How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness
by Jessica Bell
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Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 26 Oct 2021
Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd, Vine Leaves Press
A heart-warming, yet strangely unsettling, emotional race against time set in a near-future society ruled by happiness
Imagine being put to death for the crime of your child's unhappiness.
This is the tale of Icasia Bloom: how she is caught up in a story not initially her own and how it changes her world.
In a Globe controlled by a trusted yet elusive leader who has granted immortality to those who live by The Book, misfit Icasia Bloom is doomed to die young for the crime of her child's unhappiness.
Like all 'tatters' she gets food by bartering, and when she brings customers to the new local bakery, she meets another borderline outcast, Selma Beyett, whose plight touches her.
Selma's husband Jerome must die in six months if his quest for perpetual happiness is not successful.
What starts as a desperate attempt to save Jerome takes the two women on a profoundly enlightening search for happiness. Icasia questions the Globe's judgement on its people and on the nature of happiness itself.
How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness questions ideas we take for granted and takes a long, hard look into our souls.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 31 members
i got this book for free in exchange for an honest review through Netgallery.
Icacia bloom is someone that doesnt live like other people, in her world, there, females are impregnated by a donor instead of falling in love with someone and getting pregant after, after beeing impregnated they have the choice to marry their donor, if their donor is already married, another donor or chose to live alone with the child and therefore dont recive any help from the governement. Acacia when in situation, she chose not to marry and therefore she dont have a very stable finance life and she need to do tit-for tat, some odd jobs/favors in exchange of food to feed her soon Abel,, so when a new coffee shop opens nearby, Acacia seens in that an oportunity to feed her son. And in this coffee shop she meets Selma beyett and the story grows from there.
I loved the voices of this book, it gets really close to us because it gets down to a single character like a letter to someone. i did enjoy that intimacy within the book. what i did not like, was the lack of self judge this society from the characters, it was like it was impossible to change so they only accepted their fate, an interesting side story would be by the eyes of a government worker, and read what they go through what are the perks, we had kind of a teaser of this with jerome part of the story.
overall i liked this story, and wanted more for it not to end, i wanted to know more about acacia parents, more about abel after what happened in the story, what really means for someone to get the letter, a way to change the core of this society, because children of 13/ 15 years old are not meant to get pregnant acacia was impregnated with abel when she was 14/15 its a tough life for a child, claim for family when makes a family apart... well let just say its messed up, but what dystopia its a good place to live?
People in this world revolve around death, like death is happiness, if you have a good job you'll die happy and get a letter. from the government, and people dont really know what makes them tick to get this letter.
First off, let’s appreciate this stunning book cover! It caught my attention right away, and it was a great surprise that this pretty cover belonged to a dystopian book, for it’s my favorite genre ever!
When I started reading this book, I could see that it was different from the other books in its genre. It indeed has some connection with The Handmaid’s Tale, but this book was much enjoyable, in my opinion. The writing style was simple, and I finished reading the book in one sitting. It’s true that the description of the places, sometimes, wasn’t clear for me to imagine them. However, the characters were layered enough for me to keep on reading this remarkable book.
The main idea of the book made me think long about it. Finding your happiness on a new level gave depth to the book, making it unique. The first/third person POV was a good choice. And I found this way of telling a story fascinating because I love reading a story from the first-person POV; it was interesting to find out what the other characters were thinking and what was happening with them.
And, yes, I hated Norate, of course!
A particular scene was touching and brought tears to my eyes when the thirteen-year-old Leila had to go through a process to make her pregnant.
Overall, I strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes Dystopian books.
Imagine the afterlife being gate kept by happiness - not just yours, but your child's as well. Once you reach a certain age, your soul is held in a Transition Grave (if you've reached true happiness, that is) to await the day your child reaches happiness themselves - from there, you move on to the afterlife. What happens if you don't attain happiness? This is what happens to Jerome. His death inducement date is rapidly approaching and his soul is about to be snuffed out. His family, DeathCare therapists, and a new family friend (our story's namesake), desperately race to help him find happiness.
I loved every second of this- the world building is astounding and I want more.
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book, it was well written, had good flow and narrative and well-developed characters with good world building. The characters grab you along with the story from the first few pages. would definitely recommend checking it out. I finished it in a few hours I could not put it down.
I have found myself fascinated by dystopian/apocalyptic style novels recently and love how many different takes of it there are.
How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness is definitely one of my favourites in that genre. Icasia Bloom is a single mum who is trying to navigate life without conforming to the new world order. She meets Selma, a mum and wife who is trying everything to save her husband, Jerome. The two women become friends and try and save Jerome's life together. In order to do that, he has to reach the ultimate goal of true happiness.
Even though this is set in a fictional future, the quest of finding happiness and true contentment is probably as old as human life itself. I love how the author was able to create this bridge between science fiction and reality which really struck a chord with me on an emotional and spiritual level. It also made the dystopian reality work quite well without in-depth explanations about what happened, huge events or the detailed creation of an entire empire.
The story is told using three different perspectives and while I understand why it was told that way and it all came together nicely at the end, I found it confusing at times and found myself reading back a few times in order to piece things together. Especially at the start, this prevented me from really connecting to the story or its characters, however, once I got used to it, I found myself immersed in this story completely.
This is a book about the very essence of humanity, about love, friendship and finding happiness in places people might have forgotten to look for it.
Finishing this review with one of my favourite quotes in the book:
You don't need an entire Globe of people violently revolting against the establishment to initiate change. All it takes is one person - to knock the first domino down.
