Happily and Madly
Maris Brown has been told two things about her destiny:1. She will fall happily and madly in love.2. She could be dead before she turns eighteen.The summer before that fateful birthday, Maris is in the wealthy beach town of Cross Cove with her estranged father and his new family--and the infamous Duvals. Since the youngest member of the Duval family, Edison, is back from college and back in the arms of Maris's new stepsister, her summer looks to be a long string of lazy days on the Duval's lush beach.But Edison is hiding something. And the more Maris learns about him, the more she's given signs that she should stay as far away from him as possible. As wrong as it is, Maris is drawn to him. Around Edison, she feels truly alive and she's not willing to give that up. Even if it means a collision course with destiny.

Happily and Madly Details

TitleHappily and Madly
Author
ReleaseMay 21st, 2019
PublisherTor Teen
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Fiction, Young Adult Contemporary, Thriller, Realistic Fiction, Teen

Happily and Madly Review

  • Nicole ❤
    January 1, 1970
    "There’s a certain rush that comes with lying. I think a lot of people probably don’t like it— the racing heart, the sweaty palms, the fear of being caught. These are the things that made lying worth it for me. All that buildup and anticipation wondering if you’ll get away with it." 📖 Happily & Madly 📖🖋Alexis Bass Read as an eARC.Much thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen, an imprint of Macmillan, Tor-Forge for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. BU "There’s a certain rush that comes with lying. I think a lot of people probably don’t like it— the racing heart, the sweaty palms, the fear of being caught. These are the things that made lying worth it for me. All that buildup and anticipation wondering if you’ll get away with it." 📖 Happily & Madly 📖🖋Alexis Bass Read as an eARC.Much thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen, an imprint of Macmillan, Tor-Forge for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. BUY THIS BOOK: Indie Bookstore ● Amazon ● Barnes & Noble ● ● Book Despository 📚 Series: No📚 Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller📚 POV: First person.📚 Cliffhanger: No.⚠ Content Warnings: Cheating/Infidelity. Violence: Gunshots / Knife Wounds / Death Threats⚠ Read if: you are looking for a slow burn mystery.Happily & Madly is my first Alexis Bass book, in spite of having known of the author. Her other books sitting in my TBR for forever. Sorry, Alexis Bass, I now regret that because your writing is so good! There's something about it that makes you keep turning the page even if the book's pace is actually quite slow.Maris is sent vacationing to Hampton-ish style Cross Cove to be with her father, George, and his new family. Maris has a tendency to treat trouble as a friend and follow it whether she goes, perhaps a result of the divorce his parents had years ago.Maris meets his father's new family, including her new step-sister, Chelsea, who is almost the same age as her. Chelsea, is very kind, trusting and naïve to a fault, and is also very in love with her boyfriend, Edison. Maris would also be having a close encounter with a boy, Finn, when she saves him on the island her first day there.The story revolves around Maris' trouble seeking tendencies, a whole lot of mysterious things, her impulsiveness and basically being at the wrong place at the wrong time.Whatever you have read in the blurb, ignore that. This book actually needs a new blurb because their description seems to promise something that the book is not actually about. So, if you will be put off by that, I guess this book is not actually for you.If you are also easily troubled by morally grey characters, because there is infidelity here. You might want to rethink reading this. Having said that, I always have a weakness in reading about morally grey things and characters doing the wrong things, so this book was great for me.If you can look past that, Happily & Madly is a great character/mood based thriller that will have you emotionally invested all throughout. There is a balance of romance, mystery and family drama that kept me on my toes. Even the support characters will grab on your heartstrings, watch out for Chelsea and Sepp.Overall, it was a very interesting read and I glad I picked it up.☁ THE CRITERIA ☁🌻 Blurb:⭐⭐🌻 Hero:⭐⭐⭐🌻 Heroine:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐🌻 Romance:⭐⭐⭐🌻 Suspense/Thrill Factor:⭐⭐⭐🌻 Mystery:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Pacing:⭐⭐⭐🌻 Ending:⭐⭐⭐🌻 Page Turner:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ☁FINAL VERDICT: 3.69/5 ☁
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    4 1/2 "shooting" stars!Maris was spending the summer with her father and his "new family." Their relationship was already a rocky one as he had left Maris and her mother and married his pregnant girlfriend and adopted her daughter, Chelsea, who just happened to be the same age as Maris.They head to Cross Cove, a beach where the wealthy vacation. Chelsea is beyond excited because her boyfriend, Edison and his family will be there also. Therefore, Maris and the "New Browns" (as she calls her fathe 4 1/2 "shooting" stars!Maris was spending the summer with her father and his "new family." Their relationship was already a rocky one as he had left Maris and her mother and married his pregnant girlfriend and adopted her daughter, Chelsea, who just happened to be the same age as Maris.They head to Cross Cove, a beach where the wealthy vacation. Chelsea is beyond excited because her boyfriend, Edison and his family will be there also. Therefore, Maris and the "New Browns" (as she calls her father and his new family) spend an inordinate amount of time socializing with the uber wealthy at Cross Cove. In the midst of all of this, several mysterious things occur, leaving Maris with unanswered questions and nagging doubts.Happily and Madly had a great undercurrent (pardon the pun) of mystery tucked in with the family dynamics that were also at play. It was the first book I've read by Alexis Bass and was a very pleasant surprise. I will definitely have to check out her previous works. "...love makes the unforgivable things forgivable." Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    2 STARSMaris arrives in Cross Cove to spend the summer with her father and his new family, including Chelsea, the daughter of his new wife whom he adopted. On her first night Maris saves a boy named Finn, who happens to be Chelsea’s boyfriend Edison. Soon Maris is embroiled in a deadly mystery.I thought I was going to enjoy HAPPILY AND MADLY from the beginning. I liked Maris, who had been in more trouble than most eighteen year olds and also had insight into her behaviors. I loved that Alexis Ba 2 STARSMaris arrives in Cross Cove to spend the summer with her father and his new family, including Chelsea, the daughter of his new wife whom he adopted. On her first night Maris saves a boy named Finn, who happens to be Chelsea’s boyfriend Edison. Soon Maris is embroiled in a deadly mystery.I thought I was going to enjoy HAPPILY AND MADLY from the beginning. I liked Maris, who had been in more trouble than most eighteen year olds and also had insight into her behaviors. I loved that Alexis Bass avoided the mean step family trope and other overused YA themes. HAPPILY AND MADLY starts painfully slow and takes over half the book to set up the unbelievable plot. Maris proves to be a better sleuth than the hapless FBI agents, outsmarting them at every turn. The mystery was complex, not very relatable and completely impossible.I don’t understand the comparisons to WE WERE LIARS except for the immense wealth.HAPPILY AND MADLY kept me interested enough to finish the book, but I’ll never reread it.
