At a New York City wedding, on a sweltering summer night, four people are trying to be happy.
Yun has everything he ever wanted, but somehow it’s never enough.
Emory is finally making her mark, but feels the shame more than the success.
Andrew is trying to be honest, but has lied to himself his whole life.
Fin can’t resist falling in love, but can’t help wrecking it all either.
And then the world begins to end. The four of them watch as one of the wedding guests sits down and refuses to get back up. Soon it’s happening across the world. Is it a choice or an illness?
Because how can anyone be happy in a world where the only choice is to feel everything – or nothing at all?
An intensely compulsive novel for anyone who has ever felt hopeful and helpless in one breath, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW is about how you keep living when the world is on fire. Perfect for fans of Emily John St. Mandel’s Station Eleven, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Patricia Lockwood’s Nobody is Talking About This and Naomi Alderman’s The Power.
Title : Are You Happy Now
Author : Hanna Jameson
Format : Physical ARC
Page Count : 360
Genre : Contemporary/Dystopian
Publisher : Penguin Books
Release Date : February 2, 2023
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5
Micky’s 3.5 star review
A different kind of pandemic
Relationship reactions to impending risk
Melancholy, sometimes sad and definitely not happy
Firstly, I just want to say that I do not read pandemic books, it’s too early for me but this isn’t like anything we experienced in recent years, apart from how humans behave. Most people will feel safe reading this in my opinion. I’m not going to spoil the events this book is built around, but suffice it to say, it’s a clever concept.
This book was full of quirk and weirdness while being rather engrossing. The characters were completely eclectic and apart from Andrew who I liked, the rest I just observed with popcorn. Yun who I initally liked, didn’t cope with what the world was offering and that ending was strangely surprising. Emory I liked more early on but her characterisation lost a bit of shading as it went on. Fin was an interesting addition later on.
This book’s strengths lie in the telling of human reaction to fear, risk and the sometimes resulting resilience. It’s fascinating how life rolls on and how relationships form and crash along the way. Societal reactions to what happened were very in the background and I thought that was missing a bit from the narrative.
I’m aware this review is somewhat vague but I think this is a read best served without prior knowledge.
Thank you to Viking Books for the review copy.