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Friday, October 24, 2014

Happiness in Jersey by Jacinta Howard

Happiness in Jersey is the opposite of wack. In fact, it's anti-wack! Okay, I'm gonna stop with the "wack" references for now (there are a few very cute scenes where this word comes up - I couldn't help myself!), and I'm going to get to my review. I want to say upfront that I hate YA books. Okay hate might be a tad strong, but they aren't my favorite. That said, I loved Happiness in Jersey! Loved it!

What it is about: Happiness in Jersey is about a young woman named Jersey. Jersey is a sophomore in college, lives on campus, has a perfectly sweet roommate named Willow, and a best friend named Devin. Devin has been Jersey's friend since they were kids. Both Devin and Jersey are members of a band named Prototype, where Jersey plays bass and Devin the drums. She is a girl that doesn't form emotional attachments, particularly with the opposite sex. In her mind death is a certainty, but love is just a fabrication. She has sex, but doesn't date or have boyfriends. Her past is a sad one in which she grew up with an alcoholic father who seemed to blame her for the death of her mother who suffered from postpartum depression and committed suicide when Jersey was just a baby. But then Jersey meets Isaiah, (everybody calls him Zay). Zay is the cousin of one of the band members and he's just moved from New Orleans. It doesn't take long for Zay to become interested in Jersey and she in him. As Jersey gets to Know Zay she discovers he's more than just good looks. He seems to understand her on a level that no one else does. And for a girl like Jersey that is terrifying.

This is such a wonderful book that I find I don't have to go into great depth about what I liked or disliked about it. It was a beautifully written story about falling in love, but it was also about fighting fear and overcoming the sorrow, unhappiness, and loss of the past for the promise of the future. We get fantastic secondary characters who are there for more than just window dressing. Willow, Devin, Trav, and Bam are all fleshed out characters with distinctive personalities. They each have a role in the story and in Jersey's (and Zay's) life. Readers also get a heroine that's far from cookie cutter, and some of the best banter I've read in a long time. There isn't much more that I can say without taking away from the experience of reading Happiness in Jersey. If you are like me you'll laugh, cry a little, get angry and frustrated, and fall a little bit in love with Zay yourself. I so recommend getting this book and taking the journey with Jersey as she discovers her happiness. Happiness in Jersey gets a 5 out of 5 rating from me. As for the author Jacinta Howard? Well, she's got a new fan.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Rating: 5 out of 5
Pages: 280
Published: August 29, 2014

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