You Read What? Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Hachette Book Group

  • Imprint: Poppy

Date Published:  April 2nd 2013

Format: ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy). eBook.

Source: From the publisher for review via Netgalley


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?

Number of Days It Took to Read: Did Not Finish


This Is What Happy Looks Like

The Writing Score: 3 out of 5

Recommendation: Casual Perusal

Memorable or Forgettable: Forgettable

Rating:  3 out of 5


This is a strange review to write because, despite dubbing this book a DNF (Did Not Finish), I still gave it 3 stars. Why? The writing is fine and it’s a book I can understand people enjoying but I. Just. Didn’t. Care.

Not that I don’t care that people would like it but that I didn’t care about the story or the characters who inhabit it. The book started out strong with an email exchange between the two characters that went on for a few pages before becoming a normal novel with the title “Chapter 1” appearing. Then it got stale. I wasn’t interested in the main character Ellie or her male counterpart, Graham, and I found that there were narrative directions that I wished the author continued with or ignored. I guess you could say it was down to whether or not the different combination of approaches to the story (dual Point of Views, 3rd person narrative, directions or decisions of the plot/narrative) worked well together to create a novel that made me feel…anything. This didn’t however. I know people who’ve enjoyed this book and I’m glad for them so there’s clearly an audience but it seems that I wasn’t it.

Ah well.

I guess this wasn’t what happy looks like after all (I’m sorry. I had to go there).

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

2 thoughts on “You Read What? Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like

  1. I thought this was a cute book but I could see how this would fall flat for some people. I do think Statistical Probability is a stronger book over all though if you feel like giving this author another try.

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