“Happy People Read And Drink Coffee” by Agnés Martin-Lugand

I’ll start this review by saying that, for me, this novel was a welcomed break from the emotional roller coasters that are the books I’ve read during the last few months. At around 170 pages, it was a three-hour read that I finished in a single afternoon. However, while it was mildly entertaining, I can’t say I wholeheartedly recommend it.

To begin with, it’s quite an easy read, having a lot of dialogue. Since I had just finished Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End (you can find the review here), it was an interesting change after the description-heavy book.

One of the things I appreciated most about the book was the way the author depicted a character representing the LGBTQ+ community. Too many times was this situation portrayed as something that stole the spotlight, more often than not completed with drama and teenagers kicked on the streets. In this novel, however, you barely notice it. Nobody makes a big deal out of it, which is quite refreshing.

However, there was a catch that partly deflated my enthusiasm. Despite the mentioned character’s potential, he was stereotyped in another way. I was a bit disappointed, to say the least. There are a few more characters that, despite the potential they had, were a bit diminished through stereotypes. A good example: the only female character explicitly depicted as wearing heels and expensive clothes also happens to be pure evil.

Since we’re still counting my dislikes, I should put this out there: the main character’s thought process came off as questionable at best and the novel, quite predictable.

At times, it did indeed feel a tad overdramatic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The dynamics between a few of the characters were nicely shaped and only by looking back did I realize that a few of the events were pretty overdramatized. The writing is entertaining and drifts the attention away from the improbability of certain mishaps. Everything shaky I’ve noticed only came to light by looking back on the experience.

The ending was a bit anticlimactic at the start, but that got (at least partially) fixed. The book could’ve done with a bit more introspection from the main character’s part, especially at the final scene. There isn’t really any closure and while that shouldn’t bother me since there’ll be a sequel, it does. The lack of closure in this novel, for me, feels more annoying than intriguing. Maybe that’ll get sorted out in the sequel, on which I haven’t gotten the chance to read, yet. When I do, I’ll make sure to write a review on it and link it below.

All in all, while I don’t exactly recommend this book, it could make for a decently entertained few hours’ time trip.

These are my spoiler-free on Agnés Martin-Lugand’s Happy People Read And Drink Coffee! Let me know if you’ve read it (or if I succeeded to convince you to do so) and feel free to share your own thoughts! However, do be mindful of other readers and add a spoiler alert, if it’s needed.

Thank you for reading!

Andrea.

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