Jazzy Reviews: ‘Happy (& other ridiculous aspirations)’

Jazzy has been reviewing for me for several years now and I always love seeing her emails pop into my inbox as her reviews are thoughtful and insightful and it’s so nice to see the opinion of a teen reader – youth reviews are so great! This week she is looking at the latest book by Turia Pitt, for all Jazzy’s other reviews click on the ‘Jazzy Reviews’ tab.

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‘Happy (& other ridiculous aspirations)’

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Life is short. Go and enjoy it. And remember that diamonds and other ‘valuable’ stuff only have the meaning that we give them. And by that logic, money only has the meaning that we give it, too. Yes, we need it. And yes, it can make us happier. But not as happy as we might assume.


Turia Pitt’s latest read focusses on the ideal goal of complete happiness. She questions its achievability through intelligent metaphors, references to life experiences and colourful interviews with well-known authors and other celebrities.


I have such strong admiration for this woman and upon reading this book I have reconsidered my role models and put her at the top of the list. Ever since I can remember, I have been terrified of fire and smoke inhalation and I cannot even imagine what it would have been like to be completely trapped by it. I appreciate Pitt’s resilience and her relentless approach to beating the burns and getting back out in public again. She learnt to love herself again and I respect that.

‘Happy’ is divided into many chapters, all dedicated to a different approach to the achievement of happiness. The first three of these are related to gratitude, morning routines and zest, and the second inspired me to get up earlier and go on walks with my family, proving how inspirational Turia Pitt really is.

Found in the “money” chapter, the quote at the beginning of this review captured my attention because during the COVID-19 crisis and its economic aftermath, I have been questioning the value of money and whether it can truly buy happiness. It has caused such loss for so many people and so Pitt views money as a necessity that can make us feel good, but never completely content. That part is caused by time with those you love and that wonderful feeling you get when you achieve a goal – or a “champy,” as Pitt calls it.

One of the things I love the most about ‘Happy’ is the way the author relates the advice to personal experience. For example, in the chapter titled “self-love”, Pitt briefly talks about a grumpy train station server that she tried to buy a ticket from. She could not fit her hand under the Perspex, kindly letting the man keep the change – and he had the nerve to scream at her. Pitt then recounts that she immediately burst into tears. Afterwards, she explains that self-love is heavily misunderstood – you can still be self-conscious in the moment (like at the train station) and simultaneously love yourself.

It is difficult to give this book an age rating, mainly because it has advice that suits everyone. However, because of the cursing and a few sexual references, I recommend ‘Happy (& other ridiculous aspirations)’ to readers aged 13+

I have never read an entire novel of the “self-improvement” genre, but in this instance, I was hooked from the beginning by Pitt’s hilarious attitude and overall outlook on life. I will definitely be checking out her other reads in the future and rate this novel 9 ½ stars out of 10.

Publisher: Ebury Press
ISBN: 978 1 76089 288 3

May 2, 2021 at 11:54AM Megan Daley