Not That Kind of Ever After
by Luci Adams
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Pub Date 14 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 28 Mar 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin
Fairytale meets feminism in Luci Adams's Not That Kind of Ever After, a frothy adventure of one woman’s journey to claim happily ever after in times of serial dating, swiping right, and the quest to find your soulmate.
Bella Marble’s life isn’t what she imagined. Instead of an author, she’s a receptionist at a small press. Instead of happily married, she’s single, and her lovey-dovey parents are divorcing. And to top it off, her best friend of twenty-nine years, Ellie Mathews, is moving out and marrying the heinously boring Mark. (He’s not worthy of her. No one could be). Bella feels rudderless, only slightly soothed by time spent with Ellie’s (not hot) brother, (he’s not hot) Marty (okay, he’s hot. But he’s also the aggravating brother she never had—right)?
When Marty recommends Bella stop looking for “the one” and just have fun, Bella finds a new, empowered side of herself. But when she posts a fairy-tale retelling of a disastrous one night stand on a storytelling app, all of a sudden, Bella has become @B.Enchanted. And she’s gone viral.
Now, Bella’s in a fight with Ellie, her new roommates are so, deeply, weird, and the pressure is mounting to find new fairy tales to write about—but she’s got to live them first.
“As side splittingly hilarious as it is empowering and emotional, Not That Kind of Ever After is a sparkling debut.”--Helena Hunting, bestselling author
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 738 members
This was the first book in a long time that I literally could not put down once I started! Bella is SO relatable, love-able , and a little loathe-able at times. Even when she’s spiraling, I found myself rooting for her. There were a couple unexpected twists and I truly didn’t know where she was going to end up through this adventure. Highly recommend for some great laughs, feel-good moments, and modern fairy tales at their finest!
Not That Kind of Ever After by Luci Hart, published by St. Martin's Press, is a witty and fun read. The story of a woman, spunky, witty, fun, flirty, sometimes a bit whiney, and foremost single with great friends.
Bella Marble, writer, doglover, broke and romantic at heart is looking for prince charming, but til today there were frogs only in her dating life. But who needs lover when he has great friends, family.
An entertaining read that kept me intrigued from start til the last page.
This was my first NetGalley ARC, and I have to say I enjoyed this story immensely. While I didn’t initially relate to Bella’s personality, her dating story is relevant to anyone tired of modern dating. I loved the character development and the love story. It was a fun read with characters who felt real and fully formed- even the more outlandish ones were the perfect foil to her journey. Great read and perfect for fall reading!
This book by Luci Adams has the absolute best opening line ever! It was so epic I had to read it 5 times over to get all my giggles out before I could continue on to the story. It's like one of those TikTok videos you keep watching in a loop as you double over with laughter. Not That Kind of Ever After hooked me immediately and continued to deliver comedy throughout.
The MC Bella is more than just a train wreck because she just keeps chugging along causing calamity everywhere she goes As her cozy little life keeps getting tossed around Bella deals with things in all the wrong ways.. The hilarity of what happens is what great stories are made of and so she decides to do just that, write about it. Soon her story starts leading her life instead of her life leading the story.
Bella's life is full of interesting characters, loving friends and supportive family. All of this is not enough to keep her from getting caught up in her own head. As Bella continually tries to redefine herself she sometimes loses focus of what''s truly important. There are good times and bad and all along the way I could not stop rooting for her to find her happiness.
I truly enjoyed this story and really got the humor that Luci Adams generously dished out. The HEA was perfectly imperfect and that too I loved. I would recommend this story to those who love a heavy dose of Com to their Rom-Coms. I am grateful to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Not That Kind of Ever After by Luci Adams is one of the best Rom-Com debuts I've had the pleasure of reading. Adams is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the writing world!
Her debut was remarkable and us readers have a lot to look forward to!
That excites the hell outta me!
NTKoEA was addictive, adorable, funny, and swoon-worthy. I loved every single page.
Adorable characters with relatable flaws, witty banter, romantic angst, and full-on LOL moments.
I fell in love with these characters immediately. Bella posessed characteristics that I could identify with. The book itself was written so well.
I love when I wake up wanting to read and stay up late reading.... This book did that!
I can't wait to see what Adams creates next!
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
St. Martin's Griffin,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this eARC!
For all the fairy-tale lovers out there, pick this new book up ASAP! I loved every second of this, from the atmospheric writing to the laugh-out=loud characters, this story was a treat through and through.
Throwing out the traditional format of a romantic comedy, Luci Adams takes an invigorating and realistic approach with her hilarious debut novel, Not That Kind of Ever After. Mimicking the format of sharing random unorganized thoughts in a diary or a personal conversation with a close friend, Luci puts us into the deep end that is Bella’s witty, sarcastic, and unfiltered mind. We aren’t just a person reading her story, we are right next to her, knowing her thoughts, her feelings, peeking over her shoulder at her text messages, side by side with her, every step of the way.
