Lets face it, love isn’t easy. No one knows that better than Flynn and Charlotte, they fell in love at first sight but the world seems to be against them. Flynn has been having nightmares and they are starting to cross over into reality. No one believes Flynn and his therapist decides it would be best if Flynn spends a little time in a mental hospital, where he meets Charlotte.
Charlotte is half human, half somnali and is the daughter of the Greek God of erotic nightmares, Brash. Being somnali means that Charlotte can enter dreams and prey upon humans, causing them to die in their sleep. Nyx, The Greek goddess of the night, knows that Brash’s children are killing humans and decides to put a stop to it. She states that if Flynn survives the torture from the somnali, she will grant Brash’s family more power, but if Flynn dies, she will turn all the somnali into humans. Which is a fate worse than death for god like creatures.
So now Flynn is under the protection of Charlotte and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. If Flynn lives, many humans will die, but if he dies, somnali can no longer kill humans in their sleep. To say that Charlotte and Flynn have a complicated relationship is an understatement. The big question in this book is: does true love really conquer all?
Happiness And Other Diseases by Sumiko Saulson is a tragic love story that includes dark humor, greek mythology and some moments of pure horror. I love how the horror and humor are mixed, such as when one character is getting eaten by an animal in a dream. Another character shows up in the dream with popcorn and does commentary on the nightmare. I also liked when Brash describes how Charlotte handled a cockroach problem.
The main reason why you should want to read Happiness And Other Diseases is for the love story. This is not your average romance that you see in other books. Both Flynn and Charlotte have issues, their relationship starts in a mental hospital and that should tell you something. Flynn has no friends, no jobs and a mythological creature wants him dead. Things can’t get worse, but then Charlotte comes along and his life starts to get better. Of course things getting better for Flynn isn’t necessarily a good thing. Which is where the tragedy lies in their relationship. One scene that I thought was beautifully done was when one of Charlotte’s sisters makes living voodoo dolls from Charlotte and Flynn’s DNA. Then she demonstrates that even when she separates the dolls, they struggle to get back together.
Another thing I liked about their relationship is that their roles are reversed. When they meet for the first time Charlotte kisses Flynn’s hand, Charlotte is like a knight in shinning armor and is the leader in the relationship. Flynn is a broken man and Charlotte puts his pieces back together, he gets his life back and even though Charlotte likes to torture him, Flynn likes it. One scene I thought was funny is was when Flynn is in Brash’s home. Brash makes him bow and then laughs to Charlotte saying “He’s just so subservient.” Flynn is a strong character though, he knows the responsibility he has to the world and takes it seriously.
One thought I had while reading this book was that given the circumstances of Flynn and Charlotte’s relationship there is no way this book can end happily. I also thought that if Sumiko doesn’t give Charlotte and Flynn a happy ending, I’m going to be upset. Well I can’t tell you what the ending is but I will say that I was satisfied and you should give Happiness And Other Diseases a try. There are not many romances out there like this one.