Fantasy, Fiction, Loved-it, Retellings

[YA] A Delightful Cinderella Retelling… Without The Cinderella? Happily by Chauncey Rogers

I pick my YA carefully – it’s one of those genres I don’t read too much of. But when I do read it? It’s gotta be pretty damn good. And you know what? I’m so glad to say that Happily was! So let’s see my 5 reasons why I would recommend you to read it too.

5 Reasons To Read Happily


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★★★★☆ 4 stars

“If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, make it.” – that was the plan… Laure is a street urchin who’s, quite frankly, tired of being one, so she just wants to get out of this place that has so mistreated her. But one botched plan leads to another, and scrape follows scrape… And Laure finds herself in so deep she can’t get out. The only way out seems to be to fool the royal family into marrying her off to the prince… But is it what Laure really wants? Let’s see if that shoe fits, after all.

A Grumpy Cat Main Character

Come on! CAN YOU RESIST THAT? Somehow, a grumpy cat character really, really, REALLY works for YA. Maybe because most of us remember being a teen, and a lot of it is kind of like being a grumpy cat? Also… it’s unbelievably amusing. Especially when Laure’s plans don’t really work out. Or do her in… Her attitudes can be pretty adorable. And it’s also adorable seeing them change.

It’s A Relatable Story – IF You’ve Been A Teen!! (LOL)

I mean, of course you’ve been one, but not all of us remember being one. Laure’s emotions and the way she acts and feels are so relatable – that’s if you remember how you felt when you were a teen. She acts silly, irresponsibly, selfishly – and it’s all perfectly understandable, considering where it’s coming from. Even though most of us probably had a much better teenage life than Laure did, it’s still pretty easy to relate to her frustration and the way she acts.

Kind Of Like An RPG

All of the adventures the Laure and Luc went through just felt like a good old RPG to me! That’s what made it really fun. The pace was good and it never really wound down. There’s never a point when the story gets boring. And they’re always in peril! Once you start, you don’t really want to stop reading. And this is also one of those books that you can finish in an evening or two! You might see the ending coming – but then again, you might not. I admit, I thought it would end something like the way it did – but I didn’t quite get it. So it will keep you guessing to the very end!

This Is Not Cinderella

Okay, I’m sort of risking spoilers a little here – but I mean, we all know Cinderella wasn’t a street urchin. There is no family, there is no fairy godmother – even the blurb says that. So we all know Laure is no Cincerella to begin with. I really loved this aspect of the story… That you don’t have to be special to be the main character (of your life)! There’s something so special with focusing on the story of someone who is actually beside the story. And I feel like it’s an especially important message for teens – when growing up, the hardest thing to accept is that you’re not, indeed, the main character in world’s history. You’re only the main character of your own little life. This is something even some adults never come to accept. This is something you can’t accept on some days, I’m willing to bet!

Virtues And The Moral

Every good fairytale needs a moral! And I have to say, Happily definitely did, and I think it was more than one. I loved the way the characters (well, okay, mostly just Laure!) grew and showed their better sides. I loved the virtues and morality that was promoted! There should be more fairytales and Teen/MG stories that promote just being yourself, not going for what’s cool, rich or coveted, and just being honest, caring and kind. It’s generally what fairytales try to promote, but I feel like Happily does it in a very nice, contemporary way. There were way more lessons than I’m mentioning in Happily – but I don’t care to mention them all. Read the book and you will find out!

Other Books You Might Like

Okay, so judge me – I haven’t actually read Ella Enchanted, but I’ve seen the movie, and I’m recommending it based on that. But I thought there were a lot of touchpoints in this story! And Cinderella definitely not being the main one of them! Anyway, when I was reading it, some other comparisons were hovering in my mind, but I just couldn’t figure out which ones I’m thinking about, so I’m basically stuck with just the one!

Ella Enchanted

I thank Chauncey Rogers for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. Receiving the book for free does not affect my opinion.

Have you read Happily or some other Cinderella retellings? Do you enjoy retellings? And what good ones would you recommend to me?

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Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

This really sounds good! I love “twisted” fairy tales and that’s the impression I’m getting from this. Thanks for sharing your review:-)

Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous)

This sounds like a wonderful story! I haven’t heard of it before, which is surprising because it sounds so refreshing. I love the sound of Laure’s character and the fact that she isn’t some special snowflake where everything works out perfectly for her. Thanks for putting this book on my radar!

Stephanie Jane
3 years ago

I love a good fairytale retelling and this one looks to have plenty of original ideas to make it a strong story in its own right.

JJ @ This Dark Material

I loved Ella Enchanted when I was a kid! (And you should definitely pick it up sometime :D) Based on that alone, I’m definitely going to give Happily a try 🙂

3 years ago

okay, I feel like I need to read this. feels like an Rpg, grumpy cat in the story, relatable. Sounds awesome

3 years ago

Grumpy Cat!!! I love her! Anyhow, this book sounds adorable. I love that it was action packed and and leaned in a positive direction. Great review!

