Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.
Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.
When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just...gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.
But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?
“This well-written, page-turning romance is packed with smart dialogue, powerful insights, and a lovable cast of characters. Highly recommended for all high school libraries.” - School Library Journal (starred review)
“A captivating, complicated, angst-y, and beautiful love story of a teenage girl trying to grow into and embrace herself. For romantics of all ages, especially those who seldom see themselves in lead roles.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Bryant’s debut will charm readers from the start…. Bryant seamlessly captures a broader view of the high-school experience through Tessa’s eyes, including such complications as pressure from her parents to be a better sibling and an uneasy long-distance friendship that seems to be floundering. While skillfully and realistically portraying Tessa's many challenges, Bryant never loses sight of the love story at the book's heart. Hand to fans of Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2014) or Maureen Goo's I Believe in a Thing Called Love (2017).” - ALA Booklist
"Happily Ever Afters is sweet, smart, and utterly charming. Following Tessa as she navigates friendship, romance, and family dynamics was an absolute joy." - Brandy Colbert, author of The Voting Booth
“Happily Ever Afters is the warm, nerdy, big-hearted rom-com of my dreams and I dare you to read it without grinning your face off.” - Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
"Happy Ever Afters is an absolute delight to read and put a smile on my face from beginning to end. Elise Bryant’s charmer of a debut is an unapologetic love letter to every black and brown girl who’s ever dared to imagine herself at the center of her favorite romance. My heart is full knowing young romance lovers will get to read about a heroine like Tessa." - Adriana Herrera, author of American Dreamer
“Elise Bryant bursts onto the YA romance scene with a sweetly classic tale of first love and finding ones true passion. Her teens jump off the page, full of angst and fun, so true to life as they navigate real-world problems and delightfully drawn familial relationships. With her romance novel loving heroine, and tender depiction of the seriousness of first love, Bryant is poised to become the Sarah Dessen for a new generation of readers.” - Leah Koch, The Ripped Bodice
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray (January 5, 2021)