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.

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Book Review: Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith

Book: Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith

Published September 2015 by Poppy Books|288 pages

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

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

I really liked this one!  I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I did.  I’ve read a couple of her books, but it’s been quite a while, and since I was in the mood for a cute YA contemporary, this seemed like a good choice.

I’m not going to lie, I was expecting something along the lines of a Kasie West book.  I wasn’t expecting to like it so much, but it did take a while to get there.

I really liked the short timeline.  I liked that they went on the adventure where they retraced their relationship and the important places and moments of their entire relationship.  You get such a great glimpse into their relationship and what it was like how they got to where they did.

Something she did really well was the short timeline.  It seems to be her thing, books that take place over a really short period of time, and from what I remember from her other books, she has a knack for telling an entire story in a matter of hours.  Time wise, that is.

I loved that they were trying to figure things out, even though it was their last shot to figure out before moving to different parts of the country for school.  I liked how it left things, and that there was the possibility that things could still work out for them, but that they also had to try and be apart too.

Claire was really hard to relate to, but I can understand why she had a hard time staying with Aidan.  It seemed like he was fine with staying together, while she had a much harder time with it, and I kind of wish he seemed more okay with the fact that she needed time apart.  There were times where it felt like they weren’t deciding whether to stay together or break up but trying to figure out what where they were going to eat dinner.  I think it’s the way they decided to make the decision, but by the end, I felt pretty invested in their relationship and what was going to happen.

I was also pretty interested in what was going on with their friends.  They seemed like such a random group, pulled together by the fact that they were the only ones in their group to not be off at college.  I know the book is about Aidan and Claire trying to figure out their relationship but a book focusing on his sister would be great.  Or their other two friends we see- if only I could remember their names.  Clearly, they didn’t make enough of an impression, given I’ve forgotten their names, but still.

I definitely got the impression Claire wasn’t always thoughtful or a great friend, and she did seem pretty wrapped up in her own issues, but hopefully, that will change for her.  Maybe going off to college and meeting new people will be good for her.

4 stars.  I really liked it, and it’s a cute, light YA contemporary.