Thursday, April 4, 2013

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
Publisher Website - Hachette/Poppy
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 416 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads 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? 
An email address typed incorrectly. Something so common but has the power to change everything. It ends up changing the lives of both Ellie and Graham by allowing them to meet.. The premise of the story intrigued me immediately. There is something about getting to know someone via email that can allow a different connection. People are often more willing to type something than say it face to face. In this case, a deeper connection is developed because each person can truly be themselves. Graham doesn't have to wonder if Ellie’s interested because he is famous. Ellie is free to open up without any insecurities getting in the way.

Jennifer E Smith’s writing flows nicely. I found myself reading this one rather quickly due to the pacing. I finished it in one day, and it’s mainly due to the way the novel progressed. I simply had to keep reading.

Ellie and her mother moved to small town to escape after their lives were turned upside down. Her mother wants nothing more than to leave the past where it belongs, and move forward. Due to the situation Ellie has been ingrained with the importance of avoiding the media spotlight at all cost. Falling in love with the latest Hollywood “It” boy was not part of that plan. It’s this obstacle that makes their stolen moments even sweeter. Graham wants to be out of the spotlight just as much as Ellie needs to be.

The relationship between Ellie and her mother was nice to see in a YA novel. Often the parents are missing, or not part of the story. Ellie’s mother is very much part of the story. Her experiences lead the way to obstacles, and haunt Ellie’s decisions. I liked that while it seemed Ellie and her mom were friends, it felt like a parent/child relationship as well.

Graham is not your typical Hollywood hunk. A young actor on the brink of super stardom, and every teenage girl's dream guy. Regularly on the cover of tabloid magazines, his life is open to invasion. Graham’s personality was different than I was expecting. He was much more down to earth and less “Hollywood” than I anticipated. He’s simply a young man who got discovered, caught a lucky break, and is riding that wave to what his manger hopes is the next level of fame. He’s opinionated, and I loved that he went against what his manger wanted (and was therefore expected of him).

The romance is, of course, off the charts adorable. It had me grinning, and left me with a smile long after I had finished the book. It’s a light, breezy read that is exactly what is needed after a more intense read. It leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Jennifer E Smith writes romance without it being too sweet. It’s the perfect blend of realistic mixed with the idealized version one expects in a Hollywood movie.

An excellent summer beach time read that will leave you wishing for your own accidental romance. A charming look at love, family, and what can happen if you just open yourself up to new experiences and allow fate to lead the way.


  1. This was a favorite read for me too.

  2. This book had me grinning a lot too. I loved the emails and I actually wish there was a bit more of them getting to know one another through emails, I felt like him coming to town happened too quickly. And yes, the relationship between Ellie and her mom stuck out for me as well. I do think the relationship with her friend was weird, how she's there and then disappears for so much of the book, that was something else I needed more of. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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