Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee is a quirky little book that starts out as a tragedy because of what the heroine suffers and then falls down the rabbit hole, so to speak. Everything happens at a fast rate, and the majority of the character's emotions are over the top. The heroine's suffering is over the top, and her love interest's brooding and seemingly cold and cruel nature is almost cartoonish. Plus there is a major lack of descriptions, especially when it comes to the time frame. When days past, we get a sentence to describe how many days past, and the action starts up again. By the end my head was spinning, and I had yet to sympathize with any of the characters, least of all the main female protagonist, who has lost so much, but act like a depresses Energizer Bunny. I just couldn't figure her out, the photographer love interested who is as flat as the paper I was reading, and the sudden twist with his snobby almost Glenn Close like antics from Fatal Attraction. Loopy and eye rolling is only a few words to describe this book with the cute title.
Diane owns a cafe called Happy People in France. She is suffering a year after her husband and daughter died in a car accident. Her husband was the love of her life, and she can barely go on without him. She has become a hermit in her home, refusing to see anyone or even go out. There's Felix, her business partner and best friend who refuses to let her disappear into nothing, and possible kill herself because she is beyond miserable over the loss of her family. She wants to run away from it all, and choose a small seaside town on the Irish coast. She begins to repeat the same actions she did in France, ala hermit seaside Irish style, but then she meets her neighbor- Edwards, who is mean, snarly and insulting to her just because he seems to hate people. She hates him back, getting on her nerves, but like his dog. Then as the weeks go by, and after he finds out why Diane is so moody and depressed, he's friendlier, even inviting her on trips with him for his work. Their truce transforms into a possible romantic relationship, but it stalls when a woman from Edward's past appears to claim him. Does Diane let Edward go, and return to her home and her past where her heart is still shattered into a million pieces?
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee tries for a tragic comedy type vibe, combined with British Chick-Lit even though Diane is French, and most of the action is in Ireland. This book reads more like a first draft. It's missing the meat and potatoes, and all the rest that is needed to make this an enjoyable read. Even with the subject matter, the writing is very light and fickle, and not complex at all. The characters made my head spin because their motivations and actions are too wacky and loopy. One moment Diane and Edwards are hating each other, the next they calm down and want to hit the sheets together, which comes out of left field. So much in his book doesn't make sense. The only redeeming aspect is Felix, who is the voice of reason, as well as being very colorful and adorable. Too bad he's stuck in this mind numbing plot.
What should have been an insightful read on great loss and how to deal with it and move on, is more like a train wreck. Big pass on this one.