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North of Happy
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North of Happy


His whole life has been mapped out for him…

Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the US, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family, where he attends an elite international school. Always a rule follower and a parent pleaser, Carlos is more than happy to tread the well-worn path in front of him. He has always loved food and cooking, but his parents see it as just a hobby.

When his older brother, Felix—who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel—is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother’s voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father’s plan for him. Worrying about his mental health, but knowing the voice is right, Carlos runs away to the United States and manages to secure a job with his favorite celebrity chef. As he works to improve his skills in the kitchen and pursue his dream, he begins to fall for his boss’s daughter—a fact that could end his career before it begins. Finally living for himself, Carlos must decide what’s most important to him and where his true path really lies.

Title:North of Happy
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages
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    North of Happy Reviews

  • Meredith
    Apr 07, 2017

    3.5 starsYA novel with potential; a story about family, grief, and first love brought together by one character’s passion for food.18 year old Carlos has lived a privileged life in Mexico City. He l...

  • Dahlia
    Apr 09, 2017

    I liked this one a lot, partly because I love all things foodie/restaurant-esque and it was really fun and delightfully sensory in that way, and partly because it was really interesting to me to read ...

  • Kay
    Mar 13, 2017

    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a review. TW: Suicide mention When I first started North of Happy my immediate thoughts were "fre...

  • Sam Kozbial
    Jul 13, 2017

    I really liked this one. I have been fully embracing these books, where the characters are working through some sort of grief, and this one dug it's claws into my heart early on. I really was rooting ...

  • Jessi
    Mar 21, 2017

    (3.5 stars) This book will be released on April 24th, 2017.So, I sort of have an equal amount of things that I like and dislike about this book. First off, what I did not like: I don't really know why...

  • Maggie Carr
    Mar 17, 2017

    Books that leave an incomplete conclusion usually bother me but I liked the simplicity of the ending in North of Happy. Carlos had to navigate off course of his father's life plan in order to grieve h...

  • Gina
    Apr 03, 2017

    This book was painfully boring, frustrating and borderline offensive. I didn't care about Carlos and his trip to figuring out how to not be a self entitled brat, I couldn't stand Emma's angst and I ab...

  • Lance Rubin
    Apr 26, 2017

    This book beautifully puts into words so many honest, relatable life moments. The protagonist Carlos has lost his older brother, and his grieving process is handled in a way that is both devastating a...

  • Literacy Alliance
    Mar 23, 2017

    Late one night, Carlos and his older brother, Felix, decide to taste test their way through the food stands of Mexico City in search of the perfect taco. In a tragic accident, stray bullets kill the f...

  • Ms. Warchol
    Mar 17, 2017

    ARC from NetGalleyI was eager to read this book because I loved Adi Alsaid's witty banter in Never Always Sometimes. His new book North of Happy didn't charm me as much. The main character is a boy na...