If It Makes You Happy | A Book Review

If It Makes You Happy By Claire Kann


High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she’s spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”

Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it’ll go away if they can’t make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn’t want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?

Book Review ★★★★☆

I’m so happy to say I really enjoyed this story! I loved all of the characters — some likeable, others not quite so much. They all felt like real people with flaws, and most of their decisions felt realistic and made sense for their personalities.

This is the first book I’ve read with a queerplatonic relationship, and I feel like it dealt with it really well! I don’t think it’s explicitly stated (correct me if I’m wrong), but I’m pretty sure Winnie’s “ungirlfriend” Kara is aro if not aro/ace. We don’t get to see much of Kara beyond her relationship with Winnie, and I wish we could have gotten more! I feel like Kann did a good job at following Winnie as she figures out how dating coincides with her qpr with Kara and the complications romantic relationships can introduce in a situation like this. (bc oh! do complications ensue.)

This book covers a lot. Winnie is a fat black queer girl, and I think this story does an excellent job of showing how all of those parts of her identity intersect and how that affects her everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, this book is fun and cute and has a bubbly romance, but these are important parts of Winnie’s identity and directly relate her experience. There are a lot of microaggressions related to her weight, so if you’re not comfortable reading about tw: fatshaming, I’d recommend staying away from this one until you’re in a healthy mental place.

I would definitely consider this a fun, summer read, but it also covers important topics.

*Thank you to Swoon Reads and Edelweiss for this review copy!*

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