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…”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:
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.