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Released: January 4th 2022
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Happily Ever Afters #2
“Pick this one up for all the feels”~ Under the Covers
I ADORED Happily Ever Afters, and was so excited to hear that Elise was writing book two and I couldn’t wait to devour this read! With the return of some of my favorite characters from book 1, this YA is a must-read for anyone who loves a prom gone wrong, or travel abroad a la Lizzie McGuire style mixed with every cliche you could ever hope for when love is on the line after a heartbreak.
Leading up to graduation, Lenore has always thought she had it all figured out, by embracing the unexpected and not putting too much pressure on the details of her future. As the day to head to NYU gets closer, she’s more and more unsure of it being the right plan for her, and for her, being Black means she has to excel. As she heads on a cruise with her family post-graduation, she meets Alex, who’s future includes a ten-year plan that would impress any parent. As a girl who’s never really thought love was for her, will she learn to accept herself as she is, and allow herself the freedom to fall in love?
Contemporary YA may just be my favorite genre, and Bryant’s writing style makes her a must-read for me, and with great character arcs and interesting personalities. Bryant delivers a sweet story that not only covers the pressure one’s family can put on you at that age, but includes heavier topics like race and the expectations that come with who you are, and where you’re going in life. With a direct approach that reels us in and manages to make us laugh while we fall in for Lenore and Alex, One True Loves delivers another YA romance that I just adored. It goes so far beyond a cheesy romance, taking into consideration the heart and growth of each character for a story full of hope.
After meeting Lenore in the first book, I was so excited to see her as the main character in this one! Her spunky attitude is so different than her best friend Tessa from Happily Ever Afters, and makes the follow up the perfect blend of cameos from the original cast with a new and just as wonderful plotline to continue the series. Makes me so excited to see what Bryant writes next and if we’ll get book 3 in this world! Seeing how Lenore saw herself compared to her thoughts and feelings we read as her point of view was such a different take than how Tessa and her friends saw her and I think that was so relatable — many of us try to show a different face outwardly to be liked, to make things easier, and how Lenore’s struggle was written made it so easy to feel for her.
Set mainly on a cruise ship, I loved how this book was so understandable for this age group, so many of us travel with our families at all ages, and how differently those trips can look from each person traveling. The close proximity and meet cute fit together so well with the challenges the couple faced, and also gave the family members a chance to see each other in a new light.
Pick this one up for all the feels, I gave it 4.5 stars myself!
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