I received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Something Like Happy
Author: Eva Woods
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads): With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment.
“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.
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In a world where many of us are feeling at odds for various reasons, this book is a reminder that it is important to stop and smell the roses. Something Like Happy is a novel that explores the idea that no matter what your circumstances, there is still joy to be found in the little things if you let them. Eva Woods has crafted a beautiful story that is relatable, humorous, and contains a cast of characters that will tug at your heartstrings.
At first glance, one might assume that this story is going to be one that tries to turn the characters’ lives around by putting on rose-coloured glasses. This book, however, is so much more than that. I just love how Woods has woven the 100 Happy Days Project into the novel because it perfectly shows how making small changes in your day-to-day life can help you feel better, if even for a moment. Whether you are working at a dead-end job or have a life-threatening disease, doing a small something for yourself, like Annie and Polly do, can help to lift your spirits. For example, Polly takes Annie out for a picnic lunch during the work day. Annie’s circumstances may not have changed, but it helps her to recharge and face the rest of her day.
The aspect that I love about this book the most is the humour that is found throughout the entire book. Even though there is a considerable amount of heartache in the plot, Woods manages to find a way to pop in some fun dialogue here and there. It really makes the story so easy to relate to and essentially takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute the reader will be laughing along and then the next, feeling overwhelmed with what the characters are dealing with.
There are many characters in this book that are so well-developed and interesting. Annie’s roommate, family members, and the doctors are side characters that all have quirky personalities and add to the flavour of the novel. Annie is one that readers will easily relate to, Polly, however is my absolute favourite. Polly is just so incredible and seems to be the life of the party, even though she is faced with so much adversity.
Something Like Happy is a book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a book that is a little bit different, and gives you a fresh outlook on life. After reading this one, I was definitely inspired to make some small changes in my everyday routine. It really is important to try and see the world from a new perspective.