This Is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
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?
My Thoughts: I've been reading a lot of contemporaries lately, I'm not really sure why, in that kind of a mood I guess. I picked this one up from my review pile to give it a try just before going to bed and the next thing I knew, I was 100 pages in and it was past midnight. Reluctantly, I had to put it down because I had to get up at 7am and watch kids. Well, I almost immediately picked it up again in the morning and read the rest.
This Is What Happy Looks Like follows two characters, showing each of their thoughts. The first is Ellie, a girl with a secret. The second is Graham, the movie star who manages to get it so his new movie is being filmed in Ellie's tiny hometown in Maine. Neither of them have met but they spend a few months emailing back and forth, only knowing initials. They both love the annonimity of the internet. Graham gets to feel like a normal teenager again and Ellie looks forward to the emails everyday.
I loved the romance, it was so sweet and cute. Ellie doesn't want to be in the media spotlight, but Graham doesn't know the real reason. Both of them have some parental issues, ones they aren't willing to talk about at first. I can see how hard a relationship with the media breathing down your neck would be hard and there were a few scenes that reminded me why I would never want to be a celebrity. I really dislike the way the paparazzi have no respect for people. I mean, there are points where they get violent and pushy just for a reaction from the person they want pictures of, it's disgusting.
Overall this is a cute story, a little slower paced, but not too bad. I like the little emails at the beginning of each chapter, they were cute. I hadn't read anything else by Jennifer E. Smith before. I know, I want to read
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. But I will say that I really enjoy her writing style and character development. I will be reading more by her. I really felt for the characters and there were a few times that I found myself getting a bit teary eyed. Always a good thing for me when the book gets me emotionally attached. I highly recommend this one for any of you who are fans of contemporary!