Last year, my most surprising read was The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez. While I like a good romance every once in a while, I don’t usually read rom-coms. So when I heard that Life’s Too Short was coming out, I knew I had to read it.
What’s cool is that these two books are part of a series, so there are recurring characters that make appearances.
In Life’s Too Short, we follow Adrian, a lonely lawyer, and Vanessa, a travel YouTuber who unexpectedly becomes the caretaker of her half sister’s baby. I really enjoyed the dual POVs, and as with The Happy Ever After Playlist, Jimenez’s writing sparks on the page, especially her funny and snappy dialogue.
I also appreciate that Jimenez tackles big themes and problems. Rom-coms often only focus on romance and comedy, but Adrian struggles with his estranged dad and a phobia, and Vanessa struggles with a dysfunctional family and ALS, which runs in her family and killed her sister. They feel like real people with real problems.
As much as I enjoyed this one, as well as the slow-burn romance, it’s very structurally similar to The Happy Ever After Playlist. However, unlike the previous book, I found myself guessing the ending of Life’s Too Short, and I also found it cheesy. On top of that, the book seemed to focus a lot on Vanessa and her relationship with her dad and her family, which is great and all, except that I found myself not really caring about her family members as characters. Instead, I kept finding myself wanting Jimenez to focus more on Adrian and Vanessa. It also felt like Grace, the baby, only made an appearance in the beginning of the book.
And finally, I guess because Vanessa is a YouTuber, some of the language in this book feels very internet-culturey. It tended to take me out of the story, especially because Jimenez kept repeating “Aaaand” and drawing out words unnecessarily.
Overall, this was still a fun read. But The Happy Ever After Playlist is my favorite so far!