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Happiness Sold Separately

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Dream boyfriend not included.

When she moved to New York, Ryan Hadley imagined living the big-city-sitcom kind of life with all the trimmings -- great apartment, dream job, and a swept-off-your-feet, how-awesome-is-this-guy love. Of course, her real life is only so-so: not outstanding, nor bad enough to require medication. Ryan spends her days at a dreary data-entry job with wannabe-rocker Will, nights at her favorite dive bar with pals Audrey and Veronica, and her spare time daydreaming about the ideal -- but sadly, fictional -- man: if only Mark Darcy wasn't claimed by Bridget Jones.
Some assembly required.
But two promotions and a record deal later, Ryan's three closest friends are suddenly moving on up -- while Ryan seems to be treading water. Then Charlie, her college ex and super hottie, appears out of the blue with a success story of his own and more than a little baggage in tow. In a New York minute, Ryan realizes that one doesn't live off a maxed-out credit card and a year's supply of squashed Ho Ho's without learning a few important life lessons. She's ready to squeeze a five-year-plan for success into just a few crazy months. After all, why be a big-city girl if you're not going to dream big -- and reach for the stars?

336 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2005

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About the author

Libby Street

3 books21 followers
Libby Street is the pseudonym for the writing team of Emily S. Morris and Sarah Bushweller.

Emily and Sarah met on Liberty Drive in Dover, Delaware at the age of four and have been best friends ever since. Twenty years later, they began writing together via email and telephone--just trying to make each other laugh.

Recently, they've been busy with growing families and film and television projects. They're also each working on solo fiction projects, but plan future works together as Libby Street.

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5 stars
59 (15%)
4 stars
136 (34%)
3 stars
138 (35%)
2 stars
47 (11%)
1 star
13 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
21 reviews
August 14, 2008
I consider myself a chick lit genre connoiseur of sorts and this book took it to another level for me.

An honest one. For once, the heroine is flawed, confused (and boys are on the bottom of that list). This writing duo brought a great fresh face that is more about self empowerment and courage than getting the boy.

I adore this book. It's something I have on my shelf as a reminder that the art of trying new things and fulfilling your dreams is the step in the right direction towards relationship fulfillment. It had a message that I could actually apply to my own life other than the romance formulas of inheriting a Spanish Castle that a wealthy attractive single count still lives in and such.

It's also very funny.

Check it out.
"It's a goodreads thing"
Profile Image for Beverly Fox.
80 reviews15 followers
July 29, 2022
I watch a lot of romcoms. They're a guilty pleasure. It's junk food for my brain and I excuse it by saying that I use my brain for all sorts of other far more productive things so it's ok to let it veg while watching tv. But I've never read one before now. Having done so, I can guarantee I'll stick to watching them going forward.

Why? Because a) a book is just a much longer time commitment and to get nothing more out of it than I would get from watching a stupid movie seems like a waste. And b) I tend to expect more from the literature I read. I want fiction that touches me on some level. This is not that.

It hits every single trope that's been done a billion times in romcoms without doing anything even remotely new or different with any of it. The writing is pretty utilitarian- my paperback has no highlighted passages to speak of. The characters are all caricatures you've seen in some form or another and the plot could be from any one of a thousand dumb movies.

In short, not the book for me. But I'm glad to know that from experience as it will allow me to rule out a whole genre of mediocre literature in the future.
Profile Image for Eric Klee.
204 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2011
Happiness Sold Separately is pure, unapologetic chick lit. There's not much depth to the story, and the main character is likable...if she weren't so stupid and pathetic. In college, she meets a good, dropdead gorgeous guy with real life goals who only has eyes for her. He pays attention to her at parties and, when offered his dream job in L.A., he wants her to come along, where he'll support her until she can find employment. She declines.

Instead, she now she hangs with her two best friends in NYC, stuck in a deadend data entry job waiting for a man to "rescue" her. Um...hello! Didn't she already have that and pass it up?

With that said, the book was pretty well-written. The story moves along pretty quickly and (spoiler alert!) has a typical Hollywood movie ending.
Profile Image for LilBib’Phile .
253 reviews1 follower
June 16, 2018
I did not like this book at first. The heroine, Ryan, was so wishy-washy and vapid, with a lot of typical chick lit tropes. The reason that she and Charlie broke up was a little unbelievable because I felt she would have never let go of a guy like him.
But once she started her list of ways to change her life and started to get a spine, the story improved a lot.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Stacy Alderman.
Author 2 books22 followers
January 8, 2020
To be honest, this book started off a bit hokey and cliche for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it had some really important elements about growing up and making your own life. I enjoyed it, but felt like the resolution came on really suddenly and a little too perfect. Fun read though overall.
Profile Image for Dawn.
319 reviews2 followers
June 26, 2017
Well this book was not a thriller. Barely a page turner.
113 reviews
March 12, 2013
Reading this felt like reading a reflection of my own thoughts in a fictional world. Two characters on two extreme end of the career spectrum meet again after breaking up in high school. There is Ryan Hadley, who doesn't seem to know what she wants in life and feels lost when she sees her friends moving up the corporate ladder, leaving her behind stuck in no man's land; and there is Charlie, who was so absorbed in his ambitions he left what he once was behind. Together, they rediscover their dreams, their talent, themselves, and maybe the spark they'd once shared.

