Monday, April 22, 2013

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
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?

I absolutely adored Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight when I read it last year so I was very much looking forward to reading This is What Happy Looks Like. I just knew that it would be the perfect blend of serious lighthearted and serious contemporary and I absolutely loved every single page of it.

Ellie has always been perfectly happy leading a quiet life in her small hometown in Maine. But when trailers and Hollywood crowd shows up in town for a movie shoot, Ellie isn't so sure she's going to have that quiet summer she was hoping for. His recent rise to fame was never anything Graham expected. He never thought he had any talent as an actor until he kind of fell into it. Now he has the perfect reason to show up in Maine, in the town where the girl he has been emailing with lives. The only flaw in his plan is that he doesn't know the girl's name…and Ellie doesn't know it's Graham she's been emailing back and forth all this time. But when she finds out, how will Ellie deal with all the potential media attention that can come from spending so much time with Graham?

I don't think there was any way I could have not enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith's This is What Happy Looks Like. I picked it up one Saturday morning, and the next thing I new I just spent the whole day reading the book. It was simply that good. And adorable. And fun. But there were also these moments that were deeper and made me enjoy the story that much more. For the most part though, I just had this dumb smile on my face the majority of the time I was reading. I wanted the story to have a happy ending, but I wasn't always sure that would happen. And that's what kept me reading. I wanted to know what would happen to the characters I had grown surprisingly attached to. I wanted to know why Ellie's mother was so scared of her daughter being in the spotlight. At the end, it was just an adorable and perfect story, exactly what I was looking for when I picked up the book.

The relationship between Ellie and Graham was interesting. It was the kind of relationship that develops without really knowing who the other person is--and in this case it was particularly true since neither one knew the other's name. Seeing how they got to know each other through their emails was a great addition to the story in this way. But I also liked seeing them getting to know each other once they found out who the other person was. While reading, I could tell that despite all her feelings, Ellie was still hesitant when it came to Graham, she didn't know if she could handle being in the spotlight as the latest teenage heartthrob's girlfriend. And Graham, he just wanted to be able to be normal for Ellie and I loved him for it. Just seeing these two characters come together, even when it wasn't alway easy going, is what truly made this story for me.

Jennifer E. Smith's This is What Happy Looks LIke was exactly what I had hoped it would be. For an afternoon, I was transported to a small town in Maine, getting to see this relationship between Ellie and Graham evolve in ways I didn't necessarily think it would. If you are looking for a fun, quick and adorable read, then this is the book for you.

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  1. Heee- i'm so glad that you liked it! I'm still waiting for my book to arrive in the mail but i've been seeing tons of negative reviews that made me really worried. I can't wait to read it :)

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. I'm happy that I'm not the only one who had a dumb smile on her face while reading this (and I started reading it in public LOL). The only thing about this book that I wished was fleshed out more was her relationship with her friend, but other than that this book was so adorable and I loved every minute of it!

  3. I loved the relationship between Graham and Ellie. It had all the cute butterfly moments of people who have just fallen for each other but also all the "aww-worthy" moments of a couple who know each other so well.

  4. Sweet, cute, and fun, with great back-stories, great writing, and amazing characters, This is What Happy Looks Like is the perfect book for any contemporary romance lover. I loved Ellie and Graham and the easygoing way in which they spoke in their emails and in person. This is What Happy Looks Like is an easy book to lose yourself in, and I really, really enjoyed it.
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  5. I loved this book when I got done reading it you could look at my face and know this is what happy looks like :)
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