If it makes you happy by Claire Kann
Format: ARC provided by Swoon Reads
Top 3 Genres: Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQA
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book:CA • US • FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads
Hey guys! Back today to tell you about my third LGBTQ book of the month: If it makes you happy! A coming of age + romance story just as I like them 😉
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?
But not any Summer… Winnie’s last one before university! She expects it to be all the same: taking care of her grandma diner and lots of fun time with her ungirlfriend, her cousin and her brother. BUT that is not what happens! It all starts when she is elected Queen of Misty Haven, gets closer to a cute boy she has a crush on, and fights a lot with her grandma… while also trying to fit everyone expectations. But Winnie starts to realize that wanting everybody’s happiness above her own might not always work…
To be honest, I loved Winnie’s character: funny and sassy plus size black girl, queer and happy with herself. The author addresses here issues that still need to be talked of, namely regarding body image and positivity! And it is done super well. As someone who has lost and won a lot of weight (getting personal here!) and still feeling horrible about myself, it felt really good to read about Winnie and how she saw herself and the others! Now, my problem was more with how upset I was with the relationship between Winnie and her granny. Because I understand the love and the fights but I don’t accept how Winnie keeps on giving and forgiving and bending herself for this person she just wants acceptance from. It broke my heart to see it continue through all the book… almost til the end. Thankfully it got a bit better by the end!
*Special appreciation for the great book and movie references!
And on the Queer side…
Another amazing part of this book I recognized myself a lot with! Winnie has an ungirlfriend, not a girlfriend in a strict sense but more than a regular friend. Something different and that you can’t completely describe, something that does not really want to be labeled. Winnie wishes to date (boy or girl) outside of this relationship, and Kara (the ungirlfriend) is happy as it is. On the paper, she said she would accept Winnie having someone else than her…in reality, it doesn’t work so well! Which creates quite some drama for the story to work around! I found it super interesting and validating just to see on paper that relationships could be more than what is expected or defined. It was liberating!
In a few words
If sometimes a bit confusing (narrator being Winnie), this book was full of life and emotions, heartbreaks and beautiful moments. It felt real while also original with this incredible main character and it’s definitely a Summer read I would recommend!
See you for a cup,