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass was a character-driven mystery that struck a perfect balance between compelling pageturner and slow burn read. How can a pageturner also be a slow burn? Basically I was pulled in and compelled to come back to the book over 3 successive nights, but the writing was moody, languid, warm and easy to slip into like the perfect bubble bath... I didn't want to rush because I wanted the read to last.First I am disappointed in myself that this is the first Alexis Bass boo Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass was a character-driven mystery that struck a perfect balance between compelling pageturner and slow burn read. How can a pageturner also be a slow burn? Basically I was pulled in and compelled to come back to the book over 3 successive nights, but the writing was moody, languid, warm and easy to slip into like the perfect bubble bath... I didn't want to rush because I wanted the read to last.First I am disappointed in myself that this is the first Alexis Bass book I have read. I love her writing style. It's crisp and cultivates a mood without being flowery, and every character was astutely drawn and both easy and not-so-easy to pin down. I ached with empathy for Maris in particular, but also Chelsea, and felt that emotional attachment to the main character and the wrongs done against her that I love in a good book: I was so upset on her behalf, so desperate for her to lose her cool and say precisely the perfect biting words to her estranged father--really castigate him and put him in his place. Many books really disappoint on this front, or they take it too far, with a soap opera-like confrontation, but the book left me very emotionally satisfied.But, okay, so let's get to my ONE quibble, and that's with the back cover copy/pitch for the book. It wasn't misleading, per se, but it doesn't do the book justice! The blurb really makes it seem like this is a ticking clock book, that the fortune teller's prediction that Maris will die before her 18th birthday is an essential aspect of the book's narrative drive--but it's not. Maris doesn't even take the fortune teller seriously? And I am glad for it: I wasn't sure I wanted to read a book with that pulsing backbone, and this book is so much more than a juicy hook? No, Happily and Madly is a character and setting/mood driven barely-can-call-it-a-thriller-thriller--and it really hit the spot. Bass nails the "lower class outsider experiencing a time among f*cked up rich people," which is almost a genre unto itself, and I loved every second of it. Cape Cove leapt off the page, as did all the ridiculously wealthy and wannabe wealthy people, and I loved all the yachts, masquerade parties, badminton... high class society with dark secrets happens to be one of my favorite subgenres in mystery thriller, so if that sounds up your street, you might love this too.Now, let's talk about the romance in the book... first off, the book smacked me in the face with an early plot twist that should have been painfully obvious, but the execution is well handled. In the first 20 pages, Maris discovers a boy on a small island who is running for his life, and she saves him. I was like WHAT IS THIS BOOK and it only develops from there. But the pacing and tone isn't high octane thriller--what I enjoyed so much was all these soapy elements unfolding in a very measured manner. The focus is character relationships, not plot twists.I have one spoilery warning that involves cheating. Details under the cut. (view spoiler)[I was able to suspend disbelief and temper my emotions, re: the cheating plotline, but it's going to bother a lot of readers, I imagine. There are two threads of cheating: 1) Maris's love interest is dating her step-sister Chelsea. It's handled as sensitively as is possible in a slightly soapy/mystery set-up, but for some readers, it will simply be untenable. 2) It becomes clear early on that Maris's dad George cheated on her mom with his now wife/step-family. This is less egregious, but yeah there's lots of cheating referenced in the book. (hide spoiler)]One thing I really enjoyed: there isn't any girl-hate in the book. The feelings Maris has for and relationships she has with her step mother and step sister are well handled. It would have been so easy to make Trisha the bad guy, or make Chelsea the annoying try-hard stepsister, but Maris is very empathetic and the book doesn't fall into easy tropes of her being bitter and hating everything.I'll say that the book's twists get a bit muddled at the very end, mostly because the focus of the book isn't the unfolding mystery and thus there's a lot to fit in in very little space at the end, but because the focus of the narrative wasn't the mystery, but the relationships, I didn't mind. That said, readers expecting a high-octane or spooky (b/c of the fortune teller) thriller read might be disappointed. That's not what this is. But I loved it.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    I was hoping this would take on a We Were Liars vibe, but I was dissatisfied as the story progressed and everything remained the same. I didn’t realize this until after 36% since up until that point the plot was still setting up. Maris is spending the summer with her father, his new wife, her stepsister, and her infant half-sister in the coastal New England town of Cross Cove. She goes exploring in the woods on her first day there and sees a bleeding and bruised guy limping away from something. I was hoping this would take on a We Were Liars vibe, but I was dissatisfied as the story progressed and everything remained the same. I didn’t realize this until after 36% since up until that point the plot was still setting up. Maris is spending the summer with her father, his new wife, her stepsister, and her infant half-sister in the coastal New England town of Cross Cove. She goes exploring in the woods on her first day there and sees a bleeding and bruised guy limping away from something. Her decision to help him hide from a posse of guys is the tipping point for everything else that follows.This read like a journal entry by skipping through actions and steps and only focusing on the highlights. Maris was bland and unemotional, her stepsister Chelsea was fascinated with living happily ever after with her boyfriend Edison, and Edison was two-faced, showing his true self secretly around Maris while being the shiny, rich, handsome boyfriend to Chelsea and constantly impressing the family.Mysteries are implanted every now and then when Maris follows and eavesdrops on people. She always gets caught which grew old since you knew what would happen when she trailed someone. I knew from that start that Edison’s family was fake, from their glistening smiles to having Maris’ family over every day to enjoy the luxuries of the rich life. The reveal was pinpointed from the beginning and the lack of action and suspense knocked the rating down for me.If anything, this reminded me of The Lies They Tell by Gillian French, except this was portrayed better.Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Anna Mullins
