I knew I was reading something special from the very first line: Men are pigs. Matt read it, looked at me, and rolled his eyes (because MEN ARE ALSO DEFENSIVE). But then he continued reading and I continued reading and we found ourselves laughing so often that we forgot about the insult/truth.
I’m Happy and Other Lies I Tell Myself is the story of Georgia and Joe, the former being an indie author with social anxiety and the latter being a famous musician with a penchant for reciting unusual facts. Joe, who, as it turns out, is not a pig at all, wedges his way into Georgia’s life, and their romantic journey begins!
But this book isn’t just about their romantic journey. In fact, this book is as much a story about friendship and self-awareness as it is a story about love. Although a supporting character, Lori—Georgia’s best friend—is an integral part of Georgia’s journey. More on her later…
If you follow the author, Trish Anderson, on social media then you know how funny she is. She’s a feminist and a smart ass and a loyal friend who couldn’t give two shits about what people think of her (who has a lady crush? ME). Proof of this is her music video to promote this book. (If you haven’t seen this yet, stop reading and watch this!) Anyway, I should’ve known all these ingredients would be in this novel as well. It’s been a while since I’ve laughed this hard while reading a book. I mean the banter between Georgia and Joe, and Georgia and Lori, and Georgia and Collin (G’s brother) was easy and realistic and, well, she just kills it in the Genuinely Funny Department.
And while there is no shortage of wit, there is also no limit to the importance of her lovable supporting characters. This is a big deal to me. Sometimes, I read books where the supporting characters are overshadowed and barely move the story along, but Trish gives these people distinct personalities and memorable anecdotes. They give life to the main characters while also proving their own worth. Lori, for example, is Georgia’s go-to, so in their relationship we see Georgia’s struggles and strengths. But Trish, being the talented author she is, also shows Lori’s struggles and strengths, demonstrating through actions that they are both equally significant.
Their exchanges, as well as the ones between Georgia and Joe, became something I looked forward to. I found myself on many occasions thinking, this is some of the best dialogue I’ve ever read. It made me feel like a Georgia while wishing for a Lori and longing for a Joe being very happy to have a Matt.
And that, my dear friends, is what makes a book truly special: being so fully immersed in a story, you want to become the characters—all the good, bad, and ugly of them. Because Trish’s story is an honest one. She’s quick to point out the flaws and insecurities of her characters. She doesn’t shy away from the dirt and grittiness of life’s challenges and turmoil. That’s what makes this book feel so effortlessly authentic. Who would’ve thought a rock-star romance would be relatable? Not this girl! But I am HERE. FOR. IT.
“Men are pigs.” Erica is right, I did roll my eyes at the first line of this book. I thought I knew what this book was going to be about right from the get-go. Jaded-Girl-Finds-Hardcore-Guy-Who-Breaks-Down-Her-Walls, the end.
However, I am happy to admit that I was wrong. There was so much more to this book. Like Erica mentioned, Lori and Carl (Joe’s assistant) are both strong side characters, whose conversations move the story forward—not just fluff.
After reading Erica’s review, however, I told her she had a mistake. There was a problem in inconsistent information being shared. The editor in her jumped into work looking for it but couldn’t find it. Did you see it?
- First, Erica agrees with “All men are pigs” and says “MEN ARE ALSO DEFENSIVE”—not arguing, as that would be considered being defensive, which I am not.
- Second, she changes her mind on Joe, saying, “Joe, who it turns out, is not a pig at all…”
- Do you see it now?
- Ugh, fine, I will show you… WHERE DOES SHE SAY MATT IS NOT A PIG EITHER?!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can move on to the second part of her review that I would like to address. She playfully says, “It made me feel like a Georgia while wishing for a Lori and longing for a Joe being very happy to have a Matt.”
Erica, I don’t know how much you remember, but I was Joe. We were in China and I was famous. I had my guitar out and played for a sold-out classroom of 23 screaming fans. If I remember right, I think there was a time where I brought you on “stage” and you sang Sublime, while I played along. You, watching me interact with my fans, is one of the ways I won you over. I didn’t even know it was happening at the time, but while those fans tore at my hair to see if it was real and laughed at how white my skin was, your heart was growing three sizes. Neither of us knew it was happening, but we had a Joe and Georgia romance…maybe just on a much smaller scale. So hopefully you are more than just settling with this Ginger Rock King.
Aw shit. Dammit. I just re-read what I wrote, and Erica is right, men are defensive. But at least I made good points!
As for Trish Anderson, she wrote a book full of good points…and hot sex. She writes witty banter and romance in a playful way that feels like it could be real life. Erica and I banter back and forth. I think it is our Love Language. A few years after we were married, Erica’s mom confessed she didn’t think we would have made it when she first saw us as a couple, saying she was not used to the banter. We showed her! 😉
I think this kind of connection is what Trish did so smoothly that brought Georgia and Joe off the page and into my imagination…where, like the B-52s, they “bang-bang, on the door baby” in their own love shack.
I can’t speak to Trish’s music video, but I can speak to her balls. She is an amazing baker and chocolatier. She makes these big, smooth, chocolate balls that are filled with tiny marshmallows. You run hot milk over them and they turn into hot chocolate. I never thought I would say this, but Trish, I really love your hot balls.
Getting back to it, though…this book is fun. It’s the perfect mix of serious conversations about mental health, while also not taking itself too seriously. If you are stuck at home to “lower the curve,” first, thank you. Second, this is the perfect book to lose yourself in while we wait for COVID-19 to pass.
My heart “grew three sizes”?? What am I, the Grinch? That’s it, no more chocolate balls for you, Matt!
At one point in the book, a hope is expressed regarding a book making you a better person after reading it. I can say with confidence that I am. This book, with its lessons on friendship and becoming more self-aware, has made me a more self-aware person and for that, I am thankful to Trish.
As Joe says to Georgia, “Forget the what-ifs and think about the could-bes.” Don’t just make reading this book a what-if when you could be reading it right this instant.
To purchase a copy of or read the synopsis for Trish Anderson’s I’m Happy and Other Lies I Tell Myself, click here.