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Getting to Happy (Waiting To Exhale)

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  3,452 ratings  ·  529 reviews
From the author of WAITING TO EXHALE...
Best friends Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin have had their share of broken marriages, concessions, and the lessons learned from taking happiness for granted. Now, with each at a crossroads that will define their future, it's time for these women to get their act together. They're on their way to healing past hurts and to recl
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Signet Book (first published 2010)
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Demiere Lee Yes. The book is not for everyone I must admit but I wouldn't suggest you basing your opinion on the reviews. I get it. You want to see if the story…moreYes. The book is not for everyone I must admit but I wouldn't suggest you basing your opinion on the reviews. I get it. You want to see if the story would live up to your expectations or the money you spent on it. I thought it was beautifully written. It takes a while to get used to but like most novels, to meet the length the publishers ask for and the like, it drags the storyline out. However, McMillan does paint a vivid picture of the characters, scene(s) and I can relate. But to answer your question I love memoirs. Why are you asking? Are you suggesting this book is like an autobiographical narrative?
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Community Reviews

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I HATED THIS BOOK. I hated everything about this book. I hated the idea of it (rejoining the characters 10yrs later) I hated the choppy story line and how she jumped from one character to the next. Though mostly (and I wouldn't have even thought this possible) I HATED THE CHARACTERS! What the hell did you do?! James is a lying, con man bigamist..... wait what? Bernadine the super strong woman who took her life back in the 1st novel is playing mammy to her cheating ex's son and she a junkie?! Ms. ...more

Pure shit.

Sorry for the profanity but this is the worst peice of so called "literature" I've read in a long time.

Ok, so let me preface this review I'm going to write (and there will be spoilers). Before reading Getting to Happy I re-read (and even watched the craptastic movie) Waiting to Exhale to refresh myself with the four sassy soul sistahs: Savannah, Bernadine, Robin and Gloria.

Now, when I first read Waiting to Exhale around 15 years ago I loved it. It tapped into the zeitgeist of A
I have rarely been so disappointed by a novel before. McMillan has taken 4 strong, intelligent, independent women from Waiting to Exhale, and made 1 a drug addict, 1 a pushover mom/desperate single woman, 1 a widow, and 1 a divorcee. All of which wouldn't be the worst thing in literature, but McMillan has made their strong bonds of friendship minimal when compared to finding a man. When one character is widowed, her friends are more concerned with her weight gain than her mental well-being.

Familiar. Predictable. Funny.

Let's face it. You know what your getting when you pick up a Terry McMillan book. If you don't, try a few you'll pick up the pattern pretty quickly. Sistah-girl, successful, sassy, life drama with family/kids/men, "I need a change in my life I'm bout to get my groove back". *Snap*Snap*Neckroll* lol On my reading list, this type of book has it's place. Very rarely I'm in the mood for it but I could never endure a steady diet of it as some do. It's comfortable, it's
Tracy Darity
I am undecided on Terry McMillan’s sequel to Waiting to Exhale. I told someone recently that I wasn’t loving it, nor was I hating it…just stuck in the middle somewhere. That was at page 97, and my feelings never changed.

I started reading Getting to Happy like it was a destination Ms. McMillan needed the characters to reach; however, as it went on, I found myself wanting to scream, “Are we there yet!” But the reality is, happy isn’t a place we should be trying to get to, it is merely an emotion w
Jamie Nesbitt
Twenty years ago, I snuck my mom's copy of "Waiting to Exhale" out of her room and read it cover to cover. Of course, 14 year-old me couldn't relate to much, but I was blown away by the strength and vulnerability of these women. Life challenged them in ways I couldn't imagine then. Now, as I approach Year 35, I can.

I was hesitant to download the sequel because the reviews for it were pretty awful, and I didn't want to deal with all the doom and gloom that would befall Savannah, Gloria, Bernadet
African Americans on the Move Book Club
Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria and Robin are back after 15 or 16 years to bring us up to date with their lives. After 15 years or so, you’d think these four women has found some happiness and piece, but sadly things started off for them all wrong. Savannah finally has a husband, but he’s kicked to the curb. Bernadine met the perfect man name James, so we thought. Gloria is blissfully happy, but that is instantly taken from under her feet and Robin, my goodness is a single mother with a teenage daug ...more
I liked reading Terry McMillan back in the day. Liked the women in Waiting to Exhale, to which this book makes a sequel. I'm thinking maybe I'm outgrowing this kind of book, for just like Sex and the City 2 leaves me with absolutely no desire to see it, even though I loved the TV series, this book did not engage me. The women are all about 15 years older, and not really any wiser. One ends up divorcing her husband over a matter that -might- have been worked through if she was really interested i ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm not quite sure why this book had to be done? I really loved Waiting to Exhale and the ending was so pat and yet not happily ever after... So this book literally spends the first 50 pages deconstructing any and all gains from the first novel... Divorces, betrayals, and other means are used to tear down what made these characters settle

That said--I missed Savannah, Robin, Bernie and Glo and was happy to get back into their world(s). I liked that they all seemed to have grown and learned things
Overall, I enjoyed the follow-up stories of the women from Waiting to Exhale.