3 years ago

I especially love #4, about being the main character in one’s own life. Such a great fact to point out, especially in YA.

3 years ago

Hmm, I had never heard of this book until today but it sounds like it might be up my alley. I’m really picky when it comes to YA since it can get pretty tropey and rely too heavily on romance, but this actually sounds interesting. I like that you compared it to an RPG (that Final Fantasy gif made me so happy!) Video games and books are my two favorite things, so a book that feels like a video game sounds like a dream to me.

Wendy @ Falconer's Library

You make it sound very appealing, so I just added it on Goodreads! I like a good fairy tale retelling with a twist. Have you read the Lunar Chronicles?

Dreamy Reads
3 years ago

It sounds like one great book especially the main character. I will definitely read this book. Great Review! 🙂

3 years ago

I enjoyed reading Happily a lot & would recommend it to every kid I could – I’ll be posting my own review in a week. The whole time I was reading I had a big smile on my face. It was a unique take on the classic fairytale, Cinderella! Oh, I love your last point very much. <3

3 years ago

I preordered this book when you mentioned it in a haul and I am so glad you enjoyed it – I think it’s out now and cannot wait to read it because I love stories when the main character is not special or the chosen one (I am a bit over that trend). Plus I love fairytale retellings so I am really excited to see how details from the fairy tale play in this novel. So happy you recommended this book – and the cover is gorgeous too! Now I will get a bit emo-mushy-feeling here, but I am so… Read more »

Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages

Oh wow, this book looks really good and the one that I would enjoy 😀 I love fairy retelling which is not exactly retelling? 😛 To Kill A Kingdom was a perfect example in that category.
I love the idea of a cat being a main character 😀 I do wish to read it soon 🙂

3 years ago

You had me at “grumpy cat character”. Cats are always a good reason to read a book, but somehow grumpy cats are even better.

3 years ago

This sounds so awesome! I’m adding it to the top of my TBR pile!

3 years ago

Lovely review, I’m glad you liked it! It sounds fun. Fast paced books are the best imo.

The Orangutan Librarian

hehe I can never resist a grumpy cat mc!! I’m glad this is relatable and it’s so good that it promotes being yourself 🙂 Sounds like a great read! Awesome review!

3 years ago

This book sounds great. I’m adding this to my list of books I need to get and read. Thanks for the review!

Anna Pittman
3 years ago

I’m the same way when it comes to YA– it’s a genre I rarely read because I have read so many lukewarm ones in the past. Happily sounds good though, maybe I’ll give it a try!

3 years ago

Wonderful review, I’ll have to add this one to my list. I do enjoy Cinderella re-telling’s and YA books.

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

This sounds really good. I mean, the grumpy cat character got me but feels like an rpg was kind of the thing which convinced me. It sounds really fun and interesting. I will definitely have to check this out. Great review.

Olivia-Savannah Roach
3 years ago

I like how you recommend it for people who have read Ella Enchanted without actually having read Ella Enchanted 😛 That is so something I would end up doing as well xD I love retellings a lot and I read them pretty much all the time. Cinderella retellings are quite popular so I am glad to hear that this has a bit of a unique twist to it.

Anne Clarence
3 years ago

I will consider reading this if it has a hate-love relationship (you know how much I love that), especially after looking at your review, it seems like if Cinderella herself is not a sassy, savage a sarcastic character herself, this is a book with a very “teenager” tone, so it is possible.

Either way, great review Avalinah (again). You’re awesome XD

Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Love that it’s not totally a fairy tale retelling. Those can go wrong. Also love your gif of Final Fantasy III (us version). 🙂

Tori @ InToriLex
3 years ago

Great message and a different take on the retelling approach this sounds like a great read I’m adding to my TBR.

The Weekend Post #14: I’m Back! – Cheeky Lines
3 years ago

[…] from Amazon: all of them were free, except for Happily by Chauncey Rogers, which I got because of Evelina’s review and because I cannot say no to fairy-tale […]

Megan @ Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest

Oh my gosh, I love your review of this book! And you are absolutely correct – Laure is definitely a grumpy cat main character 🙂 But her and Luc – oh I loved them so much! I’m doing a character interview with Laure tomorrow for the blog tour 🙂 Great review!

Tânia @MyLovelySecret

A grumpy cat main character? That sounds quite interesting. A grumpy cat main character always ends up being a lovable character. =P Anyway, thank you for sharing your review. I’m adding Happily to my wishlist since I love retellings and this one seems so interesting.

Happy readings! 😉

Ps. The Final Fantasy gif “sealed the deal” for me. =P

3 years ago

I love a good fairytale retelling and this one sounds really different.