top of page
  • Writer's pictureChrissy's Books

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Rating- 8/10

I would love to give a huge thanks to St Martin’s Publishing Group for sending me an advanced review copy of this gorgeous book. Happiness for Beginners comes out on September 1, 2020. When I received this book in the mail and opened the envelope to find this bright and vivid book, I was beyond excited! It just looks so inviting to read, wouldn’t you say so? I read the blurb and was like heck yes! I also needed a brighter and uplifting book after my last few heavy reads you guys! Phew…


The setting is in Chicago and the wild mountains of Wyoming.

We follow a 32 year old woman named Helen as she marks a full year after getting divorced. Helen reached a point in her life where she said to herself that she has to pull her life together. She knew she needed something adventurous, wild and out of the ordinary to pull her out of her depressing funk. The answer to Helen, was to sign up for a wilderness survival course in Wyoming.

This trip is meant to be a chance for her to start over again, and gain a new leash on life. When she discovers that her brother’s irritating and annoying best friend Jake, is also weirdly coming on the trip, she feels that this trip will now be a complete disaster.

The expansive wilderness has a way of making Helen’s own life seem a little bigger and somehow, the people who annoy her the most, start to teach her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to keep going, even when you think you can't, and how facing your fears, can make you brave.

Helen discovers that sometimes you have to leave things behind in order to find yourself.

My Review:

This is now my second Katherine Center novel, the first one I read titled- ‘Things You Save in a Firewas amazing. (I’ll link my review for that below this review)

You guys! I LOVED this book! I am so excited to tell you all about how much I swooned over Katherine Center’s exuberant novel. It was such a fun read!

Let’s talk about what I loved about this bright read. Can we have a moment to just appreciate how awesome these colors are on the book cover. Katherine Center’s books are always so appealing to look at, they all have a similar theme or style and I adored this cover.

From the very first page you are completely pulled into this book, it’s one of those books where you literally cannot put it down. It’s very engaging and you are already invested in all the characters as soon as you read the very first page. I remember getting to the 3rd chapter of this book and thinking, wow, what a fun read! You will read this book in one sitting. I enjoyed Center’s writing style as well, it is immensely easy to read this book! Even with the most annoying distractions in the background, it’s seriously one of the most casual writing I have ever read. Very relatable and just enjoyable.

This story is told entirely from Helen’s point of view in the book, so you never feel any sense of being lost in the plot at all. It’s one of those books where you can pick it up and not have to re-read the last paragraphs or have to try and find your bearings. Very seamless writing. If you are an adventure and natural world/hiker lover you will LOVE this book! I did a lot of hiking during a huge road trip that I did last year, so I could completely relate to everything in this book. Especially wilderness etiquette and knowing how to deal with bear attacks! You actually learn quite a few outdoor hiking skills as well while reading this book. Happiness for Beginners is a fun adventure story that keeps you glued into what will happen next and it’s also a sweet and endearing romance story. I loved every single character in this book, and the story felt quite realistic too.

My only negative comment would be that sometimes I thought some paragraphs or sentences just didn’t need to be in the book, and it did get a tad mushy at times, but if you’re into mushy romances then you won’t have a problem with any of that.

Katherine Center has an easy way with words, and she also has an amazing effortless style to her writing where she just makes you feel like you are reading for pleasure. If you liked the book titled Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed - which was also a huge blockbuster movie starring Reese Witherspoon, then you will love this book. It’s sort of a lighter, more fun version of Wild. This novel makes you appreciate the great outdoors, and also just makes you appreciate life a little more. I’ve noticed that Katherine Center’s books always tend to uplift women and she’s quite a feminist which I love! I’m officially a Katherine Center fan now. Fully invested. Also, all of her book covers are so yummy!! I love them.

Happiness for Beginners is a feel-good, uplifting read that everyone would enjoy. It’s a book that you pick up when you want to read for pure enjoyment. It’s about self discovery, it’s about finding what is truly meaningful in your life, it’s about starting over, and finding your own sense of happiness. This book will make you smile, and you will leave it feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead of you. It’s a huge mood booster! I loved it and would highly recommend this book! It would a super fun pick for a book club too.

Song Pick:

I wanted to pick a song that was fun, just like the cover, uplifting and and had inspiring lyrics too. I knew I wanted this song to compliment this book when I was only in my 2nd chapter! My perfect song to go with Happiness for Beginners is - 'Roar' by Katy Perry. Also the video is super fun, bright and she's in the wilderness too!

CLICK HERE to check out my review for Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center. She also has seven other novels which you can check out Here, on her website, also her website is the most gorgeous site ever.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Romance | Adventure

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Pages: 320 Pages

Reviewed by Chrissy's Books



bottom of page