May is coming to an end and we’re getting as many more #allthebookreviews titles in!
Thanks to Berkley Pub for the free early copies in exchange for our honest reviews
HAPPY & YOU KNOW IT – Laura Hankin (Released May 19th, 2020)
A dark, witty page-turner set around a group of wealthy mothers and the young musician who takes a job singing to their babies and finds herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….
After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.
There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.
Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood—exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women—while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars
I ended up having more fun with this book than I thought I would. I think maybe it would’ve resonated better if I was a mommy in a mommy group? As such, I think I related more with Claire than with anyone else, since she was basically on the outside of this and just trying to figure things out. Boy did she get more than she bargained for!
I read this a bit as a satire but I do think this book touches on some interesting topics. The image to look perfect… especially via social media. The need, as a parent (or woman in general) to do it all and still look perfect. To be the wife of a wealthy man and either losing your own identity or thinking of how the hell you can get out without losing the lifestyle you’re used to.
The beginning really drew me in and then lost me a little bit with all the characters and background information. Then I stayed because I was super curious on how it was all going to unravel. How will she learn about her and how will they learn about that and where will they all end up?! From watching 10 seasons of Housewives, I felt like I was reading about the Mommy Elite and the first season just ended!
Maybe there’s a bit more fluff than substance but this is a highly entertaining read. Moms of upper-class Manhattan unite! And it’s a good lesson that we ALL have problems – no matter our monetary status. Don’t let social media fool you.
My Thoughts: 3/5 stars
Going into this, the synopsis really intrigued me and for some reason I was almost anticipating a thriller. This definitely falls in the women’s lit or contemporary fiction category, which isn’t bad! I do think this could have worked as a thriller as well. HAPPY & YOU KNOW IT was my introduction to Laura Hankin and I did enjoy her writing style!
Right off the bat, I found myself completely invested in getting to know our group of Manhattan moms. Claire is musician hired to sing to infants in a play group and she finds herself in the middle of a completely new world. The moms are all extremely wealthy and all over social media with the seemingly perfect lives. We all know that’s never the case. Plenty of secrets and drama to go around.
Towards the end it was starting to lose me. I’m not quite sure where that switch happened, but there were some parts that I was starting to lose interest, but I was invested so I had to see where it was going to end. No matter what, this was an entertaining read and I would definitely pick up more from this author. It just felt like there was something missing, but I couldn’t quite place what it was.