In a huge, cosmopolitan city, who has never felt a little lost and overwhelmed by the sparkle and gloss? I've always commented that I never saw how some people could have such distinct ideas of what they wanted to pursue in life while I don't have a single clue of what I want to do, where my true passions are, and what I'm meant to be. Maybe instead of having a big life goal, some of us are meant to take tiny steps through setting small targets for ourselves before we can finally see the big picture. If so, then Happiness Sold Separately is the perfect self help book.
Profile Image for eRin.
670 reviews34 followers
July 11, 2008
Ryan thinks that her life is pretty average until her three closest friends suddenly experience great things and she instantly feels left out and adrift. Quarter-life crisis. She is in a dead-end job and doesn't know what she wants to do (aside from becoming queen of a small island nation). Then there's that pesky business of her ex-boyfriend suddenly reappearing in her life--and not going away anytime soon. Ryan is confused, but she makes a plan to completely change her life and she'll follow it no matter how difficult it gets.

This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't terrific either. There were several times that I got really bored, but for the most part it kept my attention. Typical chick-lit fare, quarter-life crisis and overly predictable ending. But sometimes that's comforting.
32 reviews1 follower
March 26, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the characters. It was funny, it was sad, it was entertaining and compelling, though low key and, I suppose you could say, fairly lightweight. It helped me understand aging, how a good person cheats, the dynamics in marriage, and other stuff. It made me reflect quite a bit about my own marriage. I realize this review is the equivalent of a first grader's book report, but it's this or nothing for now. I highly recommend it to you, or to myself a bit down the road when I've totally forgotten I read this.
Profile Image for Jenna.
24 reviews
January 7, 2009
I thought this book was really cute. The only problem that I had is that the women who wrote the book set out to write a book that didn't necessarily have a cliched ending but a real ending. I think the ending was a little cliched. I mean everything comes together and works out perfectly for her in the end. The guy is perfect and willing to help her achieve all her life's goals. It just seems like all the problems are solved and wrapped up in a pretty bow by the end when a real ending wouldn't have been quite that perfect.
Profile Image for Jordan Thurman.
16 reviews
February 22, 2016
This book has to be one of the most brilliantly written books I have ever read. I'm not one to pay attention to the writing style much in books, but I found so much joy in how this story was presented. It was a delight to read and I often found myself laughing out loud. The main character, Ryan, is so easy to relate to and it is so easy to find yourself cheering for her because of that. I think this book also has a great message about not letting fear stop you from experiencing a beautiful life.
Profile Image for Kristen.
88 reviews3 followers
October 27, 2007
Funny, my best friend and I read this book at the same time, and each of us thought the other was Ryan (the main character). Ryan is the lovable bumbling friend that every has but no one thinks they are.
This is a quick fun read, with good characters and great friendships. I loved it even more when I found out the book was written over email by two best friends. Read it and get a copy for your best friend.
Profile Image for Ashley.
61 reviews3 followers
August 26, 2008
A very fun lighthearted read! The characters and subject matter are very relatable. Who hasn't felt like everyone around them seemed to be moving on and up with life while you are just stuck? Some parts in the end seemed a bit out there, but I guess when you are a young 20 something living in NY anything can happen.
1 review
March 30, 2010
I thought this book was totally work it. It might seem a little generic to some people -it did to me at first- but once you dive in, I found myself captivated and enjoying the main characters journey from the bottom to the top. It was witty, spunky and fun -with romance, which never hurt anyone. I really loved it. In fact, I consider it one of my fave's ever. So, yes. Definitely read it.
Profile Image for Christine.
3 reviews
January 31, 2012
This book was one of my least favorite...ever. It's about a girl, who gave up an apparently great guy, and then her life went to crap. Then the book goes along with no apparent direction. Then at the end she ends up back with the guy (after a lot of stupid drama) and OMG life is perfect because she has a boyfriend!!!! Seriously, it really irritated me.
Profile Image for Karschtl.
2,177 reviews50 followers
June 19, 2013
Überraschenderweise doch ein ganz netter Roman. Normalerweise gleiten amerikanische Chick-Lits viel zu schnell in schnöde Romances ab und ich bevorzuge eher britische Chick-Lits. Aber dieser hier ist durchaus sehr lesenswert mit liebenswerten Charakteren und einer unterhaltsamen Story. Nur das Ende kam dann zu schnell und ohne Umschweife - aber die wurden ja vorher schon gemacht.
Profile Image for Sarah.
695 reviews14 followers
September 4, 2007
I got this book thinking it was a different book with the same title that was talked about on NPR. Turns out... it's some major chick lit about a girl going through a quarter life crisis. And not all that great at that. Not bad enough for me to stop reading though.
Profile Image for Jen.
39 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2008
This is one of the few chick-lit books I've enjoyed. It's upbeat, fresh, has NYC as a backdrop and characters which are extremely relatable. It reminded me of Sex and the city but with a younger cast and different backdrop. A fun read.
121 reviews
August 15, 2011
Very Sex and the City-ish, without the sex. Totally light and predictable. 20 somethings living in New York City trying to have the dream career and dream man at the same time. Very very light reading...bordering on Young Adult reading.
Profile Image for Kristy.
16 reviews1 follower
June 26, 2008
Typical Chic-lit book.. very predictable but also a very feel-good book. I saw the ending coming from the beginning but it WAS a cute book.
Profile Image for Alexis.
43 reviews
September 25, 2008
Even though it was predictable I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Perhaps it just really fit my mood while I was reading it, or perhaps I am just a complete sucker for those happy endings!
3 reviews
August 13, 2008
This book is a good summer read. It's a little predictable, but is very funny at times. So much so, I caught myself laughing out loud, ha.
Profile Image for Bev.
766 reviews28 followers
September 23, 2008
This book was a fun read--chick lit with humor--which is something I enjoy when my brain is fried and I need an escape. Loved the references to Mr. Darcy--could definitely relate.
Profile Image for venus.
1 review
May 1, 2009
June, thanks for the book! I just finished it and it was a fun, light, laugh-out-loud kind of read I needed.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

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