This Is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 02 April 2013
Poppy, Hardcover, 416 pages
Source: Borrowed from library
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 would say I had rather high hopes for This Is What Happy Looks Like, especially after reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which was also written by Jennifer E. Smith, who had revived my hope in contemporary novels. At first, I loved the unconventional way Ellie and Graham got to know each other, but as the story progressed, things got a little dry.
Firstly, I felt the reason Ellie wanted to avoid the limelight was a little odd. However, it didn’t bug me much as I assumed she did that for her Mom’s sake, which was really nice. As for Graham, he was adorable! And did I mention I’m a sucker for guys with blue eyes and dark hair? In addition to his good looks, Graham was a hilarious person too. The conversations between Ellie and him were fun and smart, captivating me from the very start.
Although I found the pace of the story a little slow (which was quite disappointing, considering the perfect pacing in TSPoLaFS), Jennifer E. Smith’s original writing style completely made up for it. She has a way of portraying emotions and feelings through mundane, daily activities which is magically effective.
I guess the biggest issue I had with This Is What Happy Looks Like is the fact that nothing much seemed to happen between the big events. It would’ve been better with more emotional scenes. It’s either that, or I just shouldn’t be reading this book while juggling crazy school work.
Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend this as a perfect summer read by the pool or on the beach. It’s fun, sweet and touching, exactly what good beach reads are made of!