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Maris, the rebellious but kind teenager. Edison, the troubled but loving boy who just wants to be loved. Chelsea, the purest and genuine girl, who despite her circumstances always sees the best in people. I enjoyed the story and how the twists unraveled. I wish there was more of an ending, however. I was left feeling like there was a little more to tell.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars... that was a smart, engaging, totally appropriate YA mystery!!! Not too heavy, not too light, just right. I can't say too much b/c it's always, ALWAYS better going into any mystery knowing nothing ;) I was completely satisfied with the ending, too. No cheese here... okay, maybe a wee bit but totally fits.
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  • Mrs.
    January 1, 1970
    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of Happily and Madly. I absolutely ADORE this novel. It was heart-pumping, heart-crushing, and heart-warming all at once. So many secrets. Lies. I especially loved the suspense of Finn's life and the risk-taking behavior that he and Maris shared. I will INTENTLY search for and read work from this author again.Thank you to NetGalley and Alexis Bass for the ARC!
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  • Deborah Hightower
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass. This is the first novel I have read by this author; it was wonderful. It was a real page turner: a combination of romance, mystery, lies and money. The secrets being kept by many of the characters kept me totally engrossed in the book.
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  • Claryy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*One word to describe this book: Twisted.I. Loved. This. Book. It entirely was not what I was expecting. I went into this book expecting a cheesy romance of some sorts, but this book is not romantic. This book was scary and very fast-paced.Maris - Total FBI agent; she can read lies and analyze situations better than Hall and Ryan. She has so much darkness and resentment inside of her but doesn’t let it show. Maris was smart and rebellious but so not very naive. She sees so much and I love her 4.5*One word to describe this book: Twisted.I. Loved. This. Book. It entirely was not what I was expecting. I went into this book expecting a cheesy romance of some sorts, but this book is not romantic. This book was scary and very fast-paced.Maris - Total FBI agent; she can read lies and analyze situations better than Hall and Ryan. She has so much darkness and resentment inside of her but doesn’t let it show. Maris was smart and rebellious but so not very naive. She sees so much and I love her narration. I basically want to be Maris Brown. She’s also very honest to herself, which I love, but doesn’t dwell in her thoughts, emotions, or hate. She is able to see beyond herself. Example: Maris doesn’t like Chelsea at first and Chelsea is always bubbly which Maris doesn’t always like and others might view as naive but Maris sees that Chelsea has a big heart. Plot- WHAT THE HECK. I was not expecting death. I was not expecting police or crime in this book and I was definitely not expecting the dark evil perfect family called the Duval. From the synopsis, which says something about Edison’s secret? Yeah, it wasn’t some petty little secret I found in some others RF books I read. This was real. It involved police, crime, blackmailing and etc, etc. - Note: I wished it talked more about Maris’s prophecy of her dying before she turned eighteen and that she’ll fall happily and madly in love. But besides that, I’m not really complaining.- Oh, I would also like to add that some events in the book felt unrealistic too, but what can I really prove? It’s Maris, and she’s really amazing.Romance?- I personally didn’t really ship the romance. Sorry, but also kind of not. I shipped Sepp and Maris. Yep, you saw that right. I shipped SEPP and MARIS despite them not having any romantic interests in each other. I preferred Sepp over Edison because Edison was kind of naive and gave Maris reasons to doubt him. But Sepp? He got beat up for Maris. He covered for Maris and tried to protect her while Edison was just like, “No, we shouldn’t” and etc, and YET, he still snuck out with her and risked her. I would’ve been perfectly fine if they didn’t end up together but they somewhat did. But Sepp? HE’S DEAD. HE SAVED MARIS AND TOOK A BULLET FOR HER. OMG.😭His eyes are lit up as he stares out ahead. He laughs one more time, then coughs. And after that, he is completely silent.- Note: I don’t have a problem with Edison and Maris being together, it’s what’s suppose to happen in the book, but their connection felt too instant, which was kind of disappointing; especially towards the end with the Chelsea thing, but at least the ending gave us hope or a possibility.🤷🏻‍♀️Conclusion- Maris wants a perfect summer (which I was expecting kind of like romantic stuff) but it just turned crazy! This is YA. This is contemporary. This is romance, but it is also mysterious and thrilling. Like I mentioned earlier, I loved how fast-paced it was, but part of that reason is because I love how fast Maris took things to heart. There were many quotable lessons throughout the book that Maris applied to her life that made this book so amazing. One of the lessons I found in this book was that not every dream/vision/summer or whatever will have a happy ending. Especially not this one. It shows that shit happens and that you can’t blame yourself for being the one not able to fix it.This is flying, and this is falling. This is soaring. This is danger and freedom and not caring. This is letting go.I binged read this book in one night! That’s how much I was pulled in! The beginning and build-up felt like a four star but the ending portion of the book pumped it up to a five star, but the actual ending felt like a four, so, in conclusion, 4.5.
