Thursday, August 1, 2013

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

This Is What Happy Looks Like
By Jennifer E Smith
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Source: Library
Summary: If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Review: As soon as I saw that Jennifer Smith's new book was compared to "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless In Seattle," I could not stop obsessing over getting my hands on a copy. When it finally came in at the library, I all but skipped out of the building, clutching the book to my chest. I packed my copy on vacation and spent a glorious day on the beach getting lost in the happy world of Graham and Ellie. 

When Ellie receives an email from an unknown address, she has no idea the journey she's about to embark on when she clicks open. With a miss-typed email address, Graham finds himself emailing Ellie, a normal girl who lives all the way across the country. As they strike up a friendship, Ellie and Graham discuss everything and anything about their lives. Except Graham keeps one secret: He's a teenage movie star. So when Graham has the chance to go to Ellie's hometown to shoot his next movie, he jumps on the opportunity. But what will an ordinary girl like Ellie do when a big movie star like Graham reveals his true identity and wants their online relationship to become real? 

Gah, this book was perfect. I absolutely loved Jennifer E Smith's first book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and she delivers yet another adorable, quirky book about romance and life. They way Graham and Ellie interact online and in person is so cute and relatable. Even though Graham is this big movie star, he's still just a guy who really likes a girl. And for the first time, he knows she doesn't like him for his money and fame, but for him. 

I know a lot of people didn't rate this book a five star because it was a fairytale, fluffy book, but those are the books I love. Yeah, there isn't a whole lot of deep substance to this one, but sometimes you just need a light romance to put a smile on your face. And you'll definitely be smiling after reading this book. This Is What Happy Looks LIke is just fun and the banter on and off-line between Graham and Ellie is really adorable. 

You're not going to get your next super emotional read from this one, but it's the perfect book to spend a nice summer day with. This simple love story is just too perfect to pass up on. So I would say you should definitely choose this one as your next read when you need a fluffy, romantic escape.


  1. i haven't got it yet but sounds like something i might enjoy...

    great review
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  2. I have a copy of this one, but I haven't read it yet. This is something that needs to change soon! Great review!

  3. I just got this one from the library and I am very excited to read it. I'm glad you liked it! Great review :)

    ~Sydney@Pika Pages

  4. I rated this book 3.5 not because of it being fluffy (I have my fare share of favorite fluffy contemporaries) but I felt this book lacked the magic I usually get with cute contemporaries. There was too little dialogue and too much thinking going on as well as unnecessary paragraphs that bore me. Overall it was cute and I LOVED the concept.. I just wish it was implemented better.

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  5. I felt the same way about this book. It is a perfect summer read.


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