Book Review: Get Happy


ashley | This time of year always gets me a little blue and I hate it, so when I came across Get Happy by Mary Amato, I was immediately drawn to the title. I thought it was trying to tell me something, something I keep telling myself. The fact that this story is also very much music driven is a happy bonus. I needed a pick me up book, and while this definitely deals with some heavy subject matter and certainly isn’t a find happiness self help book, it worked wonders towards improving my happy.

This was a very cute, very quick little read about a young girl, Minerva, coming into her own, getting her first job, dealing with that first moment when you realize your parents aren’t perfect and are capable of hurting you, and of course, discovering young love.

I loved Minny, probably because I could see my 16-year-old self in her. She is a nostalgic memory for me, not perfect and not entirely happy but a good girl trying to find her place in life. Her relationship with her best friend Fin was exactly what I would hope for someone to experience, a supportive and loyal friend who was also incredibly energetic, bouncing around and sharing their luster for life. The dynamic between them was amusing and I loved how their every outing seemed like an adventure, even if it wasn’t.

One of my biggest problems with books about teens is the teenager voice that comes through in the writing. No matter how realistic it may be, teenage slang these days annoys me and I can never take it seriously. Thankfully Amato has mastered the art of giving our lead a 16-year-old’s voice, complete with misery and overdramatic doom, but lacking the oversaturated annoying attitude. There are text conversations, but our 16-year-olds have enough of an appreciation for words to text in actual sentences, I was grateful.

It wasn’t hard to see where things were going with this, but I really liked how not everything was resolved in the end. It didn’t belittle the bulk of Minny’s discovery about her father and what her mother did, that isn’t something someone can quickly just get over, and it is going to change the dynamic of things, so I was happy to read that everything wasn’t quickly wrapped up in a pretty little bow at the end. In fact, the end was wrapped up in something a little different… a couple pages of Minny’s original songs, uke chords and all, which was a very cute addition.

If you’re looking for a little pick me up, Get Happy was injected with plenty of vigor and vim, making this a light and easy read that I devoured in almost one sitting.


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October 28, 2014

Net Galley