A review by oceanwriter
Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

emotional informative mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I was super drawn to books about Asian American families last year and this fit the bill perfectly. It turned out to be even more than I’d expected featuring a non-verbal autistic character. I have twin cousins similar to Eugene, so it was like getting a closer glimpse into what a day might look like from their perspective. 
When Adam Parson doesn’t come home with his son, Eugene, his family desperately searches for answers. It seems as though only Eugene has the answer, but given he doesn’t speak, his mother, siblings, and the detective working on the case can’t hear his side of the story. Unfortunately, given Eugene’s history of outbursts along with some scattered bits of evidence, he is made a suspect. 
The story is narrated by Mia, Eugene’s older sister. She helps to decode her father’s journal which is the family’s best lead they have to finding out what happened. In their findings, several different scenarios are compiled. 
I was more interested in Eugene’s storyline than I was in the overall mystery, though it did have its intriguing moments. Though ultimately important to the plot, I grew bored whenever there were readings from Adam’s journal. Some parts of the story felt unnecessary while others felt unresolved, but for the most part, I had a good time reading. 

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