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

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

Published April 2013 by Headline|404 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

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 thought This Is What Happy Looks Like was just okay.  I really wanted to like it more but I just wasn’t into it.

It was cute, I’ll give it that.  Smith is really good at the cute romance that takes place over a pretty short period of time.  I just thought it was weird and a little creepy that after a few emails, Graham decides that her town is a great place for his new movie.

It could have been really cute, and had they met in a different (and not weird and creepy) way, I might have liked it more.  Smith definitely thought a lot about their stories and what she wanted for both Ellie and Graham.  I liked their emails to each other, but I didn’t actually feel like there was anything between them.

I was bored reading it, and I’m honestly not sure how I got to the end.  I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, or for the book to get my attention in some way but that never happened.  It was hard to stay interested but I think I kept reading to see what would happen.  So the book wasn’t all that bad, and it was cute, even though it wasn’t for me.

2 stars.  This Is What Happy Looks Like wasn’t for me and even though it was cute at times, I was bored and had a hard time getting into it.  I also wish I had more to say about the book.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

  1. I also rated this low when I read it. Jennifer E. Smith is an author I find a hard time getting into because her stories sound good but then I just can’t stand her characters. For me, I thought Ellie was super annoying and I just hate when female protagonists in YA expect the guy to understand even if he has zero to little information. Like, when she doesn’t talk to him or acts mad bc she can’t be seen with him because of her situation w/ her father. Interesting to see another similar perspective on this!

    • I’m the same way with her books- they sound really cute but I can never get into her books. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates it when female protagonists don’t tell the guy anything but still expect him to magically know what’s going on and understand why she’s acting the way she is

      • Yes! It’s such a shame. I’ve heard that Windfall is better so I might try that one but if not I might just quit reading her. I feel like the majority of her protagonists are like this and it drives me crazy.

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