A Review: “Happiness for Beginners” by Katherine Center

This is my fourth time reading a book by Katherine Center. She is definitely my favorite author recently. I even selected her book, The Bodyguard, for my July Book of the Month pick. My favorite novel of hers so far has been Things You Save in a Fire, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I’ve also enjoyed her other novels as well, so I had high hopes for this one! Happiness for Beginners does not disappoint.

Main character Helen Carpenter has just recently gotten a divorce from an alcoholic husband, and to get out of her rut, she’s signed up for a wilderness survival course across the country, hoping to prove to herself how capable and brave she can be. But to her dismay, also going on the trip is her little brother’s best friend Jake, who has somehow managed to convince her to give him a ride there. We quickly learn that although Helen is 10 years older than him, Jake has had a crush on her since the moment he laid eyes on her at her wedding 6 years earlier. Of course, Helen has no idea, until Jake confesses it to her on their way to Wyoming.

What I Loved About this Book

I could relate to Helen and her situation. No, I’m not a divorcee, but I know what it’s like to want to be a better version of myself and to prove I can do something extremely difficult. Would I ever sign up for a wilderness survival course? Probably not, but I can see why someone like Helen would.

I also loved Helen and Jake’s dynamic. They had a funny banter with each other, and it was obvious how much Jake adored her, but I think I would do the exact same thing as Helen did and push someone away who is 10 years younger than me, too.

In true Katherine Center fashion, I love that the author does not bring the characters together until the end. I’d much rather read how a couple falls in love versus reading about a couple dating. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I just like having the mystery of figuring out whether the couple will finally confess their feelings for each other as opposed to having an immediate attraction.

What I Disliked About the Book

Gotcha! I actually didn’t dislike anything! But I will say that some of the chapters during Helen’s wilderness adventure seemed a little slow. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But in the end, Center wrapped everything up perfectly.

Books Similar to this One

I highly recommend this book if you love beach reads and heartfelt romance novels. Katherine Center has some wonderful books. Feel free to check out my other reviews of her books, Things You Save in a Fire, What You Wish For, and How to Walk Away. If you haven’t read any of her books, other books like this one are: Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez, Something Wilder by Christina Lauren, and People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry.

As always, thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have read this book!

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