The Reviews

5 stars

“I was in St KITTS last week for a vacation. A very nice lady came up to my husband, my friends, and I. She saw we were all reading e-readers. She explained that her son just wrote a book about a person on a cruise, also gave us your card. Well I just finished reading your wonderful book, I really think you have a best seller. I enjoyed your book so much, it was wonderfully written. I am recommending it to my book club and all my friends. Please continue writing, you have a gift.”

 — Karen Cavan

5 stars

U Got to Have U Some Fun follows the journey of John Smith and his 7-day cruise in the Caribbean. After losing his son and the failure of his marriage, an unexpected ticket allows John to take a risk and live life outside of his comfort zone. During his journey, he meets dozens of colorful characters, each one schooling him on an essential life lesson. These lessons and epiphanies include surviving grief and loss, resiliency in the wake of despair, romance and second chances, patriotism and political idealism, and of course, living in the moment and learning to have some fun. The book also includes insider information about the cruise industry. If you’re looking for a true literacy excursion, then hop aboard U Got to Have U Some Fun and enjoy the ride!”

— Megan Robinson, Alexandria VA

4 and a half stars

“Have you ever felt like life is passing you by and there are so many things left to experience? Are you just working through the challenges life has thrown at you and not really living? Do you need an “AHA Moment” to make yourself go out of your comfort zone and have some fun?

For anyone that has been on a cruise ship, or someone like me who has never taken a cruise, the book vividly describes the back scenes of the ship and the diverse backgrounds of the employees. Do they like working on the ship? Are they making a good living? It includes the actual description of the living quarters, employee relationships, and employers’ expectations. Add in an array of interesting vacationers—their struggles with death, injury, and personal relationships—and you will be captivated to read the story about a group of people who meet for a week trying to forget everyday challenges and have some fun.

The story will allow you as a reader to experience the various island destinations and the unique characteristics each has to offer, whether it is snorkeling, high speed jet skis, bungee jumping, or sampling exotic food. The often dissimilar characters start to form a bond through their connection on the luxury liner in their quest to live life and not let it go sailing by!”

–Jackie Robertson, Certified Lighting Designer and Director of Lighting Showroom Operations, Hollidaysburg, PA

4 and a half stars

“[U Got to Have U Some Fun] is a delightful romp through the Caribbean with a diverse group of interesting characters.  This first novel also shows deep insight into the character and life philosophies of several of them.  Keeps the reader on tenterhooks until the very end for the final ‘revelation’.  A compelling and entertaining read!”

— Maripat Wright, Chairperson of the Carteret County Library Board of Trustees


“A heartfelt story that reminds us of the importance to live life to the fullest no matter what challenges or sadness we may have to endure. Finding our inner dragon can help us fight our fears and like the metamorphosis of a butterfly, change our lives forever.”

— Lynne Eisel, Curriculum/Instruction MA and School Teacher, Altoona, PA


U Got to Have U Some Fun is a light and enjoyable read. It takes place on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. I felt like I was actually on vacation with this eclectic group of characters all searching for happiness.

Mostly it’s about the main character, John Smith’s quest to learn to live with peace and happiness after losing his son, Carson, to war. This book is about overcoming survivor guilt and your inner fear…and enjoying life while you can. It’s about learning to deal with loss and life in general. As John Smith reinvents himself he realizes ‘nothing belongs to us, we usually earn what we get’. He sets out to earn love and happiness, take some chances and listen to his heart. It’s part redemption story, part love story, part escape fantasy.

Overall it was a fun read. On a side note, the book was written by someone who worked for the cruise industry and you learn little bits and pieces of insider information about the inner workings of the industry. I knew that it wasn’t a lucrative career path, but had no idea how hard the staff really works.

With that said, it made me want to go on a cruise once I finished it.”

— Carol Norris, Owner of BRITE Brand Illumination, Norfolk, VA


“Andrew Harkless takes the reader on a remarkable voyage aboard a luxury cruise liner carrying a wonderful cast of characters.  John Smith, an ordinary man so many of us can relate to, is embarking on his maiden voyage, not unlike first-time novelist, Harkless.  Along John’s journey of self discovery, Harkless introduces us to unforgettable new friends; a foe you will love to hate; and many others for whom you will feel compelled to cheer on during their countless adventures at sea. This is one cruise you don’t want to set sail without you on board.  It’s a ride you won’t soon forget!”

— Kathy Hammond, Office Attendant at Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church, VA

4 and a half stars

“I was surprised! I prefer nonfiction historical accounts, historical novels, current spy thrillers, and mystery novels. Occasionally, I’ll venture into a contemporary novel, but am usually disappointed. Not with this novel!

The story line, with several subplots, is fascinating, fast moving, and has an interesting touch of mystery that keeps you reading on. It is about a middle aged, average but semi successful man who has slid into a routine lifestyle that has deadened his senses, destroyed his marriage, and nearly condemned him to a dreary and dead end life. He is prompted to go on a cruise and immediately starts to run into characters that will change his life.

The entire supporting cast is well developed and several characters are quite interesting in themselves. There are good guys; bad actors all mixed up with deception, romance, comedy, and, of course, an enticing hint of sex.

While quite entertaining in itself, the book provides an intriguing and revealing insight into the cruising industry.

