Friday, October 11, 2013

Review for This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

15790873This Is What Happy Looks Like
By Jennifer E. Smith
Published April 2nd 2013 by Poppy
Borrowed from Library
416 Pages
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? ~ Goodreads

This Is What Happy Looks Like is a fantastic contemporary that allows us all to live out our fantasy (I'm assuming here) of falling in love with a down-to-earth celebrity! If it does not enchant you with its charm, it will surely put a smile on your face.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out TIWHLL is written from both perspectives, with the added touch of emails (such a fun idea). Ellie is no one special, I don't even know how I would describe her because she has a little bit of everything in her personality: she is stubborn, cautious, shy (but then adventurous), secretive... which makes her seem more realistic. People are usually not pegged to one trait. Graham too, was like this. He was sweet, witty, passionate, determined... and yet had emotional worries, which made him relatable. I didn't connect deeply with them, but I definitely became swept up in their lives! However, their relationship would have been better if we could have seen how it developed through the emails. With that being said, the emails that were included were clever and had me laughing! I have one question though: WHY did we not meet Wilbur?? Seriously, by the end I desperately wanted to meet that pig!! Humph!

Although not a new or original idea, Smith managed to keep me flipping those pages. She adds a little bit of family drama or issues in there, but thankfully it does not overwhelm the book at all. It remains a light, enjoyable, breezy read. I think my favourite part of the whole book was the atmosphere created by the setting of a small town. There was a closeness, sense of community, and quirkiness to it that made me what to pick up my stuff and move there!

I highly recommend This is What Happy Looks Like to lovers of light contemporary, romance, and of course, pigs (not really). It will reveal to you just what happy looks like, providing that extra skip in your step for the day!

 "There are different kinds of happy," she said. "Some kinds don't need any proof." 
"Like sunrises?"
"Exactly," she said. "I know enough to know that they're happy things. There's just nothing sad about a sunrise."
"As opposed to a sunset."
"I don't think they're particularly sad either."
"I do," Graham told her. "They're endings, and endings are always sad."
"They're the beginnings of the night," she said. "That's something."
"Yeah, but everyone knows that nights are scarier than days."
Ellie laughed. "Maybe we should turn around then."
"How come?"
"Nothing's all that scary if you can see it coming."