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  • MsArdychan
    January 1, 1970
    From the description given on Goodreads, one would think Madly and Happily, by Alexis Bass is a novel about forbidden summer love. It is. But it is also a fast-paced thriller filled with shady business deals, mysterious characters, and complicated relationships. Set against a backdrop of a summer resort town, this book was a page-turner. What I Liked:Setting:The beach town of Cross Cove, with its mix of local residents and wealthy visitors, reminds me of my hometown of Santa Barbara, California. From the description given on Goodreads, one would think Madly and Happily, by Alexis Bass is a novel about forbidden summer love. It is. But it is also a fast-paced thriller filled with shady business deals, mysterious characters, and complicated relationships. Set against a backdrop of a summer resort town, this book was a page-turner. What I Liked:Setting:The beach town of Cross Cove, with its mix of local residents and wealthy visitors, reminds me of my hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Hidden behind the glitzy exteriors of shops and restaurants that cater to tourists lies a seedy underbelly. In the case of Santa Barbara, there is a huge homeless problem. In fictional Cross Cove, the glamorous location hides drug trafficking, pay-offs, and possibly murder!Characters:Maris is the kind of broken teen that you know will make all the wrong choices in this story. She is reckless, sullen, and although she claims she is responsible for her own decisions, blames her father for what has gone wrong in her life. I liked Maris. She was conflicted about many of the hurtful things she did, but she shows us how people can justify bad behavior. She is a flawed human.I really liked Sepp, Edison's brother. He is not one of the main characters, but he is really important to the story. I liked that, in an atmosphere where there were so many secrets, he was always a straight shooter. I would say that he is almost the moral compass for this story. Almost, because even though he points out how wrong everything is, he still is part of the sketchy goings-on.Story:I enjoy a good thriller and this was certainly a story that kept me on the edge of my seat. The wealthy Duval family seem too perfect to be real, and they are. Even though Edison is dating Chelsea, Maris's step-sister, it seems excessive that the Duvals take such an interest in Maris's whole family. The reasons become clear as the story progresses. There are some shady dealings going on. Could George, Maris's father, be involved?The novel is fluctuates between a story about forbidden love and a criminal mystery. It certainly kept me guessing.What I Was Mixed About:The Romance:I know Edison is supposed to be Mr. Charming, getting his way with just a brilliant smile. But I was taken aback by how he often shifted the blame of what he was doing to Maris. At one point in the story he tells her, "I hate it that you have to lie for me". He doesn't give her a choice, just points out that she will get in trouble if she doesn't do what he wants. It was extremely manipulative. I hated that Maris didn't seem to have a backbone with him. If she finds him so irresistible then I think she would want to lie for him, anyway. But it made Maris seem very insecure to be able to be convinced that she had as much to lose as him. She really didn't. I also didn't like that Maris tries to justify betraying Chelsea by thinking it's fine because it somehow evens out what George (Maris's dad) did to Maris and her mother. One betrayal doesn't make another one okay.