Thank you to Vine Leaves Press, Jessical Bell and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
Humans have figured out happiness, and are trying to steer evolution toward greater contentment. Brain wave detection allows for identifying individuals who achieve happiness, and only those people are permitted to join the life after death, but only after their mandated single child has also achieved happiness. All others are euthanized at 60 years. All women are forced to have a child by 15, presumably to give the maximum amount of time to find happiness. But, there are population issues, so this deadline is reduced to 40 years. Suddenly, people nearing 40 must find happiness quickly, or doom not only themselves but also their parents. Icasia and her family have rejected the cult of happiness and don't even think the second life is real, but she encounters and becomes very close to Selma, whose husband is about to die unhappy, creating a crisis for the whole family. There is something intriguing in how these characters come together in this desperate scenario. Their encounters with the government organizations controlling the births and deaths are pretty alarming. There is no fooling this system, since they monitor all thoughts everywhere they know exactly who has found happiness and who has not. The moment you achieve contentment for a continuous three hours, you've won, and a courier is dispatched with your second life certificate. You don't really win though, unless your child wins too, setting up some extremely complicated family dynamics. This all feels very dire, but there's a hopeful quality as Icasia and Selma bond over freshly baked confections and coffees at Selma's little bakery. Very interesting story, and nicely told.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love a dystopic novel and this didn’t fail. Loved the characters, loved the premise and although the ending was a bit bitty for me I didn’t want it to finish. A great read.
Such a strange yet interesting story!
When the population on earth was too dense, the authorities decided that human population should be controlled strictly. So they made a guide book, including the regulations of progeny, pregnancy, and life span. And during that life span, people should find their happiness, or else their soul will be annihilated and will affect their family's life too.
Futuristic science-fiction, but instead of focus on high-tech stuff, it emphasizes scientific research and procedures. We follow the story of Beyett's family through Icasia's POV and overall it's pretty heartwarming.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd. for this ARC!
In an undeterminable future, life seems similar in one way but also very different in another. Reproduction is controlled, and so is the world population. In a world where you’re supposed to live by The Book, happiness matters. In fact, finding happiness is the only goal a person has in life. A successful career is supposedly all you need. But what makes a person happy?
There’s not much of a world-building. But maybe you don’t need it. I like some novels that don’t explain things in detail. But anyway, I would still like to know more about the history and some exceptions. I didn’t like some scenes with no further meaning, like the tattoo and a brief romance. The sense of mystery throughout the book is what I liked most. Especially in the beginning, when you don’t understand what is going on. And throughout the entire novel, when you don’t know who Eve is.
But I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. To conclude, I enjoyed reading this novel, so 3.5 rounded to 4.
Thanks to the Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd for the ARC and the opportunity to read this! All opinions are my own.
“If you don’t find the courage to face the things that hurt you, you will never find the motivation to love and enjoy the things that make you happy.”
Brilliant story concept. The author has presented a well-written, dystopian, SciFi-themed plot set in the twenty-second century. The characters are interesting and relatable. It would have been more interesting if there were more backstories about Icasia's parents and how they raised her as a child. I love how savvy and quick-thinking the main character is and how she solved the dilemma presented.
The story follows, Icasia, a twenty-year-old single mother with no stable career and survives through tattering- tit for tat. To feed her five-year-old son, Abel, Icasia needs to exchange her expertise for food. Then she met Selma Beyett, a married mom and an owner of a newly opened bakery. With most of the people living by the book, Selma needs Icasia's survival skills to help her husband Jerome find his happiness.
The story is compelling, credible and an enjoyable read. There are fascinating issues discussed like population control, birth control, death inducement, and the afterlife. It's very futuristic that you may think the scenarios presented can happen in the future. I love the core message of the story that happiness is different for every person.
I highly recommend this book. I'm grateful to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
wow, this book left me speechless.
I still don't quite know how to describe it, actually, I don't even think I want to, for me this is the kind of book you have to start reading without knowing anything.
Not knowing anything about the story and not knowing what to expect was what made it so surprising to me.
The little I can say is that this is a quick book to read, the chapters are short and the story is engaging because you want to know what's going on, at no point did I know where this story was going.
The world created by the author is something totally fascinating, I found it very well build, even though it was complex, I didn't find it difficult to understand.
I highly recommend this story if you like dystopias especially if you like dystopias where the goal of the story is not to overthrow the government itself but to try as hard as possible to live in it, this book is not action-packed, it is a reflective book, you sure will get a lot of quotes and thoughts from this story!
I was firstly drawn to this book by the beautiful cover and the original title.
Secondly by the blurb because I love dystopian/futuristic stories. Not only the book didn't disappoint, but it even exceeded my expectations!
I know when a book is a good one for me, when I keep thinking about it for days after finishing it, and that's what is happening with How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness: looks like I can't keep it off my mind.
I loved the fact that the world of Icasia is something in between a utopian and a dystopian world (we could name it "a kind dystopian reality") and I particularly enjoyed how the author dealt with a theme like overpopulation inserting references to contemporary history.
Especially interesting is the idea of gaining access to a second eternal life through your children's happiness and by finding happiness yourself. This also opens a debate about what happiness really is, and how it is different for everyone.
An interesting, strange, compelling read: if you like dystopian/futuristic worlds a must read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a good dystopian, I wasn't sure how it was going to go but I wanted to find out. I was very intrigued and I enjoyed this book alot, thank you for the eArc
I was drawn to this book because of the title and that crazy, beautiful cover - I mean, look at it! 😍 Honestly, I’ve been behind on my NetGalley tbr and I’m finally catching up. I didn’t even remember what this book was about so I went in pretty much blind and wow! I read it in a day but I know it will stick with me regardless.
How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness is a fascinating, speculative tale about a future dystopia where happiness is the goal (with a time limit) but there is some disagreement about just how to reach it. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot but I thought the premise and the characters were so interesting. I can’t believe I waited this long to read it. What a gem - I hope it finds its way to many more readers soon.
Thank you NetGalley, author and publisher for the arc in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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