Mariah's Pick: "Happy Place" by Emily Henry
I laughed, I cried, and I contemplated my entire life. Emily Henry knows exactly how to tear out my heart and put it back together again.
Henry sets the stage: one week every summer in the crisp blue of Knott’s Harbor, Maine. Friendships that have stood the test of time. Lobster festivals and a familiar sticky bar, with the people they love most for one final trip to their “happy place”.
Harriet and Wyn were the perfect couple. Now they’ve secretly broken their engagement and have to spend the entire week surrounded by their best friends, pretending. When they are forced to act like things are still rosy, they also begin to question their own lives and, maybe, their futures. But change is hard. Will the changes they’ve made be enough to make them happy?
Happy Place is a poignant, moving love story about finding yourself and your happiness. We see so much character growth, from well developed side characters you can’t help but fall in love with to profound storylines that really dive into understanding grief and mental health. Henry’s sense of humor (and affinity for epic happily-ever-afters) perfectly balances these deep themes to make Happy Place an all around success. This is definitely one of my Top 5 reads for 2023, and maybe forever.