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  • KarenJo Custodio
    January 1, 1970
    2.75-3 Stars Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass didn’t make me madly in love with the story or happily satisfied with everything. I’m actually quite conflicted with this book. I was intrigued in the beginning and there are things I liked, but in the end it just wasn’t the book for me. Maris Brown is not a character I would say I loved and could relate to, but she’s also not someone I dislike. In many ways, my heart broke for her and everything she’s been through and is still going through. On the 2.75-3 Stars Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass didn’t make me madly in love with the story or happily satisfied with everything. I’m actually quite conflicted with this book. I was intrigued in the beginning and there are things I liked, but in the end it just wasn’t the book for me. Maris Brown is not a character I would say I loved and could relate to, but she’s also not someone I dislike. In many ways, my heart broke for her and everything she’s been through and is still going through. On the other hand, I sometimes didn’t care about the consequences of her actions. I felt that she doesn’t try to avoid putting herself in situations that inevitable hurts her. I don’t want to go into her character development too much, but I was really frustrated with Maris that sometimes it took precedence over me feeling bad for her. I mean, I understood why she acted the way she did and I could feel her pain… I just wanted her to make different choices… better choices. The other characters didn’t really impress me either. Although I thought Edison (Finn) was intriguing, I just didn’t like him that much. He’s mysterious and had this charm about him, but it just didn’t personally work for me. I liked Chelsea more than I thought I would, but I still felt uneasy about her. I liked that she tried to include Maris and it seemed like Chelsea really wanted to be close/friends with her step-sister. I just couldn’t quite understand her fascination with Edison, his family, and this picture perfect version of her happily ever after.I didn't like the romance aspect at all. It was flat, infuriating, and I felt no emotions. That’s most likely because I couldn’t connect with Maris or Edison and at the end, I just didn’t care about their relationship. If anything, I was quite annoyed. Having said all that, I did enjoy the mystery, suspense and twists which kept me intrigued until the end. I thought the writing style was easy to read, the pacing was okay, and the plotline was engaging enough. And, even though it seemed a bit rushed, I did like the ending. Overall, Happily and Madly was an interesting read. While some parts felt slow, the mystery part had me thinking and wanting to know what would happen next. It’s just a bit disappointing that I personally couldn’t connect with the story or characters. It may not have been a book for me, but I’m sure this would appeal to plenty of readers.I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Brooke Lorren
    January 1, 1970
    There are things that I did and didn't like about this book. Overall, I find myself on the fence about it.Maris Brown is visiting her father and his new family for the summer. She has been into some trouble in her life before, and her mom is hoping that maybe a few months in a wealthy neighborhood with respectable people will help her.The first thing I'm on the fence about is the main character, Maris Brown. I feel for her in many ways... and in many ways, I do not. She is a child of a broken fa There are things that I did and didn't like about this book. Overall, I find myself on the fence about it.Maris Brown is visiting her father and his new family for the summer. She has been into some trouble in her life before, and her mom is hoping that maybe a few months in a wealthy neighborhood with respectable people will help her.The first thing I'm on the fence about is the main character, Maris Brown. I feel for her in many ways... and in many ways, I do not. She is a child of a broken family. Her father had been cheating on her mom for years, and he seems to have this love for her new family that he never had for her or her mother. I can understand how this could potentially cause her to make some bad choices and end up doing some stupid things.There are two things that I don't find sympathetic about her, however. The first one is that she falls in love with her step-sister's boyfriend, even while she feels sympathy and friendship towards her step-sister. It's not that there's a love triangle involving cheating in this book, it's the fact that Maris and her step-sister are close to each other, even while Maris sneaks behind her back. It's weird. The other thing is that Maris is always snooping. I just want to shake her at times. If you're going to snoop, be careful about it? Her lack of caution is a little infuriating. I get that she's supposed to be reckless and such; perhaps if she had learned from her earlier mistakes later on in the book, it wouldn't be annoying?The other thing that I thought was weird was how Maris's step-family was always hanging out with these wealthy people. Why? While I'm not close to people that are quite as rich as their friends, I do find it strange that they spend nearly every day with these people and they don't see anything odd about it?Other than these items, the story was interesting. There was a mystery to be solved, and many of these people had secrets. The mysteries are solved, and the questions in my mind are resolved by the end of the book. I even like the ending. If you can get over the "I'm cheating on you with your boyfriend but we're friends" and the whole careless snooping thing, this would be a pretty good book.
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  • Pretty Little Bibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Author: Alexis BassPublishing date: 21 May, 2019Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/ForgeGenre: Teens and YAFormat: Netgalley e-arcMy review:I think that Happily and Madly was a great psychological novel. In one way it really reminded me of WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. I found the protagonist – Maris a very sharp girl with lots of potential. Like Sepp (another character that I absolutely loved) said, she does not ever “miss a thing”. The characters in this book all have their own secrets and the way the a Author: Alexis BassPublishing date: 21 May, 2019Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/ForgeGenre: Teens and YAFormat: Netgalley e-arcMy review:I think that Happily and Madly was a great psychological novel. In one way it really reminded me of WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. I found the protagonist – Maris a very sharp girl with lots of potential. Like Sepp (another character that I absolutely loved) said, she does not ever “miss a thing”. The characters in this book all have their own secrets and the way the author goes about them is manifested in some very fluid writing. Chelsea is also a person I liked – she is so unlike what one would expect a stepsister to be… the author has made some really great female representations, where not everyone is trying to one-up the other and it is refreshing. George, Trisha, Pheobe, Edison,Oswald, Warren, Sepp, Karen as well as Michael and Katherine Ellis, Richard and Linda Ellis, and also Gloria and Renee, form the background feel. The backdrop of the novel is very relaxing and juxtaposed with this thrumming mystery. I was so glad I read it when I did – in the beginning of summer. The book deals with many themes such as putting oneself out there, with the chance of being completely rejected, and to turn the vulnerability out on oneself. It also shows what it is like – the unexpected closeness we sometimes feel for people we have just met – like Maris and Finn, or even Maris and Chelsea. When Maris is once thinking in retrospection, of when she was in the fortune teller’s bathroom when the women client was afraid she was dying, the fortune teller had told her to do whatever was necessary for her to feel alive. Maybe that is why Maris takes risks – not only because she does not want to have regret but also because she wants to feel alive. Although it was a really enjoyable read, I felt as if the ending was a bit rushed. Verdict:I rate this book a 3.75/5 stars.
