The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck
The Story: (from Revell Books)
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 fiancé 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.
It has been ages since I've read a Kristin Billerbeck book, but one thing is still clear, she still reigns as the queen of Christian chick lit. I'm pretty sure her Ashley Stockingdale series was the only contemporary fiction I read way back in the early 2000s. The last time I read one of Kristin's books was A Billion Reasons Why about 7 years ago. I adored that romance, so I thought it was about time I picked up another of her books. Unfortunately The Theory of Happily Ever After was not for me.
First off, Maggie seemed very snobby, judgmental, and caught up in herself. I loved that she was a romance addict like me, but that's pretty much where the liking stopped. The bad attitude towards nearly everyone she met on the ship, especially during the speed dating rounds made me think of Regina George from Mean Girls. She was so darn negative about everyone. Yes, she went through a major breakup, but overall her personality was that of the antagonists she proclaimed to loathe in the Hallmark movies she was addicted to. The fact that she also basically went for a guy her best friend had expressed interest in irked me to no end. Ugh!
This book had such potential. The plot was fun. The idea of two basic opposites and a shipboard romance was right up my alley, but Maggie was not a likeable character. Sam came across as a little misogynistic too. I love the J Crew wearing, broad shouldered guy as much as the next girl, but as soon as he muttered that smart girls can't be truly happy, I was done with him. That said, I still think Kristin is queen of chick lit as I noted at the start of this review. I will absolutely read whatever she comes out with next, since this is really the first book of hers I haven't been over the moon about!
~ My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars ~