Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Book Review - The Happiness Project by Pippa James

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Title: The Happiness Project
Author: Pippa James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 12th February 2019
Rating: 5 Stars 

Alison’s perfect world has fallen apart. Her beloved larger than life mother-in-law, Maggie, has just passed away. Every afternoon they’d talk and laugh over a pot of tea - and Maggie was secretly the glue that held Alison’s family together. Now she’s trying to figure out a future without her…

With a little help from her two best friends, Alison resolves to try and find her happy place and be more Maggie. Vowing to step outside of their comfort zones and make the most of every day, the three women each have their own challenges to overcome in the year ahead - a baby on the way, a romance to save and a much-needed confidence boost.

But as Alison finds herself drinking more wine than she ever has in her life and signing up for an extreme sports charity event, she starts to wonder if this is really the change she needed in her life? Or will she re-discover her happiness closer to home?

I couldn't help but start this a few hours after I finished I Will Survive, and I'm glad I did as it meant I didn't have to try to remember anything, and it just felt like a continuation, ok a few months on but that's natural. 

As a result I really can't comment on whether this works as a stand alone but I would recommend you read both books as they are equally fabulous, although with a slightly different vibe to them. 

The Happiness Project felt more about all three women bettering themselves, and trying to keep to their New Years Resolutions that were renamed as a happiness project in order to make it sound simpler. 

Frankie is the character I keep coming back to and really have a soft spot for her. She is chaotic, trying her hardest to be a responsible adult for Liam but never seems to quite go about things the right way. I loved seeing her at her new job, and there are some wonderful personality traits coming through for her. 

Alison has all manner of resolutions, most of which don't seem to work but the one that pushes her outside of her comfort zone the most leads to one of the most enjoyable last sections of a book that I've read recently. I was laughing and smiling at what she was up to. 

And then there is Kate, and I'd say most of her story line this time is more to do with another pregnant friend Nat, and their vastly different parenting styles.  I would love to see more of Nat and see how she is getting on in another book. 

I loved the fun feel to the previous book is still present, and despite the title, it wasn't really too much a look at the characters happiness in a deep way  - it just felt like a natural continuation of the first book, but there was a sad event overshadowing everything but I'm glad from my own point of view that it didn't feel overly emotional - or it may just be because it was inevitable. 

I really enjoyed probably about 98% of the book, the only bit that has frustrated me was the ending.  All I'm going to say is I really hope that we see more of these characters as that really did feel far too much like an ending for now.  If nothing else I want to see what the summer term brings for these mothers and their kids. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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