Review: Another Word for Happy

Review: Another Word for Happy
Author: Agay Llanera4.5 out of 5 stars
If there is one word to describe this book, it is this: vivid.

Agay did a great job of weaving the story of Caleb through an amazing way of showing, not telling. Each scene was vividly described, each emotion clearly depicted, that I can actually feel I am there, with Caleb. In his school, in his home, with his mother, with Ginny. And with Franco.

The tone of the story was set at the first paragraph. It was neither happy or sad, or hot or cold. It was somewhere in between. More importantly, it was real. As real as it gets. In modern jargon, I believe it’s termed “true-to-life.” Caleb went through the pains of realization, acceptance, unrequited love, and despondency, and emerged scarred yet armed with a renewed conviction of staying true to himself as he saw fit. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he graciously granted forgiveness and understanding to the persons who hurt him. And in doing so, he turned the tides of his life to his advantage, avoiding a lifetime of anger and resentment.

Caleb’s character development was carefully laid out and crafted. Ginny is adorable, as well as her aunts. Franco is, well, Franco. Human and imperfect, like Caleb’s mother. The flow of the story was remarkably fluid, made more entertaining by naming each chapter after musical terms and compositions which best reflect it.

I think the most important thing we can learn from Caleb’s story is not that we have to accept people like him. The most significant lesson here is that we hold in our hands the power to live in peace and harmony, not just with our own selves, but with others too, especially others who are dear to us. Like Caleb, we can also turn the tides in our favor instead of letting bitterness in our hearts take us to the depths of despair and infinitely wrong choices. The secret? To forgive.

I was given an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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