Bliss was written by Shay Mitchell and Michaela Blaney. Shay Mitchell is a Canadian actress Emily Fields in Pretty Little Liars and Michaela is her best friend who works in marketing. In Bliss, the main characters are Sophia, Demi and Leandra. Sophia’s character and experiences are based on Shay’s own experiences and the same can be said for Demi and Michaela. I think that Leandra is supposed to be a combination of the two girls or of other people that they know.
In Bliss, readers are introduced to Sophia, Demi and Leandra as they’re finishing high school and they promise to each other that they will all pursue their Bliss in life. A few years later, Sophia is living in Toronto and working at local clubs and is trying to start a career in acting, Demi is still living in Vancouver and is devastated by a breakup, and Leandra embarks on a trip to Thailand. The girls all end up living together in West Hollywood by the end of the book and are growing as humans and seem to have found some bliss.
I was sort of unsure about my choice to read Bliss, but fortunately I loved it. It was the perfect “light hearted” and “real life” with a twist of coming-of-age but for young adults, but the “real” young adults in their early 20’s and not teenagers. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy coming of age stories in the YA category too, but I’ve long ago aged out, given that I am in my mid-20’s, and it’s nice to have a book like Bliss that focuses on characters in their mid-20’s as well. The end of the book was left in a way that there could be more books (or not) and either way it would be good.
One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how much Sophia (and, presumably, Demi) resemble Shay and Michaela. Like Sophia and Shay both started in Vancouver, moved to Toronto/Mississauga to work at bars/clubs for acting and then moved to LA for a show that turned out to be a big hit. I am assuming that Michaela and Demi have similarities to; they both work as marketing pros, Michaela/Shay and Demi/Sophia have been friends for a large part of their lives, and Michaela and Demi are both Canadian-American dual citizens, so I know those are three things, but I don’t know enough about Michaela to be sure about more. There were some things that happened to Sophia that I have no way of verifying if they’re true or not, but I did think it was very interesting to read a book that was so obviously based on real people. It almost made the story feel more real because I was able to picture it all really happening to real people.
One final thing I learned while looking around to learn more about Shay and Michaela is that they have a blog, Amore & Vita, which I think Shay owns, and it’s a really cool blog. I have been enjoying poking around on it.
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