Five things that made me happy in 2017
Our marketing manager shares five things that made her feel happy this past year
2017 has been a very hard year for a lot of people, the kind of year where you take whatever sources of happiness you can find. To that end, here are four novels and a movie that gave me a lot of joy over the past 12 months, and I hope they might bring you equal amounts of joy also.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
How to know if this book is for you: you’re in the mood for something light and undemanding yet absorbing, clever, funny, romantic and sexy. You like good banter and lots of sexual tension. You want a romantic comedy set in the publishing world (perhaps you watch the TV show Younger). You enjoy a good ol’ enemies-to-lovers storyline. You’ve never read a romance novel before and don’t know where to start or you reads tons of romance and are looking for a new funny, adorable, squee-worthy story. Most importantly, you want to escape 2017 and live in a nice, happy place for a little while.
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
This novel has complicated relationships, secrets, sex, and a holiday house in France, so it’s got all the ingredients you need for a juicy summer read. I loved every character, even when they made questionable choices. It’s skilfully written, utterly absorbing, fiercely intelligent, and tender in ways you don’t expect it to be. But don’t just rely on my judgement – this debut novel was voted one of our top 10 best fiction books of the year and is also a New York Times Notable Book of 2017.
One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
If you mixed The Breakfast Club, Riverdale, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars all together into a YA novel, you might get something like One of Us Is Lying. I’m a sucker for a good teen drama in any form and this one hit all my sweet spots: an interesting mystery to be solved, a group of unlikely characters who have to work together, a satisfying amount of romance, and a fast-paced plot. It’s the perfect book to read on a plane, or tear through in one sitting on a lazy afternoon. It does cover some dark topics, so be warned if you’re truly looking to avoid anything bleak, but as a general read, it’s extremely entertaining.
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
Katherine Heiny writes like a dream, and I am committed to read everything she publishes until the end of time. (I have similar commitments in place with Rainbow Rowell and Curtis Sittenfeld.) Her novel, Standard Deviation, is about marriage, relationships and parenting, and pretty much every sentence in the book is funny and true. It’s delightful from beginning to end, and while it’s not a novel that’s big on plot, reading it is like sinking into a bath: warm, relaxing and utterly immersive.
The Big Sick is my favourite movie of the year. It’s part rom-com, part family drama, and it’s full of lovely moments that will make you feel a lot of things. It did what all good movies should do: it made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry. I probably clapped at the end, and I abhor clapping at the end of movies. I won’t say anything more other than tell you to watch it, and then rewatch it, and feel a bit better about the world.
MORE THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME HAPPY THIS YEAR
- Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary by Emma Chastain
- The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
- Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
- All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
- This classic box-set of the first eight books in Ann M. Martin’s The Babysitter’s Club series.
- Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow
- China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
Film & TV
- The Good Place created by Michael Schur (especially Janet)
- Stranger Things: Season 2 created by the Duffer Brothers (especially Steve)
- Riverdale adapted from the original comics by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
- American Vandal co-created by Dan Perrault & Tony Yacenda
- GLOW created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend created by Rachel Bloom & Aline Brosh McKenna
- Thor: Ragnarok directed by Taika Waititi
- Younger created by Darren Star
- The Disaster Artist – both the book and film