Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like (YA)

This Is What Happy Looks Like (This Is What Happy Looks Like #1) by Jennifer E. Smith

Goodreads Summary:
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 Review:
This book was so cute! Graham Larking, teenage heart-trobe movie star, accidentally sends an email to Ellie O’Neill in Maine. Thus begins their long distance friendship. Neither reveals their name, so Graham is about to be a normal boy instead of a movie star. Then he convinces his director to take the movie to Maine once their small town deal for North Carolina falls through.

The book is told in alternating chapters that almost overlap. I loved the transition between chapters when you could see a glimpse of the same scene from the other point of view. I loved Graham so much. I felt for him. He couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without the photographers following him.

Ellie was a little harder for me to like. She was witty and fun in email, but kind of a spaz once they met in real life. Once the reason for her weirdness about Graham’s fame was revealed, I forgave her a little bit and got into their romance a lot more.

This book is a pretty typical contemporary romance, but the seaside town and the famous person romance worked really well for me. I also enjoyed Ellie’s relationship with her best friend, Quinn. Their drama was realistic, and I appreciated Ellie’s belief in the value of friendship.

Before I even finished this book I bought the novella sequel on Amazon. I was very disappointed to find that there wasn’t a full sequel out yet. Is there going to be one? I want to read more about these two characters!

My Rating: 4 Stars
Understand my ratings.

I read this book as part of my new author challenge. I loved Jennifer E. Smith’s writing style, characterization, and plotting. I need to check out some of her other books. Which one should I try next?

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