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  • Giulia
    January 1, 1970
    "Destruction can be tempting"TW: drugs, alcohol, deathTruly, for once, I’m going to keep this Rather Random Review™ short (and thus slightly underwhelming).This should have been a thriller but it was too slow moving to actually be thrilling. It had interesting twists and turns and I truly liked Maris – the main character. She was fierce, incredibly cunning and super smart. I’d say that she was an amazing Slytherin type of character. Being in her head was engrossing and I liked her perspective on "Destruction can be tempting"TW: drugs, alcohol, deathTruly, for once, I’m going to keep this Rather Random Review™️ short (and thus slightly underwhelming).This should have been a thriller but it was too slow moving to actually be thrilling. It had interesting twists and turns and I truly liked Maris – the main character. She was fierce, incredibly cunning and super smart. I’d say that she was an amazing Slytherin type of character. Being in her head was engrossing and I liked her perspective on things. She was complex, noisy and a bit of a trouble-maker – and I really liked it. I also overall thoroughly enjoy the writing style. It was straightforward but also had its flowery and purple moments that made the reading experience unique and good. So, the only problem of Happily and Madly was the pace. It was too slow, and after a while I got bored of the build-up and just wanted this book to end. I was 76% in and I realized that nothing had happened. That's not normal :/I was also not particularly a fan of the cheating-romance kinda trope. It's simply not my cup of tea.Maybe it’s because I’m in a bit of a life slump, but I thought this book was tedious and not really thrilling. The characters and their dynamics were truly amazing, and the writing style was also very good. It was a pity, though, that the plot did not perfectly deliver, in my opinion.With a cover like this, I would have preferred to love Happily and Madly just so to have an excuse to buy it, but it was average and a bit boring. Hence I won't add this book to my shelves, unfortunately. "Do whatever it takes to feel completely alive"
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Happily and Madly. I couldn't put it down.Maris is from a broken family and is going to spend the summer at an island rental with her father’s new family (the New Browns). This includes her father's new wife and baby, and a teen daughter, Chelsea, whom he has adopted. She is, of course, resentful of them, since they are the reason her father left her and her mother alone.She's uncomfortable with all the happiness and while alone on a hike, she meets I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Happily and Madly. I couldn't put it down.Maris is from a broken family and is going to spend the summer at an island rental with her father’s new family (the New Browns). This includes her father's new wife and baby, and a teen daughter, Chelsea, whom he has adopted. She is, of course, resentful of them, since they are the reason her father left her and her mother alone.She's uncomfortable with all the happiness and while alone on a hike, she meets a beaten and bloody boy, Finn, who she helps to escape from his pursuers. They begin a romantic relationship as they meet secretly. Then Maris finds out Finn is the boyfriend of her stepsister--and his name is Edison--and that's not all of the secrets he has. His family, the Duvals, are very rich, and they treat the New Browns to all kinds of luxurious island adventures. But there is more to the story of this family. As Maris begins to uncover their secrets, the danger mounts and even though she is trying to do what is right, she ends up in a fight for her life and the lives of her family.While some suspension of disbelief is necessary, the twists surprised me. The pacing is brisk. The tension mounts, and the characters are sympathetic. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.Summer love, a mysterious and possibly dangerous boy, and plenty of lies and deception combine to make this thriller a compelling read. And I really didn't have much of any idea about what was going on until it was revealed. Given the current craze over twisted thriller books, this one is a welcome addition to the teen market.
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  • Maria Zuppardi
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review (and you can read my full review on my blog, ReadingMaria.This book was not really what I expected it to be….I don’t know, I guess I just had high expectations for it, and it fell pretty flat. The characters weren’t there, the plot itself did not reflect real life at all, and the manuscript itself was just not there – I think it should’ve gone through a round of editing first before it was printed as an ARC. It just isn I received a free copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review (and you can read my full review on my blog, ReadingMaria.This book was not really what I expected it to be….I don’t know, I guess I just had high expectations for it, and it fell pretty flat. The characters weren’t there, the plot itself did not reflect real life at all, and the manuscript itself was just not there – I think it should’ve gone through a round of editing first before it was printed as an ARC. It just isn’t my thing. Between the characters, the story, and the fact that some situations don’t happen in real life, I wasn’t happy. Too many convenient coincidences that seem forced in order to move the plot line along.
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  • Alias Valia
    January 1, 1970
    Characters 9 Atmosphere 8Writing style 9 Plot 9Intrigue 7Logic 9Enjoyment 9I loved it. I thought this was going to be a normal story about a girl finding her way with a strange boy on a beautiful beach. And then, it got me on some shady adventures, without knowing who I could trust and if it was going where I was wondering it would. And THEN, it surprises me with such a beautiful and real ending!Maris was a great narrator and main character. I've found her to be real: with flaws but never condec Characters 9 Atmosphere 8Writing style 9 Plot 9Intrigue 7Logic 9Enjoyment 9I loved it. I thought this was going to be a normal story about a girl finding her way with a strange boy on a beautiful beach. And then, it got me on some shady adventures, without knowing who I could trust and if it was going where I was wondering it would. And THEN, it surprises me with such a beautiful and real ending!Maris was a great narrator and main character. I've found her to be real: with flaws but never condecending. She knew what she was doing something bad but she owned it. All of it. Amazing. I didn't give this book 5 starts because it was really slow in the beginning and there are a few typos that should really be corrected before it comes out. For everything else? 5 stars.
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  • Jasmin
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a mystery to me when I started reading it. I went in with no expectations but it was better than I imagined it could have been. I thought it would be predictable and more cliche than anything, but I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't. I didn't expect most if any, twists or what was going to happen next. The whole time I was just saying 'One more chapter'. I related to the characters in so many ways, and I will definitely recommend it to others. My only complaint was the ending, whi This book was a mystery to me when I started reading it. I went in with no expectations but it was better than I imagined it could have been. I thought it would be predictable and more cliche than anything, but I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't. I didn't expect most if any, twists or what was going to happen next. The whole time I was just saying 'One more chapter'. I related to the characters in so many ways, and I will definitely recommend it to others. My only complaint was the ending, which I wont say anything about other than that I felt the ending, though satisfying enough, was incomplete or was missing something. Overall though It was unexpected, insane, sexy and more. My praise goes out to Alexis Bass for writing such a good book.
