This Is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E Smith
Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: April 2, 2013
book source: netgalley
Summary from Goodreads: 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?
Heather’s Review: It’s been months since I have accepted any books from publishers for review or logged onto NetGalley, but when I saw Jennifer E Smith’s newest book I could not resist. Her last, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is one of my all -time favorites. Smith’s writing is fresh, clean contemporary YA at its best.
What Happy Looks Like is set in a small town Maine home of the perfect fourth of July celebration and the state snack– whoopie pies. Ellie has never tasted one, but teen heart throb Graham is out to change that. He is convinced the two need to meet face to face after their chance email mix up turns into more. Graham is headed to Ellie’s home town (leaving his pet pig behind) on a mission to film his newest movie and run into her, the anonymous face behind the name. His initial plan of attack at her work ice cream store named “Scoops” backfires and he is not experiencing love at first sight like he thought he would. Things turn interesting when she proves to be even more mysterious and aloof than he predicted as Ellie and her mother have a past that needs to stay hidden.
You’ll grin from ear to ear at the lengths Graham will go to to steal some alone time with Ellie, and the storyline tugs at your heart stings as it emphasizes the important of family ties. The setting is magical…summertime in a resort village with just enough home spun charm. Smith’s style is poetic, witty and even slightly melancholy. There are questions left unanswered with an open ending where readers fill in the outcome. I really wanted to dig deeper into the characters. Hoping here is a companion novel or sequel out there, even a novealla in the future. But for now I am thrilled with another oustanding read from Jennifer E Smith and am waiting for another of her books I ordered to come in my mailbox.
Pre-order This is What Happy Looks Like. It is a perfect ray of sunshine to beat the winter blahs!
Content is suited for teens 14 and up. One swear word, otherwise clean.
About the author: Jennifer E. Smith is the author of the three young adult novels: The Comeback Season, You Are Here, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City.