Member Reviews

A different end of the world style novel that I completely devoured. Funny and touching with a great ending

Was this review helpful?

This was certainly not my usual choice of book but the title alone hit me on a deep level. Like other reviews mention, it may not be the best book to read if you suffer with depression or other mental health issues but yet I knew I has to read it as I know far too well how those characters feel in just wanted to "sit down".
I can't say I enjoyed the story but I don't think anyone could enjoy this, however, I found the beginning fascinating. I did unfortunately lose interest as I was more interested in the medical side of the outbreak rather than reading Yuns self centered stroppy storyline.
It most definitely is a book for deep thinkers and it brings back those early scary months of covid being glued to TV screen seeing the world slowly collapse around us. I didn't really like the way the "illness" ended up, I would've preferred to have more info and facts around it.
#NetGalley #AreYouHappyNow

Was this review helpful?

This was a very odd tale. I am a fan of post-apocalyptal novels and was hoping for an interesting take on it but the story, while having a good premise, failed to ignite me. I enjoyed it but felt it was quite slow moving and I found the charatcters not very likeable or interesting. I didn't feel very invested in what was happening to them. The pandemic was also a bit lacklustre, especially how it fizzled out without much of a good explanation - although with recent events, this is true to life but just not much of a good story line. So I'd say it's worth a read but not a prize winner.

Was this review helpful?

A different and enjoyable read, I enjoyed following the story for the 4 main characters, and a lot of relevant topics. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

Are You Happy Now by Hannah Jameson is a curiously depressing book about a future where seemingly random members of the population are afflicted by a fatal disease which begins with opting-out of life - sitting still, in silence, agitation only if bothered. Jameson's writing is compelling but it loses focus mid-book - I finished the story because I wanted to see how it ended, but its not a book I would recommend on.
With thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

A dark exciting novel with thrills on every turn of the page. Four friends witness apocalyptic events. The twists and turns that unfold make this an addictive book.

Was this review helpful?

This is not a book to read when you're depressed, but I really enjoyed it. It was a really interesting look at how the world views mental illness and how it would view a mass suicide pandemic in a fictional scenario. I was disappointed at how quickly the world wrote it off as a choice, but I think that's a reflection on the world itself really.

I really liked the characters and seeing how they each reacted to the situation. I would have really liked to see a bit more from the journalist character, seeing as she brought us into the book. I also thought that it would be really interesting to see the conflict between reporting on this, especially as there was the question of whether people were being influenced by seeing reports of others sitting down. But the author drifted away from her story and started to look at other characters instead. I liked the other characters and I especially liked the LGBTQ+ representation, but I would have liked to see more of that thread of the story.

The ending really hit me hard. I saw it coming, especially as the author started to build up to it, but that didn't make it any less hard hitting. I would like to see more of what happened after, but I do think that was the right place to end.

All in all, my advice is to only read this when you're in a good place but it is well worth the read.

Was this review helpful?

At a wedding a guest suddenly sits down and can't get back up again; seemingly in a catatonic state. So begins the spread of a contagion that strikes at any time or anywhere and causes the infected person to become immobile, sometimes combative until they die a short while after infection. Emery, a journalist who was at the wedding and see's first hand the devastation begins a relationship with Andrew who was also at the wedding the two try to navigate this new normal.

I was really intrigued by the premise by an virus or infection that was al most always fatal and how the characters would continue to live their lives. I was gripped by the characters and their choices and the ending was sad but beautiful.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review

Was this review helpful?

I was immediately drawn into this novel, I felt I was in the pages with them, it was so magnificently written. The ending was sad and so, so perfect for me.
Definitely read this if you want a take on the injustice pushed upon todays youth, to feel the anger inside of you for them. Recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.

Are You Happy Now very much poses more questions than it answers. Is the pandemic in the centre of the story real, or is it some sort of accidental coincidence, or a form of activism? Why does it seem to affect young adults more? I think as a millennial, I can definitely identify with the thread of general despair and hopelessness that runs through the characters in this novel. Everywhere you look it seems like the world is on fire, and to some just sitting down might seem like an appropriate response. Some readers might be put off by there being little resolution, but I found it thought-provoking and enjoyed the glimpses into the lives of disparate characters. However, it's probably not one I'll read again.

Was this review helpful?

I'm really not sure how to rate this book.
When I read the blurb, given that we've just lived through a pandemic, I thought this could be a really interesting take on the dystopian genre. However, it fell short for me.
I think the issue is that this book doesn't exactly know what it wants to be. It doesn't fully lean into being a dystopian book but then it doesn't lean into being a contemporary romance/coming of age story either.
It started off strong and then petered away after.
I also found Yun pretty insufferable and it dragged on for me.
The ending also left me a bit deflated too, like most of the book to be completely honest.
It was a real shame as I had high hopes for this story.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was an intriguing read that I couldn't put down. It's about a group of characters - Yun, Emory, Andrew and Fin who attend a wedding. At the wedding, a guest sits down and is unable to get up which starts to happen all over America as well as the rest of the world. These 'sitters' die off after a few weeks and efforts are made to understand the cause of this event.

