Review: Get Happy – Mary Amato

Posted 21 October, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 15 Comments

Review: Get Happy – Mary AmatoGet Happy by Mary Amato
Published by Egmont USA on 28 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
4 Stars

In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

A hip high school girl who loves music, writes songs, and is desperate for a ukelele, learns to her shock that her father did not abandon her years ago and has been trying to keep in touch. She begins to investigate him, only to discover that he has a new life with a new family, including the perfect stepdaughter, a girl who Minerva despises

*I received a free ARC of Get Happy from Egmont USA via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*

Get Happy is a sweet, upbeat story, even though it deals with some tough issues for Min and the fact that she can’t remember her dad at all, and her mom won’t even talk about him.

My Get Happy review:

Get Happy is a really good story about how teens can worry about things that seem inconsequential for the adults in their lives. Min is such a teenager, she has some thoughts that are anchored in her brain, and nothing will really change her feelings. For years, she’s wanted a ukulele for her birthday, but this year once more, she gets an ugly sweater instead. Just before leaving for school the morning of her birthday, a package arrives for her, and it’s a present from her dad. Dealing with this when she has always thought he didn’t care about her at all, and also having to deal with ‘normal’ high-school problems doesn’t make her day any better.

Min is passionate about music, and that really shines through in Get Happy. She is often writing lyrics, and she watches youtube videos to learn how to play the ukulele, even before she actually owns one. And when she gets a job as a mermaid for kids’ birthday parties, she gets two new friends as well. Or she gets one new male friend, who may like her more than just a friend, and a frenemy of sorts who is beautiful, funny, graceful and involved with scuba-diving and saving sea creatures.

Even if Min is also quite jealous, I find it easy to like her and understand her. She really tries to be good, to do her work, and to manage everything. But she is so curious about this mysterious father, and decides to try to find him with her best friend Fin’s help. When she figures out that he actually works at the Chicago aquarium not far from her suburban home, she decides that she needs to talk to him.

Written in first person past tense, Get Happy is a quick read, and it’s filled with quirky, happy, sweet and sad moments. I enjoyed Min’s character development, even when she acted like a mean girl – and in the end, she did figure out how to see her dad, even if it didn’t end up the way she had imagined.

Some of my favorite Get Happy quotes:

“Try it on. You can wear it today.” She gave the outfit I was wearing one of her famous looks. The Pat Watson look. A mix of pity and disapproval with a dash of Let me save you thrown in.

“Yum. Thanks Mommy. Hey, your coif looks great, Nice color.” Her face perked up. “Thank you, honey. That was nice of you to notice.” A horribly cheap trick – throw a compliment at your mom to make her go away.

Every house has a different vibe. The only word I can think of to describe the Martinelli house: male. 

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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15 responses to “Review: Get Happy – Mary Amato

  1. I loved Guitar Notes and can’t wait for another Mary Amato YA book. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. The jealousy thing will probably bug me, but everything else sounds delightful. She does teen sarcasm and attitude really well and the quotes show this one will not disappoint on that front. Great review, Lexxie! Oh hey, I was at a writers’ conference this weekend and I met Ann Aguirre and I mentioned that you loved her new NA contemp and she said, “Oh yeah, Lexxie. I read her review.” So that’s cool!

    • Normally, jealousy would bug me a bit, too, but I really got it in Get Happy, Robyn. I haven’t read Guitar Notes yet, but it’s on my humongous TBR…

      :O Ann Aguirre has read my review? *happy-dances* that’s awesome. And I wish I could have been with you to meet both you and her, Robyn.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • It was really sweet, Brandi. And I usually really love books that has something to do with music 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Yeah, it was intense! And I was very upset with her mom for not being up front about things.
      Thanks for stopping by, Braine.

  2. Having a few kiddos passionate about music makes me think I’d enjoy this one, Lexxie. It’s a good thing Min had music as I’m sure it helped her cope with other things in her life. And she seems to have some snark, judging by the quotes. I think I’ll have to add this to my tbr. Excellent review, my dear.

    **BIG HUGS**

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: **Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged ~ #38**
    • Yeah, you’d definitely enjoy Get Happy, Brandee. The lyrics are so good, and I enjoyed the way the whole story unfolded.
      Have a great weekend, my dear! *BIG HUGS*

    • Yeah, for me, one of the best things when I read a book is when I really connect with the characters. They can live lives that are as different from mine as is possible, but still – there is a connection 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, Naomi!

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