Stabs-at-Happiness-HC-FinalReviewed by Krystal Larson

As the cover implies, Stabs at Happiness has a total of 13 stories. Most of them are far from the happy-go-lucky type. If you’re into the fairy tale everyone-lives-happily-ever-after type of book, this one isn’t for you. All of the stories have a dark undertone to them and are full of transvestites, drug dealers, prostitutes – all types of people that the society generally frowns upon.

The people in the stories aren’t happy with their lives, quite the opposite. They all have the same goal: to become better than how they were when the story began. Each story has something a little different to offer and the reader can easily set the book down between the stories to fully absorb them. They are also independent of each other and don’t necessarily need to be read in sequence.

Each story forces readers to think about questions concerning ethics, the reason for being, etc. and perhaps force them to view the world through a new lens. The author portrays a cold, dark world for the majority of these characters. These stories themselves take place all over the world and within different generations. They are all heartbreaking and gut wrenching, but they also gives you another life to sympathize with. You won’t relate to all of the characters, but you’ll root for them and hope for the best.

Most of the characters are interesting, but the type of interesting that doesn’t necessarily make the reader even want to get to know them better. Some of the characters are sympathetic; all of the characters have different qualities that make them stand out from the rest. The stories feel like a glimpse into the characters’ lives more than anything. Strangely enough, it is the idea of glimpsing into peoples’ lives that makes this book very intriguing. Personally, I don’t typically enjoy these types of stories but for some reason this one really got me emotional and I wound up loving every sentence. I recommend this book for people who like darker, adult books.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Schaffner Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.