Book Review: Finding My Happy Pace by Heather Wardell

If thirty-year-old Megan were any more of a doormat, she'd have footprints on her back. She helps anyone and everyone, no matter the cost to herself, and she's always been that way. Even the thought of withholding her assistance makes her feel sick. Worse, it makes her feel like she's a bad person, selfish and unkind.

She takes up running purely to avoid gaining weight, but as she trains with her cute but heartbroken coach Andrew she becomes more able to do things she'd never thought she could, both physically and emotionally.

The day before she runs her first marathon, though, her best friend's demands result in the biggest challenge yet to her developing assertiveness and Megan must decide: cave in as she always has before or stick to her new-found 'happy pace' in running and life.

Release Date: May 14, 2012
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Review copy from author

I love Heather Wardell's contemporary women's fiction, so I was really excited when she told me that her latest book was out.  Finding My Happy Pace is about Megan, who has just turned 30.  She decides to do something big to mark the occasion, and chooses running as her new outlet.

The most remarkable thing about Megan is that she is a total doormat.  She is just too nice----nice to the point of letting people have their way over her own wants and needs.  Megan lets anyone and everyone walk all over her.  From giving up her place in line, to giving her bratty brother her share of dessert, Megan can't say no to anyone.  If she even thinks about saying no, she starts feeling so guilty that she gives in and sometimes even apologizes about her indecision!

I hate to admit it but I really identified with Megan.  I find it hard to say no, really hard.  I often say yes to things while thinking to myself, "say no...just say no, you know you don't want to do this."  So, I totally understood how Megan feels.  Sometimes it is easier to keep the peace while pushing down your own wants and needs.  But, over time, that is so bad for you.  It's not good to keep yourself down, so to speak.

With running as her new hobby, Megan starts to find some inner confidence.  She starts to stand up for herself---much to her friends' and family's annoyance.  They expect "pushover Megan" and are surprised and don't really like it when she starts saying no to them.  I wanted to stand up and cheer when Megan finally started standing up for herself!

My favorite thing about Finding My Happy Pace is that it features Andrew from Planning to Live.  That's another thing I love about Wardell's books: while they are all stand-alone novels, sometimes characters from previous novels make appearances in future books.  I love that!  I was so happy to get to know Andrew better, because I really liked him in Planning to Live, and I loved watching him grow and change along with Megan.

My one complaint about Finding My Happy Pace is that Megan felt a little one-dimensional.  Her character growth came too late for me: I wanted to see more of the "strong Megan" earlier in the book.  She stayed a doormat too long for my personal taste.

I loved the ending, especially how Wardell handles Megan's most draining relationship.  I loved reading about Megan's marathon, and how she grows closer with her sister.  I really enjoyed Finding My Happy Pace and would recommend it to anyone!

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate to you and the mc. Since kids though I have gotten better at saying no, but often use them as (valid, but still) excuse.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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