Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Women’s Fiction
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.
It’s very rare for me to read a book that touches me on such a personal level, even if I relate to the characters in a major way or if the storyline reaches someplace deep inside my heart I don’t often feel truly moved and inspired by a book. I think this is one of those magical moments where I picked the perfect book at the right time, Something Like Happy was exactly the type of book I needed and I didn’t even realize it until I was done.
Woods was inspired by the 100 days of happy posts that we’ve all seen floating around social media and I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes I’ll roll my eyes at them. No ones life is that great every single day, right?! That’s not the point though, it’s about creating your own happiness by making small changes. The concept behind it is so simple yet so pure, can’t we all find something each day to bring us our own slice of happiness? It can be as easy as eating a piece of cake or doing something kind for a stranger. But these small things can truly change our outlook and make us happier, even if only a bit happier, right?! That’s what Polly thinks and if anyone has a reason to be angry and bitter it’s her. She’s thirty five and only has months to live but when she meets Annie she convinces her to join in her happiness project despite Annie being a very unwilling participant. Annie is at the lowest point of her own life and is angry and bitter and would prefer to stay that way. Once you find out why Annie is so broken it’s easy to understand her behavior. But Polly is persistent and before she knows it the two have actually become real, true friends.
The themes here are heavy, you have loss, grief, pain, heartache and much more. But this isn’t a depressing read, it’s truly uplifting and inspiring without being cheesy. Friendship is so important to this story and the relationship that blossoms between Annie and Polly is honest and beautiful. Polly especially oozes positivity but she’s not fake, she’s just making the most of the time she has left and it was a truly gorgeous thing to witness.
If I’m ever feeling down or throwing myself a pity party I’ll pick this book up again, it’s exactly what I need to read to quit feeling sorry for myself and embrace the life that I was given. It really gave me a new, fresh perspective and inspired me to celebrate the little things and to be truly grateful for all that I have. Happiness is a choice and though it may not always be an easy choice, it’s definitely a state of mind.
Overall rating: 5/5