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Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite
The Type A personality. We all know someone who has one. We might even be a person with one. But we might not always think about how that personality, how that drive for perfection in every aspect of one’s life might affect someone, what it might do to their innermost being. This idea and more are explored in author Natalie Bina’s newest book, Never Trust a Happy Song. In it, we meet our protagonist, Cassidy Diamond, as she’s preparing to begin an advanced learning program at the college she’s always wanted to attend. Part of the program includes living with a host family, the Harpers. It’s there that Cassidy meets Grace Harper, the free-spirited and fun-loving daughter of the house. Cassidy at first sees Grace’s presence as a nuisance, and a distraction from her ever-important studies and her focus on perfection. Grace sees Cassidy as a challenge, a person desperately in need of some fun in her life and in her spirit. The girls initial clash and fight each other the whole way, but eventually they come to realize the value of the other’s viewpoint and challenge themselves and each other in what is truly important in their lives.
Never Trust a Happy Song is an excellent book. A deep look into the pressures many young people now face to get into the school they hope for, to please their parents, and ultimately to achieve some semblance of success. The book uses the relationship between Cassidy and Grace to demonstrate exactly this. Author Natalie Bina has a great talent for developing characters that the reader will care about, will hope the best for, and will wonder about long after the book is done. Any young adult reader would enjoy this book, especially those who might be struggling with similar pressures in their own lives. This was the first book I have read by the very promising author Natalie Bina, but it certainly won’t be the last.