No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin. Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.
Happily by Chauncey Rogers narrates a wonderfully humorous and adventurous tale of Laure, a teenage street urchin trying her hardest to leap-frog out of Écarlate and find a home somewhere far away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting and romantic love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests if only she can manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, make it.
A re-telling of the classic fairy-tale, Cinderella, Chauncey Rogers brings forth a refreshing, hilarious roar of a book that brings the story of Cinderella a much-needed twist. With a female protagonist, Laure, who succeeds in being a kickass woman, Rogers places the story of Happily at the peripheral of the Cinderella fairy-tale. The reader is at the understanding that the events of the fairy-tale are occurring in parallel with the events of Happily, and when they interact, it is a work of beauty. Laure, a street urchin, lives day by day, stealing food and money in order to leave the city and build a new life. Luc is an aspiring silk and cloth merchant whose life suddenly takes an interesting and fiery turn when Laure drops into his life. Whilst Laure is running away from people and Luc for reasons I won’t tell you as I don’t want to spoil the goodness, the King announces quite a significant quest – to find the woman who left her glass shoe at the ball.
What follows is literally an adventure in hilarity, feistiness, romance and action with a lot of running. I mean, a lot.
As I don’t want to spoil Happily at all, I am going to keep this short, but I will tell you one of my favourite moments in Happily is when we, as the readers, are introduced to the Royal Family. Those characters are amazing; they are flawed characters, and their Royal status just emphasises their brattiness and spoilt nature. Rogers’ ability to draw the readers in with engaging dialogue and scenes of utmost humour and action, really cements Happily as a force to be reckoned with.
Character analysis and discussion
Whilst reading Happily, I would constantly see bits of myself in Laure. Laure is a character where I feel that many will relate to. She is grounded in such realism that I saw myself in her, especially in her humour and her cynicism. She has gone through quite a tumultuous start to her life, but every day she intends to survive and conquer, in order to better herself and her situation. Although she would completely disagree, I found Laure to be incredibly strong and courageous, a woman who did not hesitate to go into battle in order to save the person she loves. She is sassy, and her commentary of every situation gave me a reason to live, and I found her ingenuity and intelligence – especially in her plans to fool the Royal Family – to be empowering and epic.
I do want to also take the time to write a little bit about Luc, our male protagonist. Laure and Luc were written as complementary characters. That is, they were two sides of the same coin. Where Laure was pessimistic and realist, Luc was an all-around optimist, seeing the good in every situation. Plainly, he was adorable. In fact, one could say that the stereotypes of both genders were subverted, so it resulted in a story where the woman takes on characteristics that are typically granted to male characters and vice versa. Luc was a darling and he had a quieter strength that didn’t overtake the narrative but was foundational to how the story played out. I would honestly love to know more about him and his family situation, as he is from the ‘enemy’ kingdom, and I would imagine it would be quite a unique story.
I could say so much more, but I really don’t want to spoil this incredible novel. I highly urge you to read Happily when it’s released on April 3rd. It will not disappoint; instead, you will be amazed at the world that will open to you and fall in love with these kickass and adorable characters. I literally have nothing negative to say about Happily because I was legitimately smiling the entire way through, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Thus, I give Happily by Chauncey Rogers a 5 out of 5 stars.
Until next time! Happy reading!
NOTE: I also want to give the biggest thank you to Chauncey Rogers himself, who graciously gifted Happily to me, in exchange for an honest review.