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  • Helenasghost
    January 1, 1970
    The start of this novel is a little slow; theres the meeting of the teens, some courageous activities and a little running around behind her parents back. And then theres nothing for a while...Once the first big twist happens however, I started to get a bit of a We Were Liars feel. There is intrigue, a lovely twist relating to the love interest and a guy who eventually came through in the end.I found the story was very indepth although some of the characters involved, especially the new step-sis The start of this novel is a little slow; theres the meeting of the teens, some courageous activities and a little running around behind her parents back. And then theres nothing for a while...Once the first big twist happens however, I started to get a bit of a We Were Liars feel. There is intrigue, a lovely twist relating to the love interest and a guy who eventually came through in the end.I found the story was very indepth although some of the characters involved, especially the new step-sister and the parents of the love interest were extremely superficial.When thinking about the books as a whole it was a moderately enjoyable narrative despite it feeling very disjointed in parts.
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Reminded me of We Were Liars in its portrayal of a family shiny on the surface but with secrets and tension waiting to be revealed beneath (not just because they both take place during summer on an island!). I really appreciated the descriptive and fluid writing, and especially the well-rounded characters. Maris came across nicely, and had perfectly understandable and deeply-felt emotions about her familial situation while avoiding stereotypical angry outbursts. Although not necessarily believab Reminded me of We Were Liars in its portrayal of a family shiny on the surface but with secrets and tension waiting to be revealed beneath (not just because they both take place during summer on an island!). I really appreciated the descriptive and fluid writing, and especially the well-rounded characters. Maris came across nicely, and had perfectly understandable and deeply-felt emotions about her familial situation while avoiding stereotypical angry outbursts. Although not necessarily believable, and while the romance didn't spark much for me (and not exclusively because of the cheating element), overall an enjoyable read.
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  • Chrissy Kirby
    January 1, 1970
    Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass can be summed up with one word... Intriguing! It started off slow for me but when "Finn" entered the picture, I was glued to the book. It had a little bit of romance, a little mystery and it kept my interest. I felt Maris' emotions throughout the book. I felt her love, I felt her anger, I felt her loss. Alexis Bass did a wonderful job portraying the characters and the surroundings without going into obnoxious detail (huge pet peeve of mine), so I was very excited Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass can be summed up with one word... Intriguing! It started off slow for me but when "Finn" entered the picture, I was glued to the book. It had a little bit of romance, a little mystery and it kept my interest. I felt Maris' emotions throughout the book. I felt her love, I felt her anger, I felt her loss. Alexis Bass did a wonderful job portraying the characters and the surroundings without going into obnoxious detail (huge pet peeve of mine), so I was very excited about that. Over all, I loved the book!
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  • Reggie Virus
    January 1, 1970
    I loveddddd this! Edison I hate that I love hate you lol. This gave me Pretty Little Liars vibes and I was hooked! George bothered me so bad! Kinda wish he got beat up haha. But i related a lot to Maris and it made me sad that she fell for Finn but he was taken and she was seconded best. I do wish the plot picked up a little more then it did but I enjoyed myself. I was scared, I laughed, I cried especially for Sepp and ugh I didn’t want it to end once it was going. I will definitely be buying th I loveddddd this! Edison I hate that I love hate you lol. This gave me Pretty Little Liars vibes and I was hooked! George bothered me so bad! Kinda wish he got beat up haha. But i related a lot to Maris and it made me sad that she fell for Finn but he was taken and she was seconded best. I do wish the plot picked up a little more then it did but I enjoyed myself. I was scared, I laughed, I cried especially for Sepp and ugh I didn’t want it to end once it was going. I will definitely be buying this and can’t wait to reread it. Thank you Tor Teen and Alexis Bass
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  • michelle (magicalreads)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsthe mc reads like a 2007 emo girl who’s all “I’m full of darkness and no one understands me” and honestly the plot isn’t even that interesting but the book was kinda addicting in that you wanted to know what would happen nextsad abt sepp tho bc he was like the one genuine character and I actually liked him
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  • Lauri
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC of Happily and Madly by Alexis Bass. I was pulled into Maris' story, however, I felt the ending was too rushed and too far-fetched. However, I will still put a copy in my classroom library and book talk it next year.
  • Cecilia Duran
    January 1, 1970
    It was not a very good book. Repetitive storyline.
  • my.purrfect.reads Anna Krukowska
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 stars for this great book!•Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a complimentary copy of “Happily and Madly” by Alexis Bass in exchange for my honest review•Because the book from the very beginning welcomes us with a surprising twist of action on the plot, I will not say much more than what is already included in the description. I do not want to spoil anyone. I hope you will read this book because it is worth it. And you will enjoy every moment just like me. This book is narrated by Maris Br 4,5 stars for this great book!•Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a complimentary copy of “Happily and Madly” by Alexis Bass in exchange for my honest review•Because the book from the very beginning welcomes us with a surprising twist of action on the plot, I will not say much more than what is already included in the description. I do not want to spoil anyone. I hope you will read this book because it is worth it. And you will enjoy every moment just like me. This book is narrated by Maris Brown young brave and bold girl but a little bit broken by her father who abandoned her and her mother for another woman with whom he built a new „better” family - The New Browns. Maris is going to spend the holidays with them and she swore that no matter what this will be the best holiday of her life. The first day she joins her new patchwork family she also gets involved in a dangerous situation in which she saves the life of a young boy - Finn, she seems to get what she wanted - a great adventure, maybe a great love if she can survive alive because through this event she was in the middle of a great and deadly net of conspiracy. I was surprised by how this book is written. Maris tells this story in such a way that we are able to feel her emotions and her inner world. And this is what we expect from each book to feel the emotions of the characters to look at them and sometimes at ourselves. I highly recommend this book because it has layers and it is very thought-provoking. Here nothing is black and white, everyone has their good and bad sides. Everyone wears a mask and everyone hides his own truth, which you can discover only when you dare to get your mask down and admit that the other truly matter to you.
