How did I get it? I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley
Other books reviewed by the same author: N/A
Key Words: Mental illness, terminal illness, friendship, romance, contemporary fiction
Something Like Happy by Eva Woods was an emotional rollercoaster of a read. It followed Annie Hebden, a thirty-five-year-old woman who had been stuck in a rut after she suffered a terrible loss. She doesn’t enjoy her job, her roommate was irritating and she wallowed in her self-pity. Then she met Polly Leonard. Polly, the friendly and lively woman that inserts herself into Annie’s life, determined to be friends. Despite Annie’s multiple attempts at giving Polly the cold-shoulder, Polly persisted and eventually gets Annie to agree to be friends. Polly proposes that Annie joins her in a 100 days of happiness project where they will do things, big or small, that will bring joy into their lives for 100 days. Annie was convinced this could not work but finally agreed to play along. The two women go on an emotional journey celebrating their accomplishments, learning to live in the moment and gain strength from one another. This was a story about love, friendship, grief, and learning to find joy in simplicity.
“I think we should all live as if we are dying too – because we are, make no mistake. We should live as if we’re dying at some unspecified but possibly quite soon time. We can’t expect every day to be happy, and there’ll always be sickness and heartache and sadness, but we should never put up with a sad or a boring or a depressing day, just for the sake of it. None of us have time for that, whether we have a hundred days left or a hundred thousand.”
I really enjoyed the friendship between Annie and Polly in this book. The two women developed a bond that was stronger than friendship, and through their bond, they gave each other motivation and strength. This benefited both women since Annie struggled with depression after a terrible loss and Polly had to come to terms with her diagnosis of terminal cancer.
I was not a fan of the romantic subplot centered around Annie’s relationship with Dr. Max. It felt forced and unrealistic. The chemistry just was not there in my opinion. Also, the plot was a bit too predictable which took away from my overall reading experience.
All in all, Something Like Happy was a heartfelt, and enjoyable read. A bit on the sappy side and somewhat unsurprising. There were some things that could have been improved as far as the writing goes, but it is a story that is filled with potential.
As always keep on reading and stay book nerdy my friends!