How many crewmen does it take to service a passenger list of 1800?

How many different countries do you believe these crewmen hail from?

What do they get paid?

What kind of hours do they work?

What are their motives for working a cruise ship?

You will be surprised. By bringing the main character and storyline into the bowels of the ship with the people who must actually deliver the cruising experience, those questions are very plausibly answered.

I enjoyed the book, not just because it was entertaining. It gave me cause to think. There is a subtle underlying philosophy about how life should be led. Don’t get into a rut, try different things, don’t be afraid of change, and don’t judge people prematurely, were just some of the themes that came to light. And there were more.

That may not be an accurate way to describe what I found in the book, but it has more than just entertainment value. Try it. See what you find. I highly recommend it and give it 4 ½ stars.”

— Dave Nelson, retired US Marine Corps Colonel, New Bern, NC

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14 thoughts on “The Reviews

  1. Pingback: You Can Make a Difference! #UGottoHaveUSomeFun | Andrew Harkless

  2. Pingback: How Can You Make a Difference? #UGottoHaveUSomeFun | 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News

  3. Congratulations Andy!!!! We knew you could do it. Now we wait……………….for it to become
    a Number One Best Seller. We are letting all our friends know about your new book.
    Look forward to getting my copy so I can have you sign it. You are the “MAN”. I know how
    happy you must be. Thank you for following your dream and doing it. Diane and Gerald Ransone

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The insight Harkless reveals through his characters into different personalities and various life circumstances reflects an awareness and understanding of issues most of us experience at one time or another in our own lives. The reader will easily be able to identify friends and acquaintances who could have been cast in the roles of his characters. Unlike some novels that seem to have a hard time getting started, U Got To Have U Some Fun is an engaging and fun read from page one. At the same time, there is the underlying theme of values, such as, integrity, responsibility, independence, determination, and self examination.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Andrew,
    I was in St KITTS last week for a vacation. A very nice lady came up to my husband, my friends and I. She saw we were all reading e readers. She explained that her son just wrote a book about a person on a cruise, also gave us your card. Well I just finished reading your wonderful book, i really think you have a best seller. I enjoyed your book so much, it was wonderfully written. I am recommending it to my book club and all my friends.
    Please continue writing you have a gift.
    Karen Cavan


  6. This one or the best intelligent story I have ever read. This book causes you to ponder & examine all aspects of your life …no matter what age or degree of being John Smith … Every Man. Even if you have been Will … the philosophical questions & statements beckon … even demand … examination. This book will be forever on my Kindle favorite shelf & be high lighted & pages book marked. One of the most interesting, clarifying, intellectual, gratifying, satisfying story I’ve ever read! Thank you Andrew!


  7. My measure for a interesting book is I can’t stop reading it. U Got To Have U Some Fun by Andrew Harkless certainly met my expectations. It keeps your interest with the many story lines of the people.The mystery of who paid for John’s cruise keeps you questioning.In summary the book was fantastic especially for a first time author. My wife also read the book and shares similar thoughts.We recommended the book to many people. Keep up the good work Andy.


  8. Andy, thanks so much for the gift of your book! I loved it! If you ever get a chance, read “Raney” by Clyde Edgerton. Edgerton is a writer who lives in Durham, NC, and “Raney” was his first novel. I think you’ll like it! I’m wondering if there is a little bit of yourself in Will Chance? Hope to see you at the Swansboro Yacht Club sometime to discuss the book! Thanks for sharing. Richard is reading it next! Come visit us in the original Washington anytime! Or, come see us on Pirate Island Drive! I’m thankful I got to know you through Sebastian and Jay! Take care!


  9. This book is one of the most entertaining and thought-provoking novels I’ve read in a long time. A tale of a man’s journey through grief and gradual discovery of his inner self and the beauty of life’s simple things. I laughed and cried following John’s transformation from a crystals into a butterfly. I eagerly look forward to Andrew’s next novel.


  10. Beautifully written. A novel that every man or woman can relate too. Having going through divorce myself and being a single mom-I could relate. The novel has made me even more excited to go on my cruise with the kids in December! Love this novel. I will recommend to all my friends!
    Aubrey Ipock, Newport, North Carolina


  11. Customer Review
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Choices, possibilities, experiences and living life; exceptional read
    By Lorie on March 4, 2018 (neilorie)
    Format: Kindle Edition
    I received this book from Reading Deals for an honest review. Having said that, I honestly loved this story. If I were perusing books and saw this one, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second glance, but having it brought to my attention via Reading Deals, I’m so glad I was provided this choice. I was pleasantly surprised by how well this story was written, the subject matter and how thought provoking it was. I too have experienced the loss that John Smith’s character did and if comparing situations, I can’t say that I would ever have gone on a cruise. But, if I received a paid for ticket in the mail, it would certainly go a long way towards tempting me to jump aboard.

    I loved how the story came full circle, as to the ticket, his son, the people he met on board, the why’s and wherefore’s of life, the choices we make, how we’re affected by those choices (or not even taking the effort to make a choice) and how to view each day as a new day of possibilities. Especially, the viewpoint on how those we love who leave life before we do, wouldn’t want us to curl up, hide or check out of life. What else can I say, except I loved this book and think anyone who feels stuck, would benefit from this read.


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