Title: How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale
Author(s): Elle Cruz
Release Date: November 30, 2021
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary
This is no ordinary Cinderella story from #OwnVoices debut author Elle Cruz. Claire never believed in fairy tales—that is, until she met Nate—in this fun, flirty rom-com.
Claire Ventura is nothing like the poised and perfect heroines she reads about in her favorite romance novels. She’s a quirky, people-pleasing bookworm with a degree in Women’s Studies and an internet cookie decorator all rolled into a five-foot-two package fueled by chamomile tea.
And most of all, Claire loves her grandmother, Lola. Claire was always her favorite grandchild, and they shared a special bond. So when Lola inches into her nineties and Alzheimer’s starts chipping away at the vital and independent woman she used to be, the whole family dynamic starts shifting in a new direction.
Then Claire meets Nate, the CEO of a mega tech company, and he takes her to Paris. Hailed as the next Mark Zuckerberg, Nate is a fast-rising star in the tech industry, and he’s just fallen head-over-heels for Claire. Together, Claire and Nate must learn to navigate their personal and professional lives and, in the end, Nate proves to Claire that fairytale endings are really just the beginning.
How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale is a charming #OwnVoices debut romance from Elle Cruz. I loved this story so much and just thinking about it is putting a smile on my face.
I was drawn to the book by its adorable cover, Asian American characters, and fairy tale premise. As I started to read it, I learned pretty quickly that it is an insta-love trope. This left me feeling a bit hesitant because the trope can sometimes come off as unbelievable and inconceivable, but this didn’t give me those vibes. Although the two characters catch feelings and fall in love quickly, their story is beautiful in its spontaneity and relatable with the strong theme of family.
This story follows a thirty-year-old woman named Claire. She is one of three sisters and is trying to make her dream of decorating cookies into a real business. Her family doesn’t know if she can do it, but thank goodness for her Lola (her grandmother). Lola is her number one fan and supporter so it makes it that much harder to learn that she is sick with Alzheimer’s. Claire is definitely feeling the pressure of her family to get a steady job, find love, and also keep her Lola at peace. Then, one night she runs into a man who is sexy, charming but so out of her league (at least that’s what she thinks).
Nate is a thirty-three-year-old CEO. He has accomplished so much for his age but what is most surprising is his heart. Sadly, because of his fame and fortune, many don’t get to see that side of him. So when he almost meets a woman, Claire, who doesn’t know him and treats him like a real human being, he can’t help but be attracted.
Claire and Nate have a funny and adorable meet-cute. Once they meet and start dating, everything moves pretty quickly. Claire doesn’t believe in happily ever afters but Nate is making her rethink that. He is supportive and really sees her. He believes that she can turn her cookie business and make it a success and that makes her swoon even harder for him. I love that Nate is so spontaneous and isn’t afraid to say how he feels. He treats Claire like a princess and gives her things she has always desired; safety, home, and love.
Everything is going great between them. They want to be with each other all the time and are in their own little bubble. When the real world starts to come to light again, this is where they both have to make sacrifices and decide if love is truly enough.
There is also a huge theme of family that I just loved and related to so much! Claire is all about her family and doing what she can to make them proud. She is fighting her emotions every day when she sees her Lola’s health declining but is brave enough to keep a smile on her face and hope alive. She is also facing pressure about her career. Her family believes in steady careers and assumes that baking can just be a hobby. I think this is why Claire has a complex. She is scared to follow her dreams because she doesn’t want to let her family down. And it even plays a role in her relationships. Nate is also a family man. That doesn’t mean you have to be blood-related. When he lets you in, you are his family and he will do anything he can to keep you happy and healthy. But he also has a past of abandonment and loss. Although they may seem different, Nate and Claire are more alike than they know.
I give How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale 5 stars. Sure this love story has its fairytale moments, but don’t be fooled. It is more relatable than you think. The author’s writing sucks you in with her heart and authenticity. This is like the title states; a modern-day fairy tale.