Sunday, March 25, 2018

What Will Maggie Try (or Run From) Next? | Review of The Theory of Happily Ever After

About the Book (from Revell)

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious—serious science, that is. But science can't always account for life's anomalies, like why her fiancĂ© dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie's friends book her as a speaker on a "New Year, New You" cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she's qualified to teach others about happiness when she can't muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can't ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart. 

Filled with unforgettable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile—because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

Available May 1, 2018!

My Rating


My Review

The Theory of Happily Ever After is a rom-com about a scientist and bestselling author who's become a tad bit obsessed with rom-coms. If you're looking for a fun all-over-the-place romance that takes some outlandish turns while on a cruise ship out at sea, then this book has got you covered! I confess, there are things I liked and didn't like so much about the nature of this story.

While there's a lot of silliness, there are also some sweet and serious themes about moving forward and finding hope when you'd rather hide from life. The main character is dealing with some real struggles in the present along with hurts from her past, and while she doesn't always find the best ways to cope, she's authentic in her pain and dreams. Also, many readers should appreciate her love of Hallmark movies!

The descriptions of the cruise ship and available activities are pretty fun. It keeps things interesting to go from chapter to chapter, wondering what Maggie will try (or run from) next.

As for Maggie's antics and the attitudes of the supporting cast... It's hard to really love these characters. Despite feeling sorry for Maggie, her thoughts and reactions can get a bit annoying. Her friends have very distinctive and different personalities, which is nice, but they're also super pushy and sometimes feel more bossy than supportive. And one of the friends starts acting pretty childish in a middle-school way at a certain part of the story.

The men have some attractive qualities, but it's rather hard to see what draws them to Maggie (or keeps their attention) when she's rude or overdramatic or behaving in a wishy-washy manner. Both of the main guys sometimes act in a way that doesn't seem realistic.

Perhaps this style just isn't quite right for me. I do appreciate that deeper themes are addressed, and it isn't all fun and games. But there are some rather crazy twists and turns and over-the-top characters that can get on one's nerves. The Theory of Happily Ever After is clever and enjoyable in parts, but a bit too much for me.

*With thanks to Revell through NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book.*

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