She’s out to prove that there’s no such thing as choosing happiness.

Isadora Bentley follows the rules. Isadora Bentley likes things just so. Isadora Bentley believes that happiness is something that flat-out doesn’t exist in her life—and never will.

As a university researcher, Isadora keeps to herself as much as possible. She avoids the students she’s supposed to befriend and mentor. She stays away from her neighbors and lives her own quiet, organized life in her own quiet, organized apartment. And she will never get involved in a romantic relationship again—especially with another academic. It will be just Isadora and her research. Forever.

But on her thirtieth birthday, Isadora does something completely out of character. The young woman who never does anything “on a whim” makes an impulse purchase of a magazine featuring a silly article detailing “Thirty-One Ways to Be Happy”—which includes everything from smiling at strangers to exercising for endorphins to giving in to your chocolate cravings. Isadora decides to create her own secret research project—proving the writer of the ridiculous piece wrong.

As Isadora gets deeper into her research—and meets a handsome professor along the way—she’s stunned to discover that maybe, just maybe, she’s proving herself wrong. Perhaps there’s actually something to this happiness concept, and possibly there’s something to be said for loosening up and letting life take you somewhere . . . happy.

Isadora is fabulous! First of all, I love that this story is written in first-person. And boy oh boy do we get an inside look into what makes Isadora tick—her thoughts, her emotions, her past, why she thinks the way she doeseverything about her. I don’t know that I’ve ever stepped away from a novel and felt like I knew the main character so well. The professor and others that come into her life are just perfection. There are some touching and raw moments, some funny moments (quite a few actually), and also some deep insight into what it takes to actually be happy. What does it mean? Why is it important? How does one go about finding happiness? All of this is touched upon in an authentic and meaningful way in this novel.
Such a wonderful book. Some may say that this story of reinventing or finding one’s self has been done before. To them I would say, “Sure, but not like this.” This story is different. You will find yourself connecting with Isadora in some way in this story. It is well worth the read!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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