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. His friends and peers-fellow rich kids-have plans to attend college somewhere in the US or Europe and someday take over their parents’ businesses. 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 US 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.
**THANK YOU HARLEQUIN TEEN FOR SENDING ME AN ARC COPY FOR REVIEW**
This book was amazing! It sounded interesting to me when I received it but I have yet to find a contemporary that I really LOVED…but North of Happy did it for me! Adi Alsaid’s writing style, characters and story structure is so real and makes you feel what the characters are feeling. I love Carlos as a character, and while I can see where Emma is coming from with him missing her dads dinner I think that they were meant for each other and she was a little hard on him.
The only thing I didn’t like about North of Happy was the ending. It wasn’t satisfying at all! While I am glad that Carlos’ dad was OK, I still think he was meant to be in Seattle and should have gone back to try and work things out with Elise at the Provecho restaurant. However! It is super awesome that he will be attending a culinary school!!
I loved all the recipes at the beginning of each chapter, I will definitely be trying some of them! Over all I just really loved the story of North of Happy and will be looking into Adi Alsaid’s other books, he is an amazing writer! I would definitely recommend this book, READ IT! IT’S BEAUTIFUL!