Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks LikeThis Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Page Count: 416
Published by: Poppy
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

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This Is What Happy Looks Like is super cute and a perfect feel good book. It's an adorable contemporary that was a really fun read. For most of the book, I considered the tone to be light, although there are a few times when the characters have more serious issues to deal with. Because it is told in alternating POVs, which I always enjoy, it really allows the reader get to know both characters better.

I really loved the premise behind This Is What Happy Looks Like. I enjoyed the initial emails between Graham and Ellie, and I thought it was a perfect way to introduce the characters and set up a love story. I found the plot to be mostly believable and I felt that the problems that arose from a movie star trying to date an everyday small town girl were realistic, especially the scenes with the crazy paparazzi.

I enjoyed getting to know Ellie and Graham, and I found myself liking them more and more as the story progressed. They seemed very genuine and felt realistic to me. I loved their chemistry, witty banter, and heartfelt conversations.

At over 400 pages, it's probably not a day at the beach read, but it's perfect for summertime enjoyment. This is a fun and engaging book that held my interest until the end. The writing is fabulous, and Smith manages to show Ellie and Graham's personalities and emotions perfectly.

I would have enjoyed more of a concrete ending without any of the ambiguity, but this is still an awesome and lovable book and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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  1. I've been eyeing this book for awhile now, wondering if I should get it. I enjoyed your review and I think just maybe this might be a book my teenager would like too. Thanks for the review.

  2. It's definitely clean enough for a younger teen, and I know I would have no problems letting my daughter read it.

  3. I really enjoyed this cute book, too. I loved the set up with the emails and the small beach town setting. It's a great summer read. Great review!

  4. My thoughts exactly! Very cute and totally realistic. The emails were precious. I actually wanted a lot more of those because they were my favorite interactions between Graham and Ellie. Great review!


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