Friday, February 23, 2018

5 Reasons Why You'll Love "Something Like Happy"

Something Like Happy
Eva Woods
Published September 5, 2017
“It's simple, really. You're just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we're doing one right now…”

Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she'd once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn't want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it's that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie's convinced it's impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there's still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly's about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking. - from Goodreads
Something Like Happy is the story of Annie Hebden and how her life changes when she meets the terminally ill Polly Leonard.  Here are five reasons why I think you'll enjoy this one:

  1. You'll root for Annie.  When we first meet Annie, she's at a low point in her life and has been there for awhile.  She has a crappy job, a crappy apartment, and her mother has early onset Alzheimer's.  Her husband left her for her best friend, and she also went through the terrible loss of her son.  Even though she has every reason in the world to be unhappy, I still wanted her to find joy again.
  2. You'll fall in love with Polly.  Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Polly doesn't have much time left.  Although she has sad moments, for the most part she is lively and vivacious, not wanting to waste a minute of her remaining days - and she wants the same for Annie.  I think we can all relate to her desire to do something important with her life and leave a positive mark on the world.
  3. You'll laugh AND cry.  The characters all have their snarky moments, and there were some funny one-liners in there.  But you all know I love a book that makes me cry, and this one definitely did.  I was basically in tears for the last 50 pages of the book - both happy and sad ones.
  4. You might be inspired to try your own 100 Happy Days Challenge.  Eva Woods took inspiration from a real-life challenge for her book.  Polly believes she has about 3 months left to live, so she embarks on this challenge to do one happy thing every day for 100 days.  She recruits new friend, Annie, to help her find joy in living again.  I love that the title of each chapter reflected what the characters were doing, but they can also act as suggestions for things we could all try, like "have a makeover" and "go outside."
  5. You won't want to stop reading.  Woods' writing is readable and approachable.  I found myself swept up in the story, wanting to see what Polly would do next.  I felt invested in all the characters, even the secondary ones.  Even though the story is sad at times, I still felt hope.
Although the story isn't terribly original and there was at least one secondary plotline that I felt was unnecessary, there was still so much to love about this book.  If you're looking for an emotional contemporary novel, try this one out.  4 stars

28 comments:

  1. It might not be original, but if it does well, and from your review it really has, I think it's a resounding success! Wonderful review!

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  2. I remember seeing this featured in a Shelf Awareness email last fall, but I never heard too much about it after that. It sounds like a great book though. I always love books that make you laugh and cry, and Polly and Annie both sound like such wonderful characters. Great review!

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    1. It had a really great balance of sadness and hope. Thanks, Lauren!

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  3. I want to read this! I've had some very sad times in my life and the idea of doing something happy for 100 days is really inspiring. A couple of years ago, I did 'joy' thing for the whole month of December. That was when I was still on Facebook and I wrote about what brought me joy each day. I loved doing it and that was a joyful month. Thanks for featuring this book!

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    1. Oh, that sounds wonderful, Kay! During the month of November, I try to write in my gratitude journal every day.

      I hope you enjoy this book!

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  4. I love a book that can make me laugh AND cry. Sounds like a me book. Great review!

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  5. Oh gosh, these books are so hard but rewarding. I love the idea of the happiness challenge. I will have to consider this one. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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  6. oh goodness, this book looks like it will make me happy and in tears at the same time. Lovely review.

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  7. This sounds like a beautiful book Angela! Sounds like a book that would connect with readers emotionally :) <3 love this post!

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    1. Thanks, Uma! It really was a special book!

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  8. This sounds like such a lovely read. I love the idea of the 100 Happy Days Challenge too.

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  9. It sounds good despite not being very original. That’s okay, not every book has to be the most unique. Sometimes it great just to find an enjoyable read. Great review!

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    1. Exactly! It's a familiar story, but done really well.

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  10. I had my eye on this one, and my eyes are a little wet from reading this review. I believe I would love this book.

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    1. I think you would, too! Even though there are some tough subjects, the overall feeling is hope.

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  11. This sounds so dang sweet and yet so awfully sad. I really don't know if I would pick it up because I don't like books that leave me feeling sad!!!! Unless Polly is wrong... Who knows?

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    1. There were definitely sad parts, but it wasn't all sad! I would highly recommend it!

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  12. I read this but wasn't sure enough what I wanted to say about it to do a review! I enjoyed it too, but it also reminded me of a lot of other books I've read, so it didn't feel very fresh.

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    1. Yeah, it wasn't very unique, but it was done well.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!