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f It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann is a perfect book for those who are fans of Sandhya Menon and Julie Murphy. Any book about diners and cooking competitions is an instant win for me, so I was very excited when I learned about If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann. The book is not just about the diner, however, as it touches on serious topics as the main character is crowned the summer queen. I enjoyed the influential message the novel has to offer along with the main character who is unapologetically herself. This is a quietly powerful read that I would definitely recommend.Title: If It Makes You Happy
Author: Claire Kann
Also by this author: Let's Talk About Love
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she's spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”
Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it'll go away if they can't make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn't want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
❀ Uplifting Book
This book tells the story of a girl who dreams about inheriting her family’s diner, only the diner is running out of money to stay open. To fix this, Winnie decides to enter a cooking competition, the very one that her grandmother forbids. At the same time, Winnie is chosen as the summer queen in her town and has two people fighting for her hand. I enjoyed the blend of cute and serious in the book, and the amount of communication is perfect. I especially enjoyed the way the characters apologize without excuses, so they are genuine. There are a variety of topics discussed including figuring out one’s sexuality, and I liked how the author doesn’t really use labels to define it. Ultimately, this is an uplifting book perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon.
❀ Complex Main Character
Winnie is a complex character in this character-driven book. She is passionate and willing to do anything to protect what she loves. As well, she is confident enough to be her true self and voice her concerns. I loved how Winnie doesn’t let anyone make her feel ashamed about her weight or who she is, including medial professionals. She is such an empowering main character, and her communication skills allow her to be a positive influence on her friends, her community, and the reader.
❀ Blends Sweetness and Significance
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann is a book that blends sweetness and significance. It has a moving plot as the main character attempts to save her family’s diner, and Winnie is such an inspiring character. I would definitely recommend this one for the summer, especially to those who enjoyed books like Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’.