Wednesday, 1 May 2013

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

Published: April 4th 2013, Headline
Pages: 407 pages, ARC
Series/standalone?: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review

Summary (from Goodreads): Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

First line: 'Hey, we're running pretty behind here.'

My review: I devoured and adored Smith's previous release (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) at the beginning of 2012 so I was really keen to get my hands on This Is What Happy Looks Like. Getting lost inside a story is all I ever want from a novel and I definitely got lost inside Graham and Ellie's world in this gorgeous love story, which is a fun, summery read.

We're beginning to head into summer and I really fancied a light-hearted, romantic YA that would lift my spirits and help me get ready for the warmer weather - if that's the sort of mood you're in too then this is the perfect book for you.

Ellie is a likable heroine from the outset. A little snarky, definitely memorable and not your frustratingly perfect runway model. She's a real girl and that's what made me warm to her; I felt like she could be me or one of my pals who just happens to find herself in a surprising situation.

The love story is the core of This Is What Happy Looks Like and it's such a sweet, lovely relationship that I was rooting for from page one. It's nice to see something so tender and loving and based on a genuine foundation, rather than just another frustrating insta-love relationship. Smith knows how to write a love story - that's for sure!

Can somebody option this for a movie soon, please? Like, right now. A gorgeous small town setting, memorable characters and a sizzling love story - This Is What Happy Looks Like is your next summer read, trust me.


  1. I've heard a lot about this and really want to read it, but can't seem to find it anywhere! I may just have to order it online. Thanks for the review!

  2. It's not a secret that I wasn't too fond of The Statistical Probability but this one does sound a lot better and I've seen so many rave reviews. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one. Lovely review, Carly! :)

  3. Oh, this would make a brilliant movie if it was done properly! Such a gorgeous book.

  4. This sounds like a book I really need to read - and I'd watch a movie adaption of it too! Fab review :)

  5. This was a sweet story of young love. I enjoyed reading how this unfolded and how this family moved on in spite of potential emotional damage to them and or the removed father.

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  7. I really enjoyed this book. Jennifer E. Smith somehow manages to make her novels feel so real, like what is happening in them is totally possible. I though this book was a fantastic read.

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