There were a few things that kept this from being a 5 star rating for me though:

1. I listened to the audio version and did not enjoy listening to the author read the character of Savannah. I've been an avid audiobook listener and have found that I prefer audiobooks where the author does not read their own material (with the exception of autobiographies or memoirs).

2. The timeframes didn't seem to add up...this could be
Disappointing follow up to Waiting to Exhale. The writing was very disjointed and the techniques used (multiple viewpoints, using present tense in some chapters) did not effectively convey the story. And in particular, many times where dialogue went on for pages and pages and was so mundane it felt like filler (just trying to meet a minimum page target instead of adding to the story).

This felt like a novel that was released as an indulgence to the author, as though someone along the line (edito
thank god for kindles and the fact that i can read a sample before i purchase - can yikes and gadzooks be considered a review? its really and truly the only phrase i can think of to describe what i've read so far. savannah *smh* really? i mean really, come on?! she's supposed to be in her 50's yet she is acting like some teenager. and you let your kid talk like that to you? like you're one of the gals instead of her mother. i just don't understand it. what also make this book terribl ...more
For now, I'm giving Getting to Happy 3 stars, but this could change. I've been fluctuating between 3 and 4 stars, mainly because it's a good book, but pales next to Waiting to Exhale.

I think what helped me was reading both books back to back, so I could see clearly just how far the women came.

At times it was depressing to read, and everything that could happen to the foursome did: divorce, pill addiction, death. And there were a couple liberties McMillan took with her characters, but she did g
Collin Kelley
Like another reviewer here, I read the first 100 pages and almost put the book down. Then, at about page 164, it was like the writing got better, the plot picked up, and there was actually some "happy" on the horizon.

But, lord, those first 100 pages were tedious. The book lacked both the zest and crisp dialogue found in McMillan's earlier work. It was hard to tell Savannah, Gloria, Robin and Bernie apart because they all sounded the same. And they all spoke in this stilted, formal way, always a
Sarah Weathersby
I read Getting to Happy because it's our Book Club selection for January. I suppose we chose it because we wanted to see if it would be another "watershed moment" for women to talk about. Ms. McMillan starts in her Author's Note with a reminder that the movie Waiting to Exhale was not the same as the book. My initial feeling was that maybe I should go back and reread that book. I still have it on my shelf...pocketbook edition with really small font. My Kindle has me spoiled with my choice of fon ...more
Before there was "Sex and the City," there was "Waiting to Exhale." Although the latter did not achieve the same iconic status as the former, it was still a quality book that earned Terry McMillan a loyal following. I read "Waiting to Exhale" not long after it came out, before it was made into a high-grossing film. I had hoped that, nearly twenty years later, its sequel would be just as good.

I was mistaken and disappointed.

