This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Synopsis: 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?
Why I Picked It Up: I had heard a lot about Jennifer E. Smith, and when I saw a book by her at my library I got very excited.
How I Started Off: Really good. It definitely has a cute beginning, and I loved reading the email conversations.
What I Liked:
The setting was absolutely adorable. It seemed like the perfect place for a whirlwind summer romance. Little did I know that whirlwind romance would last for around a week…but I’ll save that for what I didn’t like.
I extremely enjoyed how the story developed. I found out that I like books that just jump right in and then explain a little bit at a time while it goes on.
The writing was really good too. Jennifer E. Smith is a very talented author, and despite whatever I didn’t like in the book I didn’t stop reading – mainly for the writing.
The emails at the beginning of each chapter was cute. I started noticing how it sort of set the tone for each chapter, and I thought that was really cool.
I liked what finally ended up happening between Ellie and her dad. Not going to touch too much on that, mostly because I don’t want to give anything away.
I’m happy at how it ended. I’m not going to spoil it for everyone, but I thought it was good that…okay, never mind, quick spoiler *SPOILER* It stayed a summer romance. *SPOILER*
What I Didn’t Like:
Let me start off with Graham and Ellie’s relationship. It’s not very often that I find romantic relationships realistic, and Graham and Ellie’s was not an exception. There was the whole annoying cliché “IT’S DEFINITELY TRUE LOVE” first meeting. I have yet to hear of someone who, when they met their spouse, “just knew” it was them from the first time they set eyes on each other.
My thoughts exactly. I understand that they emailed each other for a while, but that is not the same thing. Since when does talking through a screen (awkwardly) replace talking over coffee (awkwardly)? Also, it was so, so short! Ellie basically meets Graham, hangs out with him for a bit, then doesn’t talk to him for two weeks. Then they spend two days together and they’re in love again.
I also really didn’t like Quinn. She was mad at Ellie for that same two weeks, just because Ellie didn’t tell her she was emailing someone, and didn’t once try to make up. That is not what happens to best friends. Quinn shouldn’t be Ellie’s best friend if that’s how she acts.
There was nothing in this book that really made me think. I do enjoy a fluff read every once in a while, but usually even those can usually make me ponder.
What Isn’t Liked: No intimacy besides kissing that I can recall. Ellie is an illegitimate child, but I didn’t find that particularly shocking nor bad. No violence, and no language. I also loved that it was a nice, clean book.
Final Grade: B- / C+
It’s not that I didn’t like this book; I did. But there were so many factors that just took away from it that made me like it less and less.
Basically, if you’re looking for a fluff book that you will read quickly, This Is What Happy Looks Like is for you. If you want something a little more thought provoking, try a different book.