Apr 20, 2014

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

Title: This Is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date: April 02, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Add to: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

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?

My Thoughts

This was my first Jennifer E. Smith book even though I picked up The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight first. This, somehow, got my attention more than TSPOLAFS and I must say that I found this really adorable with all the e-mail conversations.


One word: adorable. I like the "accidentally sent e-mail" concept and as their e-mail conversation goes on, the two characters have built something close to friendship and the more they exchange e-mails, they got to know each other without revealing their real selves but felt a bit of comfort in each other's presence through technology. The relationships in this book was a bit complicated because Ellie's mom hides a secret regarding Ellie's dad and her pride seemed to rule over her because she doesn't want help from him, even though he very much liked to get in touch with his daughter and spend time with her. Quinn and Ellie's friendship was..unstable. There wasn't much of it and at the beginning of the book, you can tell that these two share a deep bond as friends. But due to some misunderstanding, it got shattered and even if they were trying to mend their broken friendship, it wasn't talked much and I think it's sad. They hardly had interaction until the book ended. And Ellie's relationship with her dad was just sad. She was so close to meeting her but nothing. Nothing happened. It would have been nice if they got to talk because that was what Ellie tried hard to do, even if her mom forbid it.


It's as if holding a secret is a trend between the characters. Ellie and her secret father that she never knew and Graham with his secret identity as an actor that Ellie also never knew, until they met. Graham is a sweet guy and I wished there was more depth of him as a son because his relationship with his parents wasn't highlighted much after everything he described about them. I think his parents are nice, just wished there was more of them. I'm struggling to like Ellie's mom because of her "we don't need your father and we don't need his money, we can stand on our own and we just don't need him and you're not allowed to see or know him" attitude. Ellie's nice but I don't have much to say about her. Though I like how she wants to patch things up with people she has problems with and tries hard to make it work. And her understanding nature when it comes to Graham's job.


I love the book but I don't consider it as a favorite because there were things that weren't polished enough. But I do love reading Graham and Ellie's e-mails over and over and their adventures.

My Rating:


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