It didn't do enough for me.

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Like Happiness is a dual timeline narrative about Tatum Vega, a young woman in 2015 Chile in the modern day timeline and following her from a college age student to a 30 year old woman in the alternate timeline where she is writing a letter to M. Dominguez.

The good: The writing is beautiful, and I found the main character super relatable. I identified with her in a number of ways. I was able to see the themes of relationship power dynamics emerging, and I loved how much the book was about loving reading and literature.

The bad: The pacing was really slow. The book isn't even 300 pages, and it was a slog to get through the middle. The last 100 pages did pick up and get more interesting, but I didn't feel like this novel did enough. I didn't get any real closure or resolution from the ending, and it didn't really feel like Tatum did either. It felt like it was ending at the beginning of her healing, rather than the end of it. I wanted to see more on-page justice of the consequences for M's actions. I understand not making the story about him, but I would have loved to see a headline or a New York Times article in the story that actually gave us information about what was only being alluded to on the page. I also feel like because we didn't get any real resolution with Tatum, the points about age, race, and fame in relationship power dynamics didn't fully get driven home. It felt like they were introduced, but not really explored to the fullest. I think the book definitely needed more to happen before the conclusion.

I think the book had potential to be more than it was, and I was disappointed by not seeing that potential realized. That being said, the writing itself was beautiful, so maybe future novels from this author will pack more punch.