Verdict: Less than half the length of its predecessor, ONCE UPON AN EVER AFTER is ultimately a story of love, perseverance, and staying true to yourself, and a reminder that love can, in fact, conquer all.
A young girl focuses on a long-distance relationship borne out of a months-long road trip.
Shortly after returning home from her months-long road trip, Angeli is forced to contend with the realities of her relationship with Vince: the months spent away from each other, the not-so-subtle hint from a male friend that he’s interested in being her backup plan if things don’t work out, her own uncertainties about navigating the thousand miles distance, and Vince’s jealousies, resulting from his insecurities. Following a visit from Vince, and the once-over by her best friends, the relationship seems on track until Vincent’s friends question the lack of sexual relationship — a mutually agreed-upon decision to save until marriage. After a brief breakup, Angeli and Vince work to sort out their differences and walk their path together.
Author Angela N. Blount’s ONCE UPON AN EVER AFTER picks up a month following the events of 2013’s ONCE UPON A ROAD TRIP and continues her journey of self-discovery. Blount shows a marked increase in the depth of introspection when addressing the consequences, both good and bad, stemming from the events and decisions made during her months-long road trip. While the story is distinctly hers, Blount presents it in such a way that it’s universally relatable. The story also serves as a reminder that relationships are complicated enough, especially long-distance relationships, but that the level of complication rises significantly when people outside the relationship are given the opportunity to weigh in. The “no sex until marriage” (dis)agreement, caused in part by Vince’s friends and which led to their brief breakup, provides commentary, albeit in passing, about what is socially acceptable and “normal” in relationships and how difficult it ca be to go against those social norms.
Less than half the length of its predecessor, ONCE UPON AN EVER AFTER is ultimately a story of love, perseverance, and staying true to yourself, and a reminder that love can, in fact, conquer all.