Review: Chasing Happy by Ann Lee Miller

 Book available at  Barnes and Noble  |  Amazon

Book available at Barnes and Noble | Amazon

About the Book

After an epic fail in the hetero world, Ash Jackson heads cross country to Arizona to figure out his bisexuality and make peace with himself and God.

Nashville Star Samma Templeton’s music career bankrolls her future husband’s political campaigns. But she throws up before every concert and feels relegated to an item on the senator’s calendar.

When Ash moves into Samma’s apartment building their childhood friendship resurrects, and Samma must choose between promoting a political agenda that will benefit millions or following her heart. Ash must face his inner demons for the girl who was his past and feels like his future.

Review

Going into this book, I didn’t read the summary. I delve into the storyline and was surprised but appreciate more not knowing what it was about. The book dealt with a subject that I don’t know that much about but with an open mind, really found different perspectives through the characters that produced some thought provoking moments. This book definitely mature minded, dealt with some challenging issues that presented a unique perspective and brought awareness to some social issues that are very relevant today.

Whether your life is rooted in faith or not, Miller’s novel embraces many themes that readers can find common ground in despite the role religion plays in the lives of the characters. There were several aspects of the book that I felt people will connect with. The story not only centers around a young man trying to figure his life out but a young woman breaking from the confines of living for other people to live for herself. 

What I found really interesting about Miller’s book was the character Ash. Here is someone whose father left the family after his own revelation but fearing the unknown beat himself up over dealing with his identity crisis of who he was. Since this happened during an impressionable time of his life, it had a lasting impression on his life that he had trouble dealing with. Not sure of who he was, he battled perceptual right and wrong derived from his faith and was we see his evolvement as a character through his internal conflicts and his search for who he really is. Seeing his tests through his life and getting an understanding of his perspective through his character really brings some social awareness to the situation and opens the dialogue for conversations for many who might be experiencing the same conflict in their lives. 

This novel may not be for everyone and some may find it challenging to their own personal beliefs but it definitely opens the dialogue for conversation on a subject that many people experience more common than not. There are some aspects of the book that touched upon some delicate issues but I found them presented in a respected way focusing on the person the character represented with an issue rather than letting the issue define the person. There were a couple of moments that I fluttered because I felt they highlighted a couple of stereotypes but I think it should be taken in the context of the point of view of that particular character. I will admit, I was conflicted at moments because of my own personal beliefs but I respect the author for her valiant effort with bringing to life a character such as Ash that can be of comfort for those such as himself. The book balanced faith, relationships, family and friendship within a book that I found engaging and enjoyable to read. 

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles