Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like

This Is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E. Smith
YA Contemporary
April 2nd 2013 by Poppy
Source: Bought


Goodreads summary:
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?


What I thought:
I really loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, so I was really excited to get this one and read it! I did hear some say that it was just too unrealistic for them, so I was a little worried. I shouldn't have been though. I am a fairy tale kind of gal and I already knew I liked the author, so it didn't disappoint.

I've read a couple of books that are mainly emails or texts and after a while they can get a little annoying. The emails in the beginning of this were fabulous! Then Smith did a great job of tapering those off and letting the story play out with an inserted email line here and there. I loved it! It was very cute and fun.

Let's get down to the matter about it being realistic. What are the chances of a regular and poor teenage girl meeting and falling for a teenage Hollywood guy? Well, probably zero. What made this work for me was the whole meeting on email and how Graham feels. He had never planned on being a star. It just kind of happened and he feels rather lonely. He's distanced from his friends and family. They all treat him and think of him differently because of his stardom. This felt real to me since I think it probably happens. Then there is all this pressure he has to deal with to be seen in a certain light and to do certain things from the industry, his manager, publicist, the directors, the public etc. That is definitely real. Then there's Ellie. She is about as real as you can get in a character and she totally can't believe that Graham has any interest in her. Together they make a great couple. Ellie lets Graham feel like he can be himself and that she knows the real him, not the tabloid him. Graham gets Ellie in a lot of ways once he knows what is going on.

I loved the sweet romance. I also loved the deep feelings and frustrations that each of the characters deal with. It makes them come alive and I was cheering for them both. There are some strong family issues that both of them need to work through as well. This seems to be a recurring theme with Smith, but she handles things so well. There is also some great humor. I think I also really enjoyed reading this because of the quiet moments or conversations shared between the characters. There were some great ones here. In the end, it made me happy.

Overall a great read! It is definitely one I would recommend if you love happy endings, Contemporary YA, and fairy tales, because this has all of those things.

Content: There were a few mild swear words and some adult subject matter, but I would basically say this was clean.

 
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