend? Yes I do! I'm almost tempted to buy a copy to be honest. Or maybe, I'll just take another trip to Rhinebeck (when it's allowed) and see if the local bookstore will have signed editions.


  1. Is The Happy Ever Playlist a sequel or companion novel? I could really use some escapism!

    1. Technically it could be a companion novel but I highly recommend reading the first book (The Friend Zone) to truly appreciate this!

  2. I love The Happy Ever After Playlist so dang much! It's still one of my favorite things I read in 2020, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy whenever I think about it.


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