Coming February 13th, 2024 from Oni Press; 144 pages
About the Author: “I’m a cartoonist, writer, and illustrator with a deep love of storytelling through comics. I live in the Portland, Oregon area with the love of my life and our Australian Shepherd mix named Jetpack” (Bio from the author’s website).
Find Brittany Long Olsen on the following platforms:
Darcy is having a hard time adjusting to her new home—everyone speaks differently, and she no longer sees any of her friends. In an attempt to get Darcy out of her room, her mom sends her to the grocery store. On her way, Darcy is drawn to a mysterious shop called The Happy Shop. The store is filled with glowing jars, and, in her exploration, she accidentally breaks one. Sisters Flora and Frida, who own the shop, agree to let her help out after school to pay for the damage. Darcy is a natural, quickly learning how to capture good feelings in the magical jars. However, she is confused when the jar she gives her mom wears off, and her mom starts feeling defeated and regrets uprooting Darcy and herself to a new, unfamiliar place. Can Darcy figure out how to cheer up her mom and learn what happiness really is?
The Happy Shop is an uplifting story about creating and sharing happiness with others. I particularly enjoyed the graphic novel format. The shops also reminded me of the magic found in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Although Darcy is the main character, the real stars are the sisters Flora and Frida. Flora is very kind and collects the inventory for the shop, while Frida is cold and handles the finances. Darcy helps the sisters save their shop and raises many interesting points about what happiness is along the way. Darcy questions whether happiness is simply being grateful for not being unhappy. She theorizes that collecting bad feelings might actually make people happier because they would help people appreciate the things they do have. As a psychology major, this is something I continued to ponder long after turning the last page. The adorable happy jars also help to remind readers to enjoy the little special moments in life, such as savoring the first perfect bite of ice cream, watching an adorable puppy fall asleep in your lap, and walking out in the warm sunshine after the rain finally stops. Pick up a copy of The Happy Shop to be whisked away into the magic of happiness.
The Happy Shop releases on February 13th, 2024.
Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and Oni Press for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.
Emilee Ceuninck, Pine Reads Review Lead Writer & Editor