Dead Happy

Dead Happy

By Author / Illustrator

Josh Silver



Age range(s)



Oneworld Publications




Paperback / softback




Be prepared to be scared again in the nail-biting sequel to HappyHead.'One of the very best voices in YA right now.' Benjamin Dean.

Friends, welcome to Elmhallow. You are the Chosen Ten....    By some miracle, Seb has survived the HappyHead programme, only to find himself stranded on a remote island under the guidance of a freakishly beautiful couple.  Far from home, Seb reluctantly teams up with Eleanor again and the pair are forced to compete in a series of ever stranger trials to prove their connection. All the while, he can't stop thinking about Finn. Determined to find him, Seb's search uncovers an even darker reality.  Can he escape the island and expose the sinister truth behind HappyHead?

'Brilliantly twisted - even better than the first.' Brandon Flynn.  'The perfect sequel...heart-pounding and heart-wrenching.' A. F. Steadman, author of the Skandar series



The much anticipated follow up to Happy Head does not disappoint! I was delighted to review Dead Happy, which continues the story of Sebastian and the other youngsters trapped in a wellbeing facility. We rejoin Manning, the maniacal director of the programme, and her misguided team who are supposed to have their best interests at heart. However, this time love interests Seb and Finn are separated into groups; those competing for the favour of Manning and those who, in serving the competitors, are forced to address their negative emotions and attitudes.

Throughout the story dangerous and difficult challenges are set which Seb has to overcome with challenge partner Eleanor. The competing couples are encouraged to become closer, causing Sebastian to return to exploring themes of identity, friendship, trust and resiliance.

Josh Silver has produced another excellent thriller full of malevolence, peril and threat. The narrative travels around the wild locations on remote Elmhallow Island at a cracking pace; the tension builds as the story progresses and the characters are all interesting and well developed, if not all likeable! Certainly the story gets you both reading and thinking and I anticipate it will be one of my favourite reads of 2024.

Highly recommended to upper school students at secondary level because of the offensive language used and level of threat. The publisher notes it contains material some readers may find distressing including anxiety, mental illness, bullying, animal death, drug abuse and suicide.

Once again the illustrator has designed a complementary and equally eye-catching cover which will look great on library shelves as forward-facing books to entice older readers.

416 pages / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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