Was this review helpful?

At a New York City wedding, one of the guests suddenly sits down on the floor and refuses to stand back up. Soon, it became a worldwide phenomenon. Nobody understands if this is a choice, a sickness or another strange epidemy. Among the chaos, Yum, Emory, Andrew and Fin, all present at the wedding, try to find their happiness.

Are You Happy Now is an original position. In beautiful lyrical language, it tells the story of four people or rather two couples. It is a slow but emotional read, focusing on the characters' thoughts and intense feelings. I found the idea of people randomly sitting down in the middle of the room fascinating and thought-provoking. I could not stop thinking about the reason behind it. Was it an illness? A virus? A form of depression? Were they conscious? Was it a decision? Did they decide to opt out of the fast, stressful and overwhelming way we live right now?

I could not stop reading this unique story and would recommend his book to those looking for an original and thought-provoking novel.

Was this review helpful?

This was a very strange book. At times it made jumps and I wasn't sure where I was and was left not knowing who was the subject. Overall though it made me stop and think

It was an ok read

Was this review helpful?

I (due to external occurances) was unable to finish this book to completion but what I read I did really enjoy.
I was worried at first that 'unexplained pandemic' theme may hit a little close to home but if anything, I felt that the book drew out a lot of empathy from the reader and was able to characterise the sheer unknown of an unexplained illness in a manner that wasn't too triggering in this age.

I'll definitely be buying a copy so I can finish this book.

Was this review helpful?

A new pandemic spreading like wildfire, four people trying to live their lives in a world falling apart.

The book is about the growth and the relationship between the characters, but I found very hard to relate with them. The only one that I truly appreciated is Emory: I loved her story, her growth and her strength. I really enjoyed the first part, about the pandemic and the characters' beginning relationships, but when the book focused on the romance aspect, I found it very hard to go through it.
I loved the dystopian set up and the premise, but I would have preferred the story to take another direction.

However, the book really leaves a lot to think about, especially after the world has experienced Covid, and I stopped a few times to try to dig into each layer of this book.

Was this review helpful?

I'm definitely not the target audience for this book and I felt very old reading it, like I live in a different world than the one that the characters were inhabiting, . The story centres around a pandemic that sweeps the world (not covid) where people go into a catatonic state but are internally experiencing prolonged panic attack symptoms. Characters in the book see this happening and deal with it in their own way, bringing their own experiences to bear - and mostly with a negative, nothing is really worth living for anyway, approach.
I didnt enjoy reading it Im afraid- though fully aware that readers in their 20s may well appreciate all that I didnt!

Was this review helpful?

Much like The Last by this author, I was hooked pretty much immediately. It's a really interesting premise, and one that — despite reading many dystopian / pandemic-themed books over the years — felt unique.

However, also like with The Last, I'm left wanting more. I'm all for things being left open-ended, but having the main mystery of the book left like that feels a little unsatisfactory. The characters themselves were also left in an open-ended way, however that was far more satisfying.

This really could have been a 5* read, if only the ending landed better and tied up the threads that needed tying.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Was this review helpful?

To set the scene of this review, I recommended this book to two people in my life within five minutes of finishing it. While it's very obviously a 'Covid novel' and at times becomes a little cliché for the strange phenomenon that is Covid ficiton, I loved the subject matter and how the characters interacted with a pandemic of hopelessness in a Western capitalistic society. It was a relatively heavy read, and it's not something I would recommend if you want something happy and optimistic, but the tragedy that runs throughout this novel is one that hits home and makes you (or at least many of my generation) feel seen. I liked the characters, and it was easy to tell who was narrating which parts as they had very individualistic narrative styles, though I liked Emory less and Finn more than I thought I would.

The one thing that made this book a four star for me was the pacing. I found that while I was actively enjoying the book, it felt three times longer than it should have been. It wasn't due to the actual length of the book, as ~350 pages is pretty average for my reading tastes, but it did take a long time for the story to develop, and it didn't quicken further on either.

This is the first book I have read by Jameson, and while I don't think I will be rereading this one for a while, I would definitely read more of the author's work.

Was this review helpful?

This was an experience. This book took me through so many trains if thought, and it tried to be a lot of things, most of which I enjoyed.

It's mostly literary fiction, with a hint of romance, and a dash of post-apocalyptic fiction.

My favourite part of this book was the deep dive into relationships. There were friendships, marriages, new romantic relationships, and even family dynamics explored. There was also a heartwarming relationship between a landlady and her tenant.

The exploration into mental health, breakdowns, and fatigue also really intrigued me.

While the ending wasn't what I wanted, the parts of the book I enjoyed reading were great.

If you liked 'Leave The World Behind', you'll probably love this one.

Was this review helpful?