Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Something Like HappyWith 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.

Stacey's review 5 of 5 stars

This is a review of an ARC provided by NetGalley-

I loved loved LOVED this book. It's one of those little gems that swoops into your life to recharge the soul and reminds us to be grateful for every day and, simply, to live life while we still have the chance.

Annie Hebden-Clarke is at low point in her life. Thirty five years old and sharing a flat with a roommate and going through the motions of life, including a mindless job with miserable co-workers. Her mum is also suffering from early onset dementia and was hospitalized, most likely unable to return to independent living. It's within the dingy walls of a public hospital in London that Annie meets the person that just may be able to pull (or maybe push, poke, prod) her back into living- Polly.

Polly is a rainbow of colors within the drab walls of the hospital. 'Lightning caught in a jar' as described by one of her many doctors. Inspired by social media's "100 happy days" Polly is on a mission to be happy- and, after observing Annie miserably melting down at a reception desk, has decided Annie ( a total stranger) must join her on this mission to find happiness. Because, you see, Polly has terminal brain cancer, and has approximately 100 days left to live....

Polly and Annie are unlikely friends, coming from drastically different backgrounds- Polly, a high socio-economic life, graduated uni and had high- powered job, and Annie, only child to a single mother after her dad up and left them, didn't have money for much, let alone higher education. Polly's life had been motoring along full speed until her devastating diagnosis stopped her in her tracks and allowed her to reexamine her 'happy'. And Annie had lost everything, never imagining she could feel happiness again. But life has thrown them together in the most ironic way- at the end of her 'perfect' life Polly has committed to helping Annie find her new 'perfect' within her darkness- one happy moment at a time.

I loved this book from page one-
"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..."
day 1- make a new friend.

This is more than a book about second chances- it's about making the most of your first and only chance at life. Yeah you may have had a load of junk dropped on you- life happens. But every day you are alive is another chance at being happy, within the context of your circumstances. You get another chance every single day, whether you have 100 days to live or 50 years, so do not waste one single day. Find anything that makes you happy- eat cake, dance in a fountain, make an unlikely friend, be kind to a stranger, forgive someone who may not deserve your forgiveness. Little things, big things. The idea that 'being happy' is a choice we can all make daily was a beautiful reminder that I do have the power to change my thoughts and the trajectory of my day. Because that's all we really have- today. Make it a good one!

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