Thursday, March 20, 2014


Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Edition: hardbound
Published: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 416
Source: Bought from Fullybooked Fort
Category: Romance, Contemporary
Trailer: Not applicable.

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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?
After dusting my copy of This Is What Happy Looks Like which has been stuck on my book shelf for the longest time already, it felt like it was the right time to read it. Having been deprived of a contemporary read for a few weeks now, this book just happened to be there, at the right place and at the right time, teasing me to grab it. And what do you know?? It filled my need for contemporary. My heart is now overflowing with giggles, swoons, shrieks and blushes. It gave me what I expected from it: glowing heart.

Ellie received an email from a stranger about a pig and the witty replies of this stranger got her hooked. They have been exchanging emails without knowing the person's name and Ellie at some point, started to be comfortable with it. Until one day, she saw Graham Larkin, a good looking movie star. Graham is filming for their upcoming movie in Ellie's town with a hidden agenda: find the girl he's exchanging emails with.

There are several movies and Korean TV series I've watched with the same exact plot and I've always been engulfed by the fateful turn of events for the characters. However, I never really READ anything like it. The thrill of not knowing how the plot would turn out or who the characters would end up with is truly different from what I am accustomed to. What comes next in the story isn't easy to predict and I absolutely adored Smith's writing style.

Though the book is a little bit disorienting at first because of alternating narration of POVs (take note: NO CHAPTER TITLES), I still thought it was clever. The plot happened too fast, like Smith didn't make the wait for knowing who's who unbearable. However, with that said, the latter part kind of juggled from different and irrelevant subplots. It lost a lot of that power house urge to giggle.

Ellie's life is surprising. Not knowing his now Senator father took me a little bit shocked. I understand her mother's reasons for going away and living a life without the dad but honestly? I wouldn't and couldn't ever agree to it. A child needs both her/his parents at all times, at all costs. She would have lived a different life yes, but also a life with her dad. She wouldn't wonder all her life what it feels like to have one. I feel a little sorry for her. And I also understand why she's fickle-minded and secretive.

Growing up surrounded with a lot of guys, I can immediately identify that Graham is written from a girl's take of things. Especially how romantic he is. Am not saying that there are no longer romantic guys existing, its just that Graham is too sweet for a guy. I LOVED IT. I love how funny and grounded he is. Ellie is so lucky to have him to herself not because of any physical attributes but because of his values and respect for her.

This is What Happy Looks Like is absolutely a lovely read. It is full of positive feelings that will do wonders to a sulky heart. The thought of finding the one person you'd feel love for ACCIDENTALLY isn't only magical but also hopeful. And if there was a way I would have known how it will END, I would have taken precautions BECAUSE YOU CAN'T JUST END A STORY LIKE THAT. I NEED A SEQUEL, PEOPLE. I DO NEED ONE.
"He'd thought this was the start of something. But clearly she'd changed her mind and he felt stunned by how quickly the whole thing had unraveled, the end coming before the beginning really even had a chance to begin."
"There are different kinds of happy.. some kinds don't need any proof."

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