02/07/2013

Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like {Jennifer E. Smith}


This Is What Happy Looks Like
 
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teen movie sensation Graham Larkin accidentally emails small-town-gal Ellie O'Neill, the two teenagers strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing pet pigs to everything that could ever think of. Except who they are. No names. No backgrounds.

But when Graham's new movie winds up shooting in Ellie's home town, the two are suddenly thrust face-to-face, their identities revealed, forcing them to finally take their relationship out of that Meg Ryan movie and into the real world.

But can someone as famous as Graham really be part of Ellie's world? And what will Ellie do when a relationship with Hollywood's hottest star threatens to reveal the secret her family has been keeping for years?

 

 
This is a cute summer read that I found surprisingly realistic, filled with down-to-earth characters. No, I didn't swoon over Graham like I did over with Oliver in The Statistical Probability, but he was a great guy who really deserved our leading lady. And his whole obsession with wanting her to taste a whoopie pie was both hilarious and adorable

The thing with this book though, is that at times it could almost be too simple. Graham faces a lot of problems as a movie star, but they seemed to magically resolve quite quickly and found myself wondering what he was complaining about in the first place. Also, with Ellie, there's never any closure to her 'secret'. We don't see how things work out and though she seems satisfied about the lack of resolution, I definitely wasn't.

But I suppose that's where the realistic part of the story comes in. Because in the real world things don't always get wrapped up in a pretty little bow and the story ended in a nice enough way that I didn't feel too put-out by it. After all, Graham and Ellie's relationship was the focus, and that aspect ended wonderfully, leaving me excited about where the characters would end up.

Speaking of Graham's relationship with Ellie, I thought they were beyond cute. Graham was witty and completely laid-back and his chemistry with Ellie was sugar-sweet. I loved the emails at the beginning of the chapters between the two of them – it really broke up the narrative and it was great to be able to read their correspondence

That's another thing that makes this book so interesting: the characters actually talked to each other. There's no insta-love and corny, tireless displays of affection that are kind of unfounded. Instead, Graham's relationship with Ellie is well-written and we get to see it grow and develop. We experience the awkward moments as well as the cute ones.

This isn't a book that's going to answer all of life's questions or leave you wanting to quote every page, but if you're looking for a quick, sweet read to cuddle up with, then this is the book for you. Jennifer E. Smith does not disappoint and once again delivers a couple who are worth turning the page for.

"Maybe growing up was really nothing more than growing away: from your old life, from your old self, from all those things that kept you tethered to your past." 

 
 

 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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