Review: HAPPY & YOU KNOW IT by Laura Hankin
Published by BERKLEY on May 19, 2020
Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Laura Hankins’ addictive new novel, Happy & You Know It follows a group of wealthy Manhattan moms and their Instagram-perfect infant play group and the out-of-work musician who inadvertently turns their lives upside down.
Claire, the musician, is the character I immediately felt was the most relatable of the group. She’s a talented singer who is down on her luck and wallowing in self-pity when we meet her because she got kicked out of the band she was playing in right as they hit it big. Their music is everywhere now, taunting her, while she’s desperately searching for a job so that she doesn’t have to leave New York and move back home, admitting she failed. I felt tremendous sympathy for Claire and wanted to cringe right along with her every time someone mentioned her former band and their sexy new lead singer.
It is when Claire lands a job on Park Avenue playing music for a bunch of wealthy Manhattan moms and their infants that we meet the rest of the main characters. And what a crew these women are! In some ways they are totally unrelatable because of their tremendous wealth and glamorous lifestyles, but on the other hand, their struggles as new moms is something that grounds them all and makes them a little easier to connect with as a whole.
The leader of this pack is Whitney, the social media queen who has a whole Instagram account devoted to showing how picture perfect her life as a mom is and how equally perfect her play group is. Every playgroup meeting is a photo op, and Whitney has amassed a huge following and lots of sponsors who are constantly sending her free things to promote on her account. Then there’s Gwen, who comes from old money, is super reserved and also somewhat of a condescending know-it-all. Lastly, there’s Amara, who has some financial issues and who also has a child who isn’t developing as quickly as the other babies in the playgroup. Amara is constantly feeling like she just doesn’t measure up to the rest of the moms in the group. There are also several other moms in the group but Whitney, Gwen, and Amara are the three who take center stage in this story.
I don’t want to give away any of the juicy details but what becomes apparent as the story progresses is that the more picture perfect Whitney tries to make all of their lives look on Instagram, the more clear it becomes that all of their lives are far from it. They each have their own struggles they’re dealing with, and with the story unfolding from the perspectives of Claire, Whitney, Amara, and Gwen, we are taken on a roller coaster ride that is filled with secrets, drama, and all out scandal!
If you’re looking for a book that will make you forget your own troubles for a while, I suggest diving into Laura Hankins’ addictive new novel, Happy & You Know It. It’s a quick and easy read that is sure to entertain!
This sounds so good! It’s not a book I’d normally pick up but I love the idea of the picture perfect rich mothers having just as many troubles as the rest of us😀
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…THE BONE SHIPS by R.J. Barker – Review
Yes, it was kind of amusing what a humbling experience it was for them, lol.
I haven’t seen much buzz about this one (maybe I’m just oblivious) but it sounds interesting. I usually enjoy reading about the dynamics between women. Lots to explore there.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #208
I haven’t seen much buzz for it yet either, which surprised me since it was also a BOTM pick this month.
Excellent review, Suzanne💜 I’m so looking forward to listening to this one.
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café recently posted…Saturdays at the Café
I hope you enjoy it!
I’m always fascinated to read even fictional stories about how the other half lives. It is true that the grass isn’t always greener. 🙂
Sounds like a fun premise, and it’s always interesting to see how the other half live.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…Isn’t It Romantic?
Right? I think so too.
What a lovely review, Suzanne:)). This is a smashing premise and sounds like just the job to take us away from the current crisis.
It’s a good escape read for sure!
This sounds like a lot of fun – I always enjoy stories that incorporate social media.
Me too. Something about the life of an influencer always fascinates me.
I kind of love the title of this novel so much! And it sounds like it is going to have an interesting commentary on the use of social media and how people who appear the most perfect aren’t always truly that perfect! Great review x
Olivia-Savannah Roach recently posted…Children of Blood and Bone [Book Review]
Yay, I’m glad you liked this one. I have a copy to hopefully read soon too. I like books that deal with social media – it’s so prevalent these days, so it’s intriguing to see how authors tackle it.
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Lauren’s Birthday Wish List!
This screams read me, and your review cinched it.
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