Bel Reviews: Jennifer E Smith's - "This is What Happy Looks Like"

smith_happy looks likeHow can such a lovely story stem from miscommunication?

Hollywood has done the mistaken phone connection before, and they’ve delved into the email realm as well. They never quite did it justice though. Meg, please.

This is What Happy Looks Like, begins with a typo and charms you from the first reply. Who’d have thought such a rampant bunch of clichés could be so comfortably nice.

Here’s what goodreads have to say about the blurb

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith’s new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything; Graham doesn’t know the major secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham’s new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie’s mom want her to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?”

This is a book in the same vein as The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, though it isn’t the same characters or setting. It is however just as warm and fuzzy. 

Jennifer has a real knack for making deliciously consumable lovable books. I am in awe of how she sucks me in every time. Through all the light and airy, there are issues to be explored. The price of fame, and does being famous automatically mean you get everything you desire?

There are tissue moments and plenty of bits to giggle over. Dialogue is easy and believable.

It’s a bit of a thick volume, however you’ll hardly notice if sweet and fluffy is your thing.

Definitely one for a gloomy day, or a blue mood. Curl up with the cat, in a blanket, and keep the tissues and hot chocolate handy.

Paperback, 224 pages

Published April 4th 2013 by Headline Book Publishing

ISBN 0755392280 (ISBN: 9780755392285)

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