Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
I have to say that I dithered on a rating for this one. I think it would have been five stars if we actually followed the three women (Alison, Frankie, and Kate) for the whole year. They make resolutions for New Year and we stop in March/April timeframe. Also Alison's storyline felt like something was missing. She never talks to her husband about how she feels and about missing his mother. I thought her being the best mother ever thing was laughable since it seems she can't really cook and her kid is a nightmare. Frankie's storyline was very interesting with her trying to keep a job she was good at and moving her relationship along. I was disappointed with Kate's storyline though. Why the author didn't have Kate push back at her "friend" who criticized her choices when it came to motherhood was surprising.
The Happiness Project is a weird title for this book I thought. It seemed to me that none of the women really got happy until the very end of the book. There seemed to be a lot of things left unsaid and misunderstandings. I also thought that there should have been more scenes between the three women. Most of the time James just follows the three women separately with one of them wondering about the other one. I didn't get that they were best friends most of the time.
Alison is dealing with the loss of her mother in law that she was really close to. She decides that the New Year she will change things up to be better about and asks her two best friends (Kate and Frankie) to make resolutions too.
I thought it weird Alison didn't discuss her mother in law much with her husband. And her husband was just a jerk for most of the book telling that she really hasn't gotten out of her comfort zone and being condescending about everything she was doing. They don't have a real conversation it seems to me.
Kate is dealing with her third pregnancy and missing her husband who isn't around much. Throughout her story though she compares him to everyone around them, she realizes she's lucky. It's odd though we don't see her with her two kids besides a couple of scenes here and there. And then the plot has her meeting up with an old friend who mommy shames her.
Frankie is trying to find and keep a job. She's also doing her best to raise her 4 year old son without leaning on her mom or her ex much. A new relationship has her dealing with her boyfriend's vindictive ex though.
I thought the writing was good, but the flow wasn't. The three storylines at times seem totally separate from each other. I also thought that Alison and Frankie's tension wasn't that believable. I realize this is a sequel to the first book where the three women meet each other, but there doesn't seem to be much friendship here. Just a lot of people not speaking up to each other.
The ending was jut okay, not really earth-shattering or anything.