Review: Get Happy by Mary Amato

Get Happy by Mary Amato

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.

Title: Get Happy
Author: Mary Amato
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Publication date: October 28, 2014

I received Get Happy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Minerva was raised by a single mother after her father abandoned them. On her birthday, she’s hoping for a ukelele but gets an ugly sweater instead. When a birthday package arrives for her — from her father — she starts to wonder about him. Suddenly his name seems to be popping up everywhere and she realizes she knows nothing about him.

Minerva and her best friend Fin want to get jobs at Get Happy, a company that provides character entertainers for children’s birthday parties. On their way to auditions, they run into Hayes, an acquaintance from school who decides to join them. The three, plus the other girl from their audition group, all get the job and they spend every Saturday being shuttled around to birthday parties. Minerva is cast as a mermaid, but she’s not really into being a mermaid and isn’t always good at it.

The birthday parties are a big part of the book and they’re my favorite part because they’re pretty funny. Minerva’s quest for a ukelele is a humorous running theme throughout the book. There’s a little romance, but it’s light and is in no way a main part of the book.

On the more serious side is Minerva’s “investigation” into her father. I never felt like she really cared all that much about finding him. Fin’s the one pushing that, but maybe Minerva is just scared of what she’s going to discover. That would be a natural reaction and it’s probably what’s going on even though it isn’t really brought up in the book. There’s some information revealed near the end that comes as much a complete surprise to me as it does to Minerva. Sometimes you don’t know as much about someone as you think you do.

Get Happy is a light book that’s fun to read but I feel like it lacks something. Ultimately, there are a few too many coincidences, I just can’t connect with Minerva they way I need to, and the book lacks the closure I was expecting within Minerva’s family.

3 stars



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