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Getting to Happy (Waiting To Exhale #2)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  4,062 Ratings  ·  565 Reviews
An exuberant return to the four unforgettable heroines of Waiting to Exhale—the novel that changed African American fiction forever.

Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel—its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan's sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place
Audio, 0 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Penguin Audio (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 31, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
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.

Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 31, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Definitely not as good as I remember "Waiting to Exhale" being. I listened on audiobook; I don't think I would have been able to finish it with a physical copy. The narrations were probably the best part.
Oct 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, audio
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
T Ramon
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
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
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
such a beautiful story!
Reader's Paradise
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
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
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
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
Oct 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrea Partee
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nandi Crawford
I started this six years ago, but stopped. continuing now.
Deanna Burrell
Nov 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
I love Terry McMillan. Since the first time a friend loaned me Mama in the early 90s, I've followed Ms. McMillan's career. She creates such strong and memorable characters. She's an excellent writer and storyteller. However, somewhere in the middle of this Waiting to Exhale follow up, I found myself running out of steam. It wasn't to the point that I needed to stop reading, but more, I needed to hurry up and finish reading. I needed the book to end, because unlike it's title, it wasn't getting m ...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
Jessica Leggin
At least 4 chapters into the book, I was depressed... lbs. Terry McMillan really put these characters through the fire and rain, and I really felt sorry for them. It took a long time for Bernadine, Savannah, Robin and Gloria to actually "get to happy," in this book, and hell who could blame them; McMillan placed some very hard burdens on these characters making the book drag with depressed and sulking moments. Sometimes, I put the book down for long periods of time, because it was not really upl ...more
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Terry McMillan is an African-American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was fourteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 from the University of California at Berkeley and the MFA Film Program at Columbia University. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.

Her first book, Mama, was self-promoted. She achieved national attention in 1992 wit
More about Terry McMillan...

Other Books in the Series

Waiting To Exhale (2 books)
  • Waiting to Exhale (Waiting To Exhale #1)

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“Folks want to glow, to leave their worries and dead skin behind.” 726 likes
“I want to push the fast-forward button until I get back to happy.” 54 likes
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