Happiness for Beginners – Review



A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, thirty-two, lets her annoying, ten years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It’s supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother’s even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can’t imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen’s well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls.

Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen’s own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found.

I just knew I was going to love this book going into it and it’s always such a delight to be proven right. I couldn’t get enough of Happiness For Beginners! It’s nice, especially now when my focus seems difficult to find, when a book completely sucks me in and makes me want to read nonstop.

I’m a huge fan of outdoorsy novels and memoirs, adventure, hiking, and of course, romance. This book had every facet and was written with fun, quirky characters and even had moments that made me laugh aloud.

“Getting what you want doesn’t make you happy… Having doesn’t make you happy: appreciating does; Happiness is more about appreciation than acquisition.”

I think my favorite thing about this book was the overall message of finding strength and inspiration in one’s self. Helen wasn’t necessarily the most positive character, but she was able to find happiness for herself through hard work and determination. She took charge of her life in the most unconventional way. I’ve come to appreciate Katherine Center’s writing for these inspirational storylines. She’s able to create real-life moments, such as Helen being picked on by her fellow hikers constantly, but instead of making her give up on her goals, she decided to prove everyone she was meant to be there. I also appreciated how this book didn’t tie things up in a perfect bow, it was realistic enough to believe the events could have happened in the real world.

This was a downright enjoyable novel and one I’m so glad I decided to read during the Coronacation! Now if only I could go on my own hikes this summer!

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase on Amazon.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. I have heard really good things about this book. Your review confirms what they were saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol says:

    This is still on my TBR! I’m hoping to get to it this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My Week Is Booked says:

    Ahhh! I love love love this book!!!! I read it this year too and adored it! I loved her most recent ARC with Duncan too! Same vibes of choosing to see the best in life!

    Liked by 1 person

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