Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GET HAPPY by Mary Amato: Review and Giveaway

Get Happy
by Mary Amato
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Published by EgmontUSA
Pages: 256
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Purchase Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

from Goodreads

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.

My Thoughts

 Get Happy is the first book that I have read by Mary Amato. The cover and title immediately caught my attention (I just noticed the sea horse on the cover as I am typing this, LOL, and it is very significant to the story), but it is the story that kept my attention. Amato gives readers an imperfect character who has a strained relationship with her mother, an absent father, but tries to make her own way the best that she can.

Minerva is a far from perfect character and she has a lot of family issues that permeates almost every aspect of who she is, but I want to get to know her. I want to see how she deals with her struggles. Amato shows versatility on how Minerva expresses herself - sometimes through humor, sometimes through song, and on occasion, by throwing a complete tantrum.

The friendships that Minerva has are strong and that is what I loved most about Get Happy. Reading the interactions between Fin and Minerva were hilarious - with their inside jokes, making the mundane humorous and their adoration for each other - it was obvious that they were best friends. I also like the introduction of Hayes to their friendship and reading how he began to fit into their lives becoming a trio. He is a bit of a mystery, and it was fun to get to know more about him.

I loved to read all of the scenes with the Get Happy crew and how the Minerva, Fin, Hayes, and Cassie interacted with all of the families. And it was funny to find out what Get Happy was really meant. I'll leave that to readers to discover for themselves.

There were so many times that I identified with Minerva and her feelings of neglect and her animosity toward her mother and even some of her peers. Sixteen year old me would have picked this book up in a heartbeat. Amato balances the serious and the silly in Get Happy and lets readers know that they are not alone. After finishing the book, there were some questions that I had that remained unanswered, but I genuinely liked reading this story and am excited to read more books by Mary Amato.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from EgmontUSA in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Mary Amato is an award-winning children's book author, songwriter, musician, puppeteer, and poet. She writes for children of all ages, and is beginning to focus on YA. Her first YA novel was Guitar Notes. Mary lives with her family outside Washington, DC, where she also performs regularly, singing and playing her own songs. Mary is a popular speaker and runs numerous workshops for teachers and students, including many on all aspects of creative writing, even songwriting. The author lives in Silver Spring, MD. You can visit her online at

Tomorrow's Stops

The publisher has generously donated a copy of Get Happy to giveaway here on my blog. Enter by Rafflecopter below. 

 Giveaway Details 
Prize donated by Publisher
Must be 16 years or Older to enter
U.S. addresses only
To enter, fill out Rafflecopter below
Giveaway ends October 31, 2014 

If I cannot verify an entry, that entry will not count.

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