Thursday, 25 April 2013

Review for This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 
Publisher: Headline
Release: 4th April 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Received in exchange for an honest review from the publishers



Review 
This is What Happy Looks Like follows the story of Ellie and Graham. For months they have been anonymously corresponding over email after Graham accidently sends Ellie an email about the welfare of his pet pig, Wilbur. Not knowing each other’s identity allows these two teens with secrets to open up to one another and so they form an unlikely friendship. But when Graham decides he wants to meet Ellie, and possibly take their friendship further, their easy natural relationship becomes strained when Graham is revealed to be the latest movie star heartthrob and Ellie is a girl with a past that she would do anything to keep out of the spotlight – even if it means losing Graham.

I was actually really surprised when I started reading this book. I expected it to be a teen version of the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ with the couple corresponding, falling for the online version, loathing the real life person, only to find out at the end that the two are one and the same. So I was surprised when things took a different turn and Ellie and Graham figured out who the other was pretty quickly. Instead their budding romance faces other obstacles. Most teenage girls dream of dating the latest teen Hollywood star but Ellie – who loves the Graham away from the camera- needs to keep their involvement hidden due to a buried family secret that can’t come out.

Graham and Ellie were two really great characters. Graham is a young rising star and is finding that the lifestyle of the rich and famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Graham was a really down to earth, funny, easy going guy and I could understand his attraction to Ellie - a girl who knows him and fell for him for who he is inside without the celebrity status. Ellie is a girl with a good head on her shoulders. It’s just her and her mom so money is always an issue so Ellie works hard towards a brighter future. Ellie was a really admirable, clever girl who I had a lot of respect for.

Unfortunately despite loving both characters separately the romance was very slow simmering in my opinion. There were some cute scenes like the hunt for a whoopie pie and their funny emails but for me that chemistry wasn’t there, I just couldn’t feel it. I think that’s probably down to the amount of time this couple spent apart and the emails (which I loved) fizzled out as the book went on. I LOVED their emails; they were actually my favourite thing about this book. I loved their conversations about Wilbur the pig and what their happy looks like. All the online chemistry was there but when they were face to face it felt like we lost some of that adorable banter. For a book like this the romance is key so I was disappointed that their chemistry fell flat.

Overall This is What Happy Looks Like was a really cute, fun, summery read. But unfortunately it lacked that sparkle that Smith’s debut ‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight’ had. Happy Looks Like is a sweet and satisfying read whilst it lasts but I can’t say there was anything about it that left a lasting impression.

 

16 comments :

  1. I'm reading "The Statistical Probability" right now and I love it so far. I was really looking forward to this one, this email exchanges in the preview looked adorable but too bad you didn't love it as much. I'm still going to give it a try.
    Great review :)

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    1. So glad you are loving Statistical! I hope you enjoy Happy more than me, the emails are super cute!

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  2. I have yet to read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, so I'll probably wait till I read that to pick up this one. It sounds cute though! I'm a bit bummed it isn't all that much like You've Got Mail since I LOVE that movie. Then again, what's the fun in a copycat story right? :)

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    1. Yes, I'd definitely read Statistical first, I loved that book! Yeah it just kind of jarred me. When you expect something to be one way then it goes another - not that it was bad just a bit of a surprise to what I was expecting!

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  3. The emails were my favourite part too!

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  4. So gutted that it didn't really live up to your expectations! I got a copy of this one about a month ago but haven't had time to read it yet. I haven't read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight so I guess it's a good thing that I can't compare it to the author's previous book :)

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    1. Yeah, it is a good book, but I felt it lacked that something that I loved about this authors debut. I hope you enjoy both books when you get around to them, Vicky!

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  5. A lot of people seem to be reacting the same way to this one! The general consensus seems to be that it's a cute read, but not a favourite. I actually felt that way about Statistical Probability, though I still hope I can give this a shot one day. Great review, Jess. :)

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    1. That's exactly it, Sam! I hope you enjoy it whenever you get around to reading it. :)

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  6. My rating was exactly the same as yours Jess, the romance just fell really flat for me, as soon as the emails fizzled out, I was kind of hoping that they would continue for the rest of the story. I'm sorry that you weren't able to enjoy this as much as you'd hoped Jess, but another wonderful review! :)

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    1. I agree! I went back to re-read your review and was nodding along.

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  7. I'd give this a go if I found a cheap copy of it but I actually found The Statistical Probability a big let down, all I saw were amazing reviews but it fell flat for me, I thought it was a cute read but nothing more.

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    1. Eeek! I have a feeling you'd feel the same way about this one then, Caroline!

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  8. awww I absolutely loved this one but I know what you mean about the emails, I was upset that they slowed down a lot later on. I still thought they were dute when they appeared though. Cant wait to see what Jennifer E Smith does next time :)

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    1. I'm glad you loved it Raimy! The emails were really adorbs!

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