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Summary

It's the smallest things that make the biggest difference. 

Annie has been sad for so long that she's forgotten how to be any other way. She's trudging miserably through every day, sheer determination keeping her going. Until she meets Polly. Polly is everything that Annie is not. She's colourful, joyful, happy. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it's that your time is too short to waste a single day.

Polly has 100 days to help Annie find happiness. Annie's convinced it's impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey, Annie begins to realise that maybe, just maybe, there's still colour to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly's about to need her new friend more than ever...and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking. 

If you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or The Keeper of Lost Things, you'll love How to Be Happy.

©2018 Eva Woods (P)2018 Little Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"Entertaining, funny and full of wisdom, I loved this book." (best-selling author Katie Fforde)
"So likeable, smart and wise. A bittersweet read about love, life and friendship that makes you stop and think long after you've finished reading the last page." (best-selling author Tasmina Perry)

"I read this recently and loved it SO much. I cried buckets, but it's ultimately a really positive, uplifting book about making every day count." (best-selling author Clare Mackintosh)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A difficult read

Since I lost my step dad in January, after only 6 weeks from diagnosis of a bring tumour, this was an odd book for me to choose. When I first saw it, I avoided it. I couldn't contemplate it. It was too close to the core. Something drew me back to it after a couple of months. It's now 'officially' part of my 'rehab'. It is playing a part in my 'getting back to me' story.
I struggled with the amount of things Pollie was able to do under the circumstances, as that was not my experience of how a brain tumour works but this is fiction, not a medical journal. Everyone is affected differently. I had to let go of that.
There are actionable ideas given here by Eva. My and our job as readers is to carry some of them out. Step by step. Even if you're at the height of happiness.
Sadness, joy, anger etc they're all part of the mix.
Abide in the what is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Do not listen on the bus people will think your ma

laughed and cried all the way through very moving made me thunk about life xx

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best book for ages

What an absolutely delightful book. Everything about it is good. Good pace, good narrator, good story! Just lovely and makes you think too.....!! No more being Betty buzz-kill!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful.

This story was funny, sad, uplifting and very thought provoking. I would definitely recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Standard plot, nice structure, mediocre execution

Not quite the novel I was expecting. Starts off well but a bit tedious by the end. Elements of the plot didn't knit together as seamlessly and deeply as in other novels so it felt a bit surface level. Narration was very good. Don't think I'd listen again.

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Uplifting read

A fabulous reminder that there are always reasons to be happy. I loved this book from beginning to end.

The narration was excellent and gave life to the characters.

Well worth reading.

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Great motivating book

I LOVE POLLY. And want to meet Annie, Dr McGrumpy (inspired name!!) Costa and George oh and not forgetting Buster!
I will miss listening to the book. Miss laughing out loud smiling and shedding a tear at times. Great book. Buy it.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Cringe!!

Beyond awful, Polly is a character who is suppose to be super chirpy, kooky and quirky but just comes across annoying, over bearing and so irritatingly childish. The narration was 'spat out' particularly polly's lines which just made me loathe this character even more. Details and research into some of the hospital tactics and procedures were completely ludicrous l couldn't read past chapter 5. Remove the swearing and I think it would be perfect for teens and pre-teens.