We all know that Terry McMillan was scorned by her husband--the same one
This is the sequel to Waiting to Exhale that revisits four African American women after fifteen years. Savannnah is struggling to be happy in her marriage so he decides to be single again at fifty one. Bernadline divorce settlement has taken a hold on her, and causes her to turn to pills for confront, while her love life is put on hold. In addition,Robin shopping habits has not changed, and she plans on walking down the aisle soon and lastly Gloria tries to shed pounds, hoping that her new figur ...more
This book is a prime example of why there should be a law against sequels. I am so disappointed that Terry McMillan brought these beloved characters back without any real story to tell. Every one of their crises felt obvious and were too easily 'solved' by the book's end. I couldn't finish this fast enough so I can move on to my next book. The writing almost didn't even feel like signature Terry McMillan, which I remember as effortless and poetic. This was stilted and dialogue seemed forced and ...more
First of all...I loved Waiting to Exhale. Second of all...that's where it should have ended. I got this book for 50 cent at the flea market. I'm pissed and I want my money back. Honestly, I only could stomach 3 1/2 chapters before I threw this damn book in the trash. I couldn't even have the darn thang in my house! Terry knows better than that, and she has shown that she can do MUCH better than that and I'm going to give her a little break because she was going through a messy break up. She has ...more
Demiere Lee
Definitely worth every penny you spend on this spectacular novel! Now being a 16 year old male, I didn't think I'd be impressed with this stunning sequel to McMillan's "Waiting to Exhale", as most sequels to books like albums aren't as successful as their predecessor. This book was the complete opposite of what I expected. McMillan takes her faithful fans and readers on a journey through tears, wisdom, laughter and most importantly she celebrates sisterhood. Savannah, Bernadine, Robin and Gloria ...more
This book was purchased years ago and has done nothing but collect dust on my bookshelf. I am pleased to say that it has been read and I kinda liked it. But I have to say that I didn't realize it was a sequel to Waiting to Exhale. I am not sure if I was aware of this at the time of purchase but when I picked it up again I saw the title on the cover and was surprised. I know! I am the last person on the planet to realize it but...anyways. I read Waiting to Exhale decades ago (22 years ago to be e ...more
well i made it to the end. i doubt that is how you are supposed to feel about a book. it seems that ms. mcmillan got lethargic towards the conclusion of the text. besides the sloppiness i was content. the title is not misleading.

the first half of the books reads as though you are playing catch up to their lives although the action is the present. they do not dwell or dive into any past issues, (so if you by some stroke of misfortune are ignorant of their backstories you maybe confused as to why
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Miller
Has it really only been 18 years since Terry McMillan wowed the publishing world with her book, Waiting to Exhale? It seems like forever!

How I missed those four friends, Bernadine, Gloria, Robin, and Savannah (missed them in that order, by the way) and wanted to know how they were doing.
Did Bernadine and her new man, James, have a happily forever after? My bet was they did. Bernadine deserved it after the way her ex-hubby did her. Hmph!

And Gloria. Oh, my precious Gloria. The woman with the weig
Deanna Burrell
This was a sad little book. I had a bad feeling when I read the author's note at the beginning and Terry McMillian wrote about her Waiting to Exhale characters that "To be honest, all four of them got on my last nerve long after their shelf life." The writing was choppy. The dialogue was sophomoric. The editor should have gone through the book and removed the word "Anyway" from the start of way too many sentences. There were too many references to pop culture as if Ms. McMillan was trying to pro ...more
Reader's Paradise
When I started listening to this book and I must admit Terry M, should not narrate audio books. Her voice sounds like a run on sentence. I'm not saying that as a dig or a compliment just an observation. As I stated reading this book I was so excited to revisit these women several years later. To see where they are in their lives and what happened after they exhaled. What I found out is "Once you breathe don’t talk about it, be about it"

• Savannah Jackson (Whitney Houston) is a successful televis
T Ramon
This book was magnificent. I felt like I was catching up with old friends, and at times, family members. The character work here is extraordinary. The women have aged and have years of experience since we last saw them in the classic predecessor. Age has brought about all new challenges that are tragic, enlightening and ironic but always a lesson learned. McMillan isn't missing a single beat here. She knows these characters better now that they have matured. I love the multi - perspective tellin ...more
Getting to Happy was an enjoyable quick read, but it could've been quicker had Terry McMillain excluded some of the many superflous characters and not attempted to mention almost every social problem and trend of 2005. It was also somewhat redundant as she practically retold Waiting to Exhale in the exposition. I unserdtand that some backstory is necessary since the sequel takes place about 15 years after the original, but it was borderline redundant.

It was fun to catch up with Gloria, Robin, S
Andrea Partee
Feb 24, 2014 Andrea Partee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women over 40
I just finished this book and read a few of the other reviews. I can't believe how differently readers perceive Getting to Happy. I read Waiting to Exhale years ago and enjoyed that thoroughly as well. While I was afraid it might be a bit depressing (and it certainly had its moments) overall I love McMillan's writing style in all her books and found this one
therapeutic. Being close to the character's ages myself gave it more relevance I am sure. If other readers haven't experienced at least a fe
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Terry McMillan is an African-American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was sixteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 from the University of California at Berkeley. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.

Her first book, Mama, was self-promoted. She achieved national attention in 1992 with her third novel, Waiting to Exhale, which remai
More about Terry McMillan...

Other Books in the Series

Waiting To Exhale (2 books)
  • Waiting to Exhale

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“Folks want to glow, to leave their worries and dead skin behind.” 735 likes
“I want to push the fast-forward button until I get back to happy.” 51 likes
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