I can count on my hands the amount of books that have changed my life - they range from The Da Vinci Code right through to Paper Towns; but it's been awhile since I've stumbled upon one that changed me so much I had to take a break because I was sobbing too hard to read the ending. Somewhere Inside Of Happy by Anna McPartlin was the book that had me reading through my tears, and it's firmly secured it's place in my life of books that changed my life. Beautiful, heart-breaking and so sad in equal measures - don't let the cutesy title fool you into thinking this is going to be an easy read.
Somewhere Inside Of Happy follows the life of Jeremy Bean - a missing boy - and his mother; an ex domestic violence victim who has only just gotten her family back together in time for it to be torn apart. It tackles love, domestic abuse, alzheimer's, religion and so much more. It's not only well written, but it's thought provoking, tackles difficult topics with ease and shows how minor things within life can snowball out until you can't possibly stop the chain of events that they've caused.
McPartlin has written a book with loveable characters that you truly are rooting for; she creates anti-heroes in people we traditionally think to be weak, it shows the love of a family and how the attitudes around a person can have such a positive, or such a detrimental, impact on their life. It's a book about teenage love, and yet it's a book about learning to live again after a catastrophic event, and in this McPartlin has managed to create a book that will appeal to a huge amount of people, and whilst providing them with a beautiful, inspiring story - it's also teaching an underlying message.
I can't say a bad word about the book - it's written in some Irish slang, it's down to Earth and not pretentious in the slightest, and I've fallen in love with it; I want to lend it to anyone who is willing to take it from me, I want people to read it, I want to talk about it with every person possible. It's a book I stayed up until after midnight to read, it's a book that's broken me and yet I sit here wanting to open the first page and read it all over again from the start.
If there's one Summer read I reccomend this year, it has to be this. I read a lot of good books, and probably even more mediocre books, but I don't often come across books that genuinely change my life, that leave me sobbing to myself as I'm writing up their review. Somewhere Inside Of Happy has become a fast favourite, and I can't wait to pick up more books from Anna McPartlin because I think she might just have changed my life.