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  • Collette Culver
    January 1, 1970
    Maris has to go stay the summer with her a$$hole dad who cheated on her mom and now acts like he's super dad to his new family. She is reluctant about her new step sister, Chelsea but she actually enjoys spending time with her. Chelsea keeps bragging about her rich boyfriend who is coming to the beach also. When Maris meets this perfect boyfriend she has to pretend she hasn't met him already. From there, the deception starts . Maris is sneaking out to visit Edison. She is also keeping a secret f Maris has to go stay the summer with her a$$hole dad who cheated on her mom and now acts like he's super dad to his new family. She is reluctant about her new step sister, Chelsea but she actually enjoys spending time with her. Chelsea keeps bragging about her rich boyfriend who is coming to the beach also. When Maris meets this perfect boyfriend she has to pretend she hasn't met him already. From there, the deception starts . Maris is sneaking out to visit Edison. She is also keeping a secret from Chelsea. Is she doing it because she is jealous Chelsea has a good relationship with Maris' dad or because she is trying to protect Chelsea? I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't a huge twist or anything but still kept me interested. Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jodi
    January 1, 1970
    In Alexis Bass's new book, main character Maris Brown has a lot to be angry about. As a result of her acting recklessly and being under the bad influence of her boyfriend, Trevor, her mom sends her to spend the summer with her father and his new family, who Maris refers to as "the New Browns." She has a stepmother, Trisha, a baby half-sister, Phoebe, and a stepsister her own age, Chelsea.In Cross Cove, where the "New Browns" are summering, Maris is dealing with her resentment of her father's tre In Alexis Bass's new book, main character Maris Brown has a lot to be angry about. As a result of her acting recklessly and being under the bad influence of her boyfriend, Trevor, her mom sends her to spend the summer with her father and his new family, who Maris refers to as "the New Browns." She has a stepmother, Trisha, a baby half-sister, Phoebe, and a stepsister her own age, Chelsea.In Cross Cove, where the "New Browns" are summering, Maris is dealing with her resentment of her father's treatment of his new family - a darn sight more generous with both money and love than he was with her or her mother - when she decides to take off by herself for a walk. It is on this solo adventure that Maris comes across a boy named Finn, who is being chased by older men. Maris acts to distract them from Finn's hiding place and finds herself attracted to the handsome stranger. Maris meets up with Finn again later (she's found his cell phone and he wants it back), and she is excited for an adventurous summer with this boy. But this is not your average everyday romance novel. The next day, when Chelsea's home-from-overseas boyfriend knocks on the door, he is not just Edison, Chelsea's boyfriend . . . he's Finn.Maris continues her adventurous summer, getting embroiled in a suspenseful secret world involving Edison's family, the Duvals (except he's not really a Duval), while continuing to see Edison behind Chelsea's back. Her desire to unravel all the secrets she finds could be the end of her . . . because the Duvals don't want their power and secrets unraveled. The title's a little misleading - this book has some dark turns and twists - but the plot unfolds cleanly and Maris, though a little unlikable at first for messing around with her stepsister's boyfriend, grows throughout the novel into a character worth caring about.
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  • my.purrfect.reads Anna Krukowska
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 stars for this book!Because the book from the very beginning welcomes us with a surprising twist of action on the plot, I will not say much more than what is already included in the description. I do not want to spoil anyone. I hope you will read this book because it is worth it. And you will enjoy every moment just like me. This book is narrated by Maris Brown young brave and bold girl but a little bit broken by her father who abandoned her and her mother for another woman with whom he buil 4,5 stars for this book!Because the book from the very beginning welcomes us with a surprising twist of action on the plot, I will not say much more than what is already included in the description. I do not want to spoil anyone. I hope you will read this book because it is worth it. And you will enjoy every moment just like me. This book is narrated by Maris Brown young brave and bold girl but a little bit broken by her father who abandoned her and her mother for another woman with whom he built a new „better” family - The New Browns. Maris is going to spend the holidays with them and she swore that no matter what this will be the best holiday of her life. The first day she joins her new patchwork family she also gets involved in a dangerous situation in which she saves the life of a young boy - Finn, she seems to get what she wanted - a great adventure, maybe a great love if she can survive alive because through this event she was in the middle of a great and deadly net of conspiracy. I was surprised by how this book is written. Maris tells this story in such a way that we are able to feel her emotions and her inner world. And this is what we expect from each book to feel the emotions of the characters to look at them and sometimes at ourselves. I highly recommend this book because it has layers and it is very thought-provoking. Here nothing is black and white, everyone has their good and bad sides. Everyone wears a mask and everyone hides his own truth, which you can discover only when you dare to get your mask down and admit that the other truly matter to you.
    more
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