"Seven Steps to Happiness" by Stella Newman
Is there such a thing as a formula for happiness?
If it's Netflix + 2 for 1 Malbec + the perfect toasted-cheese sandwich, Lenny Dublonsky has it covered. Even if she works for a tech company where her colleagues ride scooters round the office, and is in a relationship with a man who doesn't do relationships.
Lenny's friend Juliet never planned to be pregnant and married at nineteen, but since then she has been the perfect wife with the perfect family. Until her husband Matt drops the ultimate bombshell...
Lenny is determined to save the day. So when she's asked to test an app that enhances happiness, she puts scepticism aside and persuades Juliet they should give it a go.
Could it really be that happiness is only seven steps away?
This book has a lovely cover which is so eye-catching. I was really attracted to the design, colour and whole suggestion of what this book would be like and I think it will really stand out in shops and on bookshelves.
As the blurb suggests, this is a great read for fans of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Jill Mansell. Our main protagonist, Lenny, also feels a little "Bridget Jones" at times too and I'm sure this is a book that would translate well to the screen. It's a perfect read for this time of year when the weather is dark, cold and wet and you crave just sitting snuggled up with an entertaining, light read - although by the end of this book you'll probably be craving something toasted, possibly with melted cheese such is the description of food throughout the novel!!
Which takes me straight on to Juliet and her job as a "ghost writer" for Celina; a vacuous celebrity who poses as a chef, taking the credit for the laboriously researched, prepared, cooked, photographed and tweaked recipes that Juliet dedicates her working life to creating. I really enjoyed these scenes - although Juliet's ability to handle everything with such calmness and perfection prevents them from becoming too comical, Celina and Mitchell could be something out of an "Absolutely Fabulous" sketch. What a shame their inspiration for a book called "Epic Kale" will only remain a fictional concept!
Juliet's commitment and talent is admirable. She is a conscientious employee, wife and mother which makes the devastating (although heavily hinted!) deception by her husband even more cataclysmic. But Juliet is more resilient than even she realises. I enjoyed watching her suddenly see how talented she was and begin to take control back over her life. I enjoyed her quickly working out the maths while pretending to be in the loo before standing up for herself and making a brave decision to go it alone.
Lenny is a colourful character. Haphazard, a little chaotic, a little directionless - but ultimately well meaning and prepared to do anything to help her friend. Her retorts and quips are entertaining and sharp and the reader cannot help but be drawn to her. I really enjoyed Lenny's first foray into the world of 'positive thinking' when she begins to use HappyGuru.
"Dr Durcat said, 'When it looks like we're facing a wall, the question to ask is not, How do I get over this wall? but rather: Is this wall really a wall or is this wall a door?'
Is that door really a door? Lenny thought, looking longingly towards the exit."
This book does what it says on the label - or cover....It has the perfect ingredients for tasty treat that will leave you feeling satisfied and content. It's full of lively characters, great dialogue, life, love and laughter. A great companion for your lunchtime toastie!
I received this book from Bookbridgr.
"Seven Steps to Happiness" by Stella Newman was published by Headline in October 2016.
Stella Newman studied English at Sussex University then went on to work in advertising at the BBC and then as a professional food taster. She is now a full time writer, based in London. She blogs about restaurants, food and writing at www.stellanewmansblogspot.blogspot.com and you can follow her on Twitter @stellanewman
Her other books are:
For more recommendations and reviews you can follow me on Twitter @katherinesunde3 (bibliomaniacuk)