Reasons To Be Happy by Katrina Kittle

Title: Reasons To Be Happy

Author: Katrina Kittle
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Overall: 5/5 
Source: From Publisher, For Review
Hannah’s parents are glamorous Hollywood royalty, and sometimes she feels like the ugly duckling in a family of swans. After her mother’s tragic death, Hannah’s grief is compounded by her desperate need to live up to her mother’s image. She tries to control her weight through Bulimia, and her devastated father is too distracted to notice. The secret of her eating disorder weighs heavily on Hannah, but the new eighth grade Beverly Hills clique she’s befriended only reinforces her desire to be beautiful. The only one who seems to notice, or care, that something is wrong is Jasper, the quirky mistfit.
 My Review:
Reasons To Be Happy centers in on the life of Hannah Carlisle, a young girl with lists of many favorite things that make her happy. Although these lists serve as a reminder of the positive things in her life, behind the words and joyful memories, Hannah slowly begins to lose her happiness.
Hannah’s parents are successful and glamorous actors, yet Hannah feels as though she doesn’t belong, as though she isn’t as beautiful as they are. Hannah faces a very difficult time in her life where everything seems to go wrong, her mother is very ill, Hannah is struggling to be accepted by others at school, and what she wants most is to make her parents proud her and of the way she looks. There is only one thing that Hannah finds to make all her problems go away, her new found friendship with bulimia. Will Hannah use her lists of reasons to be happy to bring her old self back?
There are many elements of Reasons To Be Happy that made this novel such a wonderful read. I would first like to say that I highly recommend this novel to be read, especially by young teens. Katrina Kittle’s novel discusses a very important issue that more people should be aware of, without sugarcoating any of the detailed descriptions of this eating disorder.
Hannah is easy to relate to, especially to those who are struggling with eating disorders or those who feel all alone in the world, as though they don’t belong. Her father is also going through his own issues to overcome his loss. Once realizing that they need to come together during this difficult time, things seem to get better for the two of them, but not without great effort and determination to want to get better.
Hannah’s aunt Izzy was my favorite character along with Jasper as they were portrayed just as real as Hannah was. Izzy was straightforward with her, related with Hannah with her own battle with an eating disorder in the past. Izzy did all she could to help Hannah overcome her eating disorder, and find another way to mend her problems. Jasper never judged Hannah even after the discovery of her disorder. He saw the beauty she had within, and loved her for who she really was behind the wall she put up.
I was really sad when Hannah stopped writing lists of reasons to be happy and it was really heartbreaking reading how Hannah struggled through this really hard time in her life. Hannah loses her mother to cancer, and feels as though she needs to be pretty just like her mother was; this all made my feel as though I had this huge weight on my chest that belonged to Hannah. Readers will definitely feel the emotions Hannah goes through, they will laugh and cry with her and take her by the hand every step of the way.
Katrina Kittle is a fantastic author wonderfully portrayed a realistic story about a girl struggling with an eating disorder. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Katrina Kittle’s work. If you have not yet read this novel, don’t wait any longer!
I recommend Reasons to be Happy to Young Adult and Middle Grade readers.
Must Read! Highly Recommended!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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