Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like

Title: ImageThis is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Genre: YA contemporary

Length: 416 pages

Published by: Headline

Source: I bought it! (ages ago…)


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

There was quite a lot to like about this book. But I was a little disappointed, to be honest.

The prologue was awesome. It contained all these really funny emails and gave a great sense of character. It was really cute!

(like this kitten, actually. LOOK AT IT LOOK AT HOW CUTE IT IS)

Ahem. So yeah. Prologue = thumbs up. I would have really liked if the whole book had had more of these awesome emails. But alas, the rest of the book was kind of disappointing.

I mean, technically it had all the right things. But they just didn’t pan out well. Ellie and Graham work so well in the emails, but when they meet in real life, I was kind of like…is that it? Sure, they’d emailed before, but emails aren’t the same as meeting in real life. It was like insta-love but like the author was trying to present it as NOT insta-love. They didn’t get to know each other very well at all, and their connection just didn’t make sense.

Plus, the book is really long!! Probably too long. I mean, it’s a light and fluffy contemporary with not much else in regards to substance, but it’s more than 400 pages!

And to be honest, I kept comparing it to The Distance Between Us. I loved that book, and there were parallels in this one – rich guy, proud but poor girl, cuteness – but this one just didn’t match up. I know I shouldn’t compare books at all, and that part’s my fault, but sometimes you can’t help it, you know?

My favourite parts, then: 

– The emails

– The mix-up between the two girls at the beginning. Hilarious!

– The search for whoopie pies

But at the same time, it’s really hard to say bad things about this book, because it was cute, and it was a pretty good contemporary – light and fluffy. Like whoopie pies. And I guess maybe you need to be in the right mood for it? But in the end it just didn’t do it for me.

That said, I really want to read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, because there was the potential for something amazing in this book, and I’ve heard that other people love it. I hope my next Jennifer E Smith is good!!

Rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties



12 thoughts on “Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like

  1. Aghhh my whole comment for this got deleted >.<

    I've read other works by Jennifer and my highest rating was 3.5. Her contemporaries are pretty cute, but they don't give me crazy feels ya know? The e-mail aspect in this one sounds quite interesting though. AND THAT KITTEN GIF IS SO CUTE OMG. I understand why the romance didn't exactly pan out for you though. It can be difficult to transfer an online romance to a real life one without there being some sort of insta-love involved. 400 pages?? Wow. I don't remember Jennifer's other books being that long. Or maybe I just have a really bad memory. With 400 my expectations are usually raised as I want to see some crazy character development and an complex plot.

    Great review! <33 (:

    • DAMMIT. I’m sorry on behalf of the silly comments. Sometimes I get so frustrated I just don’t bother writing it again. I’m glad you persevered 😛

      The thing is, I so WANTED to have the crazy feels, because people have compared her to Stephanie Perkins, and like!!!!! Stephanie Perkins!!!!! I guess I’ll give Statistical Probability…. a go, because they would look pretty next to each other on my bookshelf (wow, yes, I am that far gone). From what I read from other reviews, her other books aren’t as long as this once, which can only be a good thing because not much of substance happened 🙂

      Thanks! 😀

  2. My main problem with this one was definitely the length! Too long where basically not much happened. Oddly enough, I think I enjoyed this one more than The Distance Between Us. xD Okay, don’t punch me. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight–dang that’s a mouthful–was sadly, kind of more boring for me. OH LOOK AT THAT KITTY. Wonderful review, Emily!

    • Haha, I wouldn’t punch you for that! If you bad-mouthed Harry Potter, well that’s another story 😛

      (I kid, I kid. If people are reading books I’m happy)

      Now I’m not sure whether to read Statistical Probability etc etc. Hmm. Maybe I’ll try and find it in a library somewhere first 🙂

  3. I just read The Geography of You and Me, and I THOUGHT everybody raved and loved her books so I was pretty sure I was going to have an awesome time..buuut, um, I gave it a 3. I just…wasn’t getting it?? I mean, quirky and cute is good and I usually don’t mind contemporaries that live off that. But plot is good too and it had none. I’m a bit nervous to try anymore Jennifer E. Smith books. I mean, I probably WILL. But not ASAP.

    • Phew, I’m not the only one. The whole time I was like, “What am I missing??? Everyone loves her????” I’m sure other people do, but I’m just not one of them, unfortunately. Or at least, not yet. But I’m all for second chances, and the cover of Statistical Probability is reeeeeally pretty (yeah, as if people don’t judge books by their covers. We both know this).

  4. Not read the Distance Between Us but if it’s similar to this one – definitely will check it out. Sad to see you didn’t love this one but at least there were things you enjoyed about it. Great review, Emily 🙂

    • The Distance Between Us is better than this (well, I think so – you might not :P). I mean, even if I give a book one star, there were probably things I liked about it, otherwise I wouldn’t have read it to start with. I think even negative reviews can have positivity, if that makes sense, or at least I try to show that in my reviews, because I know other people might like it 🙂 thanks!!

  5. Pingback: What Happened This Week: end of exams and start of holidays | The Loony Teen Writer

  6. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Appreciate it!

    • That’s so weird! I’m sorry about that. In the email you should be able to click on “unsubscribe.” Or if that doesn’t work, uncheck the box on this page that you initially checked, and you should stop getting the emails. If not, let me know and I’ll try and figure it out for you 🙂

  7. Pingback: What Happened This Month: reading lots and fangirling | The Loony Teen Writer

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