Title: This Is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
First published April 2, 2013
404 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780316212823 (ISBN10: 0316212822)
A chance email sets the stage for an unlikely romance in Jennifer E. Smith’s heartwarming novel.
When Hollywood heartthrob Graham Larkin accidentally emails small-town girl Ellie O’Neill about his pet pig, the two strike up a witty and charming online correspondence. Despite their growing connection, Graham knows that their vastly different worlds may make a real-life relationship impossible.
But when fate brings them together on the set of Graham’s latest film, they can’t help but wonder if they were meant to be. Will their love be able to survive the pressures of fame and the scrutiny of the media?
Find out in This Is What Happy Looks Like.
About the Author
Jennifer E. Smith has written nine books for young adults.
Two of her most recent books, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, were even made into films. She studied creative writing at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she earned her master’s degree.
Her writing has been translated into 33 different languages. Nowadays, Jennifer lives in Los Angeles.
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith is a heartwarming contemporary romance novel that explores themes of love, family, perseverance, and self-discovery.
Smith is an accomplished author known for her young adult romance novels, and This Is What Happy Looks Like is her first foray into adult romance. The book was first published on April 2, 2013, and has since received critical acclaim for its well-crafted characters, engaging plot, and vivid setting.
Set in the picturesque town of Henley, Maine, This Is What Happy Looks Like tells the story of Ellie O’Neill, a teenage girl who accidentally sends an email to an unknown person which soon leads to a long-distance friendship with a charming boy named Graham Larkin, a famous actor. After several emails and phone calls, Graham decides to shoot his next movie in Ellie’s small town, and they finally meet.
From there, their relationship blossoms into a romance, but not everything is as perfect as it seems. As Ellie learns more about Graham’s life in the spotlight, she must confront her own doubts and fears and decide whether their love is strong enough to face the challenges ahead.
Smith’s writing style is crisp and engaging, providing a perfect balance between humor and emotion. She expertly captures the small town charm of Henley, Maine, with its quaint streets, picturesque harbor, and friendly residents.
The descriptions of the town and its surroundings are so vivid that readers can almost smell the salty air and hear the sound of waves crashing on the shore. The character development in This Is What Happy Looks Like is outstanding.
Ellie is a relatable protagonist, struggling to navigate her own insecurities and family issues while balancing her growing feelings for Graham. Graham, on the other hand, must deal with the pressures of fame and the constant scrutiny of the media.
The secondary characters, including Ellie’s mother and Graham’s agent, are also well-drawn and add depth to the story. One of the strengths of This Is What Happy Looks Like is the pacing of the plot.
Smith maintains a steady pace, keeping readers engaged without feeling rushed or slow. The plot is intriguing, with enough twists and turns to keep readers invested until the satisfying conclusion.
As far as flaws or limitations, This Is What Happy Looks Like is not without its cliches or predictable moments. The story of a small town girl falling in love with a celebrity is not a new concept, and some may find the resolution of the conflicts too tidy.
However, Smith’s excellent writing and well-drawn characters make up for any shortcomings in the plot. In conclusion, This Is What Happy Looks Like is a delightful romance that will leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
With its memorable characters, idyllic setting, and engaging plot, it is a great read for anyone looking for a heartwarming love story. Overall, I give this book a 4.5/5, with points taken off only for its occasional cliched moments.