Summary: Annie’s life has been in complete shambles for the past two years, and her mother’s recent admittance to the hospital hasn’t been helping. While there, Annie meets Polly, an eccentric, posh woman, whom Annie wouldn’t have ever imagined having a friendship with. But Polly needs some happiness of her own, as she’s been diagnosed with cancer and only has 100 days to live. Together, the two women set off on Polly’s goal to do one thing that makes them happy everyday, and learn what it truly means to be happy.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Thoughts? : I feel like there are so many different covers floating around for Something Like Happy! My ARC features an umbrella with raised circles that serve as rain drops—I think it was inspired by a well-known mantra that Polly uses once in the novel, Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning to dance in the rain. Then, there’s the final US cover with the blue cover and the two women on bikes, with the UK edition, called How to be Happy, playing with the rain like the ARC. The final UK edition cover is my favorite because there’s a nice variety of color that will pop out on the shelf. My favorite part of the ARC copy is its deckled pages!
I’ve been on a huge British contemporary kick lately and Something Like Happy has expanded my love for the genre. Something Like Happy has been compared to Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You for its humor and having a character face a life-alternating situation, but I really think that Something Like Happy stands on its own. I think the best aspect of the book is the positive female friendship between Annie and Polly. Their friendship begins very quickly, however, I thought it was very fitting to the novel and I couldn’t remember a time when they weren’t friends.
The main premise of Something Like Happy is that Polly is told that she has one hundred days to live and with each day, Polly wants to find or do something that would make anyone happy, from picking out a new outfit to jumping into a fountain. Eva Woods was inspired by the “100 happy days” concept that has taken over social media feeds, and Polly’s main point in doing so is to make people realize that as bad as life may seem, there’s always something positive to look for.
While Something Like Happy is very heart breaking, as we see Annie face her past and Polly struggle because of her illness, there are so MANY hilarious moments. There is quite a big cast of characters in the novel, but the top five of course includes Annie and Polly, as well as Dr. Max, Costas, and George, who all bring their own personality and humor to the novel. I loved Max and Annie’s relationship, and like Polly, I was rooting for them throughout the novel. Both Costas and George were also really sweet characters, and they had plenty of funny moments themselves. As tough as their situation was with Polly’s illness, Eva Woods brought some humor to the sadder moments, like:
“ “How can it be the last time? My sister. She’s my sister. I’m going to be a…a… what’s the word for like an orphan but not an orphan?” ”
Annie and Dr. Max exchanged looks. “An only child?” she ventured.
I almost always take notes when I read and besides writing down which pages hold my favorite quotes, I grabbed my sticky tabs that I normally use for my schoolwork and marked down my favorite parts! I think I am going to have to continue to do this in my future reading. Anyways, the cast as a whole was quite funny, but I do admit that Polly was easily the funniest, especially when she teased Annie and Max. I particularly laughed out loud from this gem:
“She waved at him as he limped on, brows knit fiercely and shoulders pumping forward.
“Oh, I love you, Dr. McGrumpy! I definitely won’t look up your kilt if you collapse!”
“Shut up, Polly!” ”
Overall, Something Like Happy was the type of book that I could not put it down. The pacing was perfect—I tend to like books that I have a nice variety of short and long chapters–, I loved the cast of characters, and the story was heart warming and heart breaking in the right places. If you’re looking for a book that will make you reach for a tissue from laughing and crying, this one is for you.
I was sent an ARC of Something Like Happy through Book Pages and Harper Collins. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Is Something Like Happy on your TBR? Share in the comments!