Sunday, January 24, 2021

Book Review: Occasional Moments of Happiness by Shana Donyaei

About the Book:

All Shana Lesser ever wanted growing up was to be one of the popular, pretty girls sitting at the back of the school bus, flirting with all the cute boys. But that never happened for this shy, lanky girl, voted quietest by her classmates. 

A perpetual dreamer, she poured out all her secret hopes and fears through the pages of her soul confidant—her journal. Seeking comfort in the confidence of a friend, she learned to be a follower. During her teenage years, she found herself in the party scene, searching for her knight-in-shining grunge rocker, someone to make her whole and fill the empty places inside her. The question being, how many toads would stomp on her heart until she finally found her prince?

Occasional Moments of Happiness is a bittersweet and quirky account of one woman’s journey to find lasting joy not dependent on the number on the scale, the guy from the night before who promised to call but never did, or her fizzled supermodel dreams. Set during the eighties and nineties in Seattle’s rainy coffee culture, it’s a roller-coaster ride you won’t want to miss.

My Thoughts:

In Occasional Moments of Happiness, Shana Donyaei bravely shares the story of her life from childhood through early thirties (I think). Much of this highly entertaining memoir reads like a novel. Though my reading speed varied throughout the book, my interest never waned. I breezed through Shana’s early years; but my speed slowed with the increase of darker, heavy content (partying, an eating disorder, mistreatment by men, and sexual forays). Without being explicit, Shana’s experiences expose a dark side of party culture and serve as a cautionary tale.

As I waded through the deep, hard portions of Occasional Moments of Happiness, it seemed the author held nothing back and I loved the depth. Shana’s voice rang authentic as she admitted her mistakes and explained the reasons for her choices. Thankfully, Shana’s story did not end in darkness and destruction. Rather, in the final chapter, Shana shares about positive, life-changing decisions she made. I wish the content of this chapter had been expanded with the same probing depth and shared over the course of several chapters.

Occasional Moments of Happiness by Shana Donyaei will likely appeal to readers who enjoy memoirs. Due to the content of this memoir (drugs, drinking, partying, bulimia, promiscuity, and occasional mild profanity), I recommend it for mature, discerning teens and adults. Five stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment