Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari is an inventive story about a spring break trip to Disney’s newest resort. I loved reading about the characters becoming a Disney character of their choice, and both of the main characters are relatable. The activities at the resort are described in detail, which makes Happily Ever Island jump off the page. Full of Disney references and magic, this is the perfect read for any Disney fan.Title: Happily Ever Island
Author: Crystal Cestari
Also by this author: Super Adjacent
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Welcome to Happily Ever Island, the most pixie-dusted vacation a Disney fan could ever imagine.
Head-in-the-clouds romantic Madison and driven pragmatist Lanie are unlikely best friends, but the two would do anything for each other. So when Madison’s life starts to fall apart, Lanie agrees to join Madison for the test run of Disney’s newest resort experience during their first college spring break: Happily Ever Island—an immersive vacation destination, where guests can become their favorite Disney character for a week. Madison decides to go as the iconic princess herself, Cinderella, with Lanie as bow-wielding Merida. It’s not Lanie’s idea of fun, but she knows Madison needs her, and besides, she could use the break from her strenuous courseload anyway. Plus, maybe she’ll get to shoot things.
But once on the island, Lanie and Madison begin to drift apart. Madison finds herself either missing out or messing up all the enchanting moments she has dreamt her whole life about, and is forever running into their annoyingly perfect (and distractingly cute) vacation’s coordinator, Val. Meanwhile, Lanie unexpectedly finds herself swept up in the magic of it all. She strikes up a secret romance with Prince Charming—but there’s no telling whether he’s just playing a part.
In this delightful YA rom-com inspired by Disney fandom, get swept up in a whirlwind of laughter, tears, and more than just a touch of Disney magic.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari
For Disney superfan Madison, the chance to spend spring break at Disney’s newest resort would be a dream come true. When she ends up being selected as a winner in the company’s contest, but getting dumped by her girlfriend who was supposed to accompany her just before, she recruits her best friend Lanie to join her instead. However, once Madison and Lanie arrive at the island, cracks in their friendship begin to show. The girls can barely find time to spend together, and Madison finds herself causing a little too much chaos at the resort. As their time on the island comes to an end, Madison and Lanie must discover more about themselves and each other, while also navigating their own cinematic romances.
❀ Interesting Characters
Madison and Lanie are both interesting characters, and I loved their opposite personalities. Madison knows virtually every Disney fact, and she proves herself to be a great problem solver throughout the book. Lanie, on the other hand, is more shy and studious and is unaware of most of the Disney lore. I especially felt for Lanie’s character, as she uses the trip as a chance to take a break from her mother, who pushes her to become a doctor. While Lanie isn’t sure this is the right path for her, she doesn’t have a clear alternative in mind. Both Madison and Lanie are relatable college-aged women, and I loved the realistic dilemmas they face as the story progresses.
❀ Vivid Descriptions
One of the strongest aspects of this book is the development of the island itself. As part of the trip, each of the winners gets to choose a Disney character to become over the course of spring break, including dressing up and re-enacting some of the most iconic Disney scenes. Reading about each character’s special moment is so intriguing, and each day’s activities are so vividly described. The author has truly thought of everything, from architecture to food, which makes the island feel like a real place.
❀ A Unique Read
Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari is a unique read about friendship and finding oneself. I loved the idea of becoming a Disney character for a week, and both of the main characters are relatable. The level of detail the author uses to bring the island to life is truly impressive, bringing even more magic to the story. This one is, admittedly, pretty cheesy, but once you embrace this, it’s such an entertaining read!