The Cleo Trilogy

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Title: The Cleo Trilogy (So, There Was This Boy..., Happily Ever After, Best Laid Plans)
Author(s): Stephanie
Date(s): 2000-2006
Length: 97 chapters
Genre: het romance
Fandom: Hanson
External Links: May 2008, via wayback



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The Cleo Trilogy is a Hanson fanfic series by Stephanie. It was written from 2000 to 2006, with the third story left unfinished. Stephanie maintained a Yahoo! Group to post updates about the series.[1]

So, There Was This Boy...

The first story in the trilogy, it was published on October 10, 2000. It follows the romance of the trilogy's title character, Cleo, and Taylor Hanson, while also showcasing her changing relationships with his brothers. The title comes from the story's prologue:

So, there was this boy and he broke my heart... But isn’t that always the way these stories begin? And really, my heartbreak is no different from yours. It isn’t more intense or special in any way. It hasn’t made me want to compose sonnets of sorrow or pull out my hair in mourning or even rend my clothing in grief. Still, I feel compelled to share it with you. This story isn’t particularly interesting, nor is it very original. It all just started with a boy and a girl.

The boy of my story isn’t the sweetest romantic hero who ever lived, who comes in to sweep this girl who needs saving off her feet. The girl isn’t a great beauty who could have any guy in the universe, but chooses to be with the sweet, if slightly geeky boy who lives next door. They are just a boy and a girl who grew up on the same street and finally fell in love. But like love stories all too often do, this one has an end that almost came before it even began.[2]

Happily Ever After

The second story in the trilogy, it was published in March 2002. Cleo and Taylor continue their tumultuous relationship, while the band recovers from the tour from hell. The story ends in two weddings.

Best Laid Plans

The third story in the trilogy, it was published in September 2004. It begins two years after the end of the second story, and unravels the story of a dark period in Zac's life of which Cleo was previously unaware. It remains unfinished.

Reactions and Reviews

The thing I struggle to remember about these early stories is that they aren’t cliche. They created the cliches. Stephanie filled this story with all the sort of angsty, romantic fantasies a young fan could want, and just a hint of sexuality.[3]
A lot of the story’s drama comes from Cleo dealing with her past, but there are a few new and interesting plot twists, such as the fans’ reaction to Cleo, and Zac’s not-quite-relationship with the new babysitter, that I find more interesting than Cleo’s tragic past.[4]
One thing I will say for Best Laid Plans is that Stephanie definitely seems to have hit her stride with the prose. Cleo’s narration feels sufficiently adult and mature, and there are some really beautiful turns of phrase.[5]
Stephanie didn’t want me to put this here, but I can be stubborn when I need to be. It belongs here as much, if not more than all the others. It’s a classic Hanson love story. The plot may seem like it’s been done before, but this one is at the head of the class. This is the way it’s supposed to be done. And Cleo is far from MarySue. The good news: this is the first in a trilogy, the third of which is being written and updated currently, and even in a fairly timely manner! Perfect summer reading. Put it on your list.[6]
When I first read the first few chapters of “Boy”, I thought, well, it’s a well used plot, but she’s a good writer, I’m gonna stick with it. And I ‘m so glad I did. Her Taylor is the boy you’ve always wanted to fall in love with and have him return the feelings. Her Zac makes you want to go out and find a friend like that to hang around with. Her Isaac is lovable in spite of his (probably realistic) bitchiness. Sorry Isaac, it doesn’t make us love you any less.[7]
So There Was This Boy is the best fiction out there. period. I dont care what anyone else says. Te Taylor/Ike/Zac and Cleo love quadrangle is unparalled. It is amazing. So there.[8]
Go read this excellent story! You won't be sorry! Stephanie is a wonderful writer! Go check it out now! This is the story of Hanson on the road, along for the ride is their long suffering personal assistant, Cleo. Follow Isaac, Taylor, Zac and Cleo as they face early mornings, hurricanes, trips to the hospital, trips to the grocery store and many, many more adventures.[9]
If you didn't know better you would assume she knew them personally. This story is incredibly real, not just with facts, but with the absolute authority in which the story is told, and especially the characters. Cleo is one of the most life like characters you will find in any Hanfic. You laugh when she laughs, cry when she cries, feel everything that she goes through with her. The best thing is that sometimes you even feel annoyed at her! Forget all the other blonde haired and blue eyed Hanson fanfic girlfriends, Cleo is here, with imperfections aplenty![10]
Happily, admittedly, isn't as emotionally charged as it's predecessor. While Cleo is still dealing with her never ending conflictions, there isn't as much emphasis on the darker side of her character, which we saw often in This Boy. Happily, is a lot more... well, Happy! The tone is a lot lighter, and while it is still essentially a drama, it's a lot more comedic. My only complaint? The updates are few and far between. But the sequel is a definate must for all fans of So, There Was This Boy...[11]
Wow...that is about all I can really say. I love this story. It is so incredibly real, and the best part about it is...conflict. You cannot have a story without it, and this one has enough for the entire hanfic community. As far as Cleo (yes, another one) goes, she is very real. What I mean by that is, she is not perfect and at times, one tends to get annoyed with her, but there is always an understanding for her pain. Stephanie conveys the emotion of this story very well. I seem to be having trouble describing what it is about this story that grips me, so really, you should just read it. Pretty much the entire Hanson group features, although it is actually Cleo who is the main character.[12]
This would have to be my absolute favourite. All i can say is, I have re-read it 3 times, and im still not sick of it. Brilliant. Stephanie, you are brilliant writer. No words can describe my awe of your talent[13]
one of the best hanfics out there! BTW, the author just finished the story and is writing a sequal![14]

Related Fanworks


The stories in the Cleo Trilogy won awards in the Hanfic Pullitzers, HNG Awards, Literary Hanfic Awards, Soundtrack Awards, Thieves and Liars Awards, Various Artists Awards and You'll Find Me Awards. It was also nominated in the Hanspirational Fan Fiction Awards. It is featured in the and Various Artists halls of fame.


  1. ^ Updates for the story "So, there was this boy..."
  2. ^ Prologue of So, There Was This Boy...
  3. ^ Bethany's review of So, There Was This Boy...
  4. ^ Bethany's review of So, Happily Ever After
  5. ^ Bethany's review of Best Laid Plans
  6. ^ Various Artists Hall of Fame
  7. ^ Krystal's review of The Cleo Trilogy
  8. ^ Hanson Secrets: Secret Post #158
  9. ^ Masterpiece of Hanson
  10. ^ Destination Hanson: Issue 1 Pic of the Fic
  11. ^ Destination Hanson: Issue 2 Pic of the Fic
  12. ^ Pretty Lies
  13. ^ Always Until Forever: Hanson Fiction Links
  14. ^ A Cure To The Pain: Links