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Happiness for Beginners

by Katherine Center

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20614104,396 (4.01)None
"A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, thirty-two, lets her annoying, ten years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It's supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother's even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can't imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls. Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen's own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found. "--… (more)
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Helen is trying desperately to bring some control back into a life that has slipped through her fingers. She views survival training as a chance to take back her life and gain strength. But she doesn't count on falling in love with her younger brother's best friend. I liked that Helen is pushed out of her comfort zone and discovers she is ok the way she is. The love interest was a bit unbelievable - maybe just because we only see Helen the way she thinks of herself and don't see her from Jake's point of view. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Feb 6, 2021 |
This is downright obnoxious! I wasn't this immature when I was a young teenager, let alone at 32. Bailed at 26%.
  joyblue | Dec 1, 2020 |
Helen is thirty-two years old, recently divorced, a first-grade school teacher, not the most athletically inclined individual, nor the most socially outgoing. Nevertheless, Helen is going to do something for herself, but she is not booking a stay at a spa or going globetrotting. She is going on a wilderness survival course. Sounds interesting. Could be funny. Wait, there’s more – her brother’s best friend is coming along. That would be her brother’s best friend, Jake, who she has known and ignored forever, who is athletically inclined, a real looker, gets along with anyone and everyone and ten years her junior.

Everything about this book was enjoyable and interesting except the strained romantic dynamic that was on, off, on again, off again. Professing that she “wanted so badly not to feel humiliated. And rejected. And pathetic” Helen seems to slip down that slope time and time again. While having a brilliant thought; “People can’t understand things before they can understand them” - she doesn’t get that this applies to her situation as well. Ah well, love is a funny thing.

Other than a few sophomoric sidebars Happiness for Beginners was well written with solid dialog and a lot of interesting information about surviving in the wilderness. Katherine Center is on my “favorite fun to read author” list and I look forward to making my way through her other novels. ( )
  kimkimkim | Oct 14, 2020 |
Seek the happiness that you desire and deserve, and propel yourself forward through a journey of self-evaluation, unexpected discoveries, and amazing revelations. This is "Happiness for Beginners", from author Katherine Center. In her early thirties and post-divorce, Helen Carpenter thinks a three-week adventure trek through the wilderness of wonderful Wyoming will make her a new woman--a tougher, stronger woman better able to chart and navigate the course of her own life. She certainly didn't plan on taking the trip with her younger brother's best friend, Jake, someone whom she had never liked, but Fate stepped in and changed the game plan. Jake, younger than Helen by a decade, has always had a serious crush on Helen, and this may be a chance for long-held emotion and attraction to come to full bloom. How will Helen handle an involvement with someone whom, for years, she had told herself she loathed? Going from your daily city-life routine to facing the challenges of the wild will definitely change the perimeters of your thinking-box, open your mind, and expand the horizons of your heart. Katherine Center's charming characterizations and involving storyline will captivate your reader's imagination, and it might just inspire you to take your own journey of a lifetime.

Book Copy Gratis Amazon Vine ( )
  gincam | Sep 15, 2019 |
Good summer read. ( )
  bookczuk | Jul 26, 2019 |
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"A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, thirty-two, lets her annoying, ten years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It's supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother's even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can't imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls. Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen's own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found. "--

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