The story begins how you would least expect it, adding yet another failed attempt of a long list of dates to find her Prince Charming. All Bella wants, asides for being a successful writer, is to have the happily ever after of her parents. Her frustration builds as she witnesses those around her finding their "ones". To add insult to injury, her attempts to become a successful writer are mocked by blank pages and blinking cursors. Frustrated, distraught, and spiraling - Bella decides to take advice from a friend and put her misadventures on paper. Opportunity strikes when Bella learns about a platform for new writers where she can share her dating fiascos with a wider audience. What Bella doesn’t plan on is the wild ride that ensues.
What I liked about this book: I loved the full growth of Bella’s character. The casual approach Luci takes has us following Bella on an (almost) day to day basis. By slowing down her interactions with work, friends, and life in general, we are able to witness the full transformation of who she started as in the beginning of the story and who she ended up being towards the end. We also get to see her “human side” where she grows, fails, learns, and tries again. Luci doesn’t wave a magic wand where Bella has one bad experience and all of a sudden she is born anew. We see her make her transformation, move forward, stumble, and try again - that is realistic growth. We also see the future in the same manner as Bella, we have no idea where the story is going and that mystery keeps the reader captivated. There are so many twists, turns, and unexpected paths that you'll find you almost want to take notes just to keep it straight.
What I loved about the book: The fairytale tie-ins! Seriously, I don't think I can look at certain fairytales the same way ever again. As a reader, you start to enjoy the story even more when you find yourself guessing some of the titles of her chapters.
What I didn’t like about the book: Honestly nothing; however, I don’t believe this book will be for everyone. The book is the inner working of Bella's brain, her “ID”, unfiltered, raw, and honest. We are walked through every single thing that is happening to and around her. For some readers, this may be too much detail, an overabundance of information where they just want to get to the romantic comedy portion of the book. This also creates a very slow moving story. The first several chapters are the span of just 1-2 days (following the text message dates help you know where you are in the week). There also isn't a clear path of the story so if you are someone who needs direction, again the format may be off-putting.
What I am indifferent about but feel I should mention: While the format of the book may change, if it doesn’t - I was a little lost on the “parts” of the book. Again this may change upon publishing so I won’t go much further into it but if it remains, I feel I need to reread it just to understand the significance of splitting it into parts and chapters.
Putting a side-splitting twist on some fairytale favorites, Not That Kind of Ever After reminds us that fiction exists as a basis of entertainment, but not a model of life. We aren’t flawless princesses looking for our Prince Charming. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we. We are flawed, we are real, and we are simply people looking for someone who sees us for who we are, good and bad, and still wants to be with us. That is what makes a true ever after.
This is the first book from Luci Adams- debut novels are fun because you never know what you’re getting into…. But this book was an absolute delight! Kept me guessing the whole time. The characters were charming (except Mark- I’m still not a fan!) and the story was surprising in a way that you don’t usually see in rom cons these days.
Can’t wait to read her next book! 5/5 stars- definitely worth the read.
Bella's been obsessed with finding Prince Charming, but all she finds are the worst frogs. When everything in her life starts changing, she decides to change up her quest for the fairy tale. Instead of looking for happily ever after, she is looking for her happy for tonight.
The twists to the fairy tales and how she turns that into chapters for a book were really clever. I loved the idea of her taking charge of her sexuality and career in a way that felt empowering. Of course, I think one of the best parts of this story is that Bella is not a perfect character. She is jealous and not always the best friend or person, but that made it feel all the more real. When dealing with fairy tales, it is necessary to give it a dose of reality. Overall, I loved this book!
I figured this would be another fluffy romance. But I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there's fluff and romance (and don't get me wrong, I love those), but there's so much more too. I got to watch (read) a woman finding herself, coming to terms with her flaws, who she is and how great she is. In the end, it's not about the romance. I LOVED this one. An amazing debut, and I look forward to more from Luci Adams.
This is now one of my all time fav books at the moment! It was just so good and it was a romance but also had some comedy along with it. I loved Marty’s character and every time he would show up I internally screamed hoping they would end up together. This book put me through all the emotions and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I will post my full review on my Instagram account in the next two weeks!
Not That Kind of Ever After is a fun and quick read that I really enjoyed. Bella's someone I can absolutely see most people being friends with and someone with whom you belly laugh about her dating adventures over a lazy Sunday brunch. She grows a lot as a person and with her life goals throughout the book and it was something relatable, not a world tour that changes her soul, but honest to goodness, real life growth.
I'm recommending this to my book club so that I have a "real" reason to re-read it!