Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review - Happy To Be Alive, Because


Avery is a seventeen-year-old girl whose reality has just been shattered by the death of her mother. Feeling a desperate need to flee from what has become her life, she follows a travel plan meant for her mom and her that leads her to the little beach town where her mom grew up. It's there that she meets a group of three adventurous friends who adopt her into their circle, allowing her to experience a summer she never thought would be possible after suffering such a great loss.

Unfortunately, her summer full of experiences threatens to end abruptly when she realizes that one of the three has a secret that causes her to question everything about the new life she has been building.

Avery must learn to balance her grief and her desire for a future in order to achieve her mother's final wish for her: That she would be happy to be alive.


Chelsea grew up with an immense love for words---both reading them and writing them. She obtained her degree in English and has spent the time since then getting married to her high school sweetheart and chasing adventure so she'll have something to write about. When she's not drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing, she spends her time reading, playing with her puppy named Gatsby, and dreaming, always dreaming.

Chelsea can be found at: website, Twitter


This is a sweet book of a girl coming of age and into her own after her mother dies. Avery is seventeen when her mom succumbs to cancer and it was always just the two of them, so it really leaves Avery adrift as to how to go on. Her mom must have known this because she leaves behind a plane ticket and a trip itinerary to go back to her own hometown in Florida on the beach.

Once there, Avery meets Rob at the coffee shop and they soon become fast friends and pretty much inseparable. He allows her to be herself and allows her to grieve in her own way, which makes him pretty special. His friends, Major and Lily are also really special and show her that it's okay to just be who she is.

This book has a lot of little back stories that I'm not going to go into because it would give too much away. Suffice to say, I was really surprised by some of the revelations and it just made me think even more highly of the kind of mom Avery had and, also, what a very special person Rob is. I also really loved the fact that this book didn't end I the typical romance fashion. It kept completely with who Avery becomes throughout the story.

I think this story was really geared to the younger woman (as Avery is only 17), however, I never felt like it. I could totally relate to her as a person and it was actually a very well written and inspiring book. In fact, I ended up writing this quote down in my book because it was so good, I wanted to remember it:

"We are anything we want to be. We are everything we want to be. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to create something, create it. Your art matters. It matters for the sake of your life. You matter. What you do matters."

This book is a wonderful summer read and just a great, feel good book! I am giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

Blessings - Julie

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