Sunday, May 19, 2013

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

This Is What Happy Looks Like4 out of 5 Robots!

This is What Happy Looks Like  
by Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release: April 2, 2013
Hardcover: 416 Pages
Publisher: Poppy
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:
This is What Happy Looks Like had a lot of potential.  I am kind of a sucker for stories about people from completely different backgrounds coming together.  And I was intrigued by the premise, no matter how implausible it seemed.  All and all, it was a fine book, if not a little cliched.  Graham was perfectly perfect.  Ellie is a the beautiful regular girl who wants nothing to do with Graham's Hollywood lifestyle (of course).  And all of this is fine. There is something almost comforting about this typical set up.  But there was a spark missing. Mostly, I had a hard time buying into Graham and Ellie's relationship.  A lot of the time it felt very forced.  It was like I had to accept their relationship because I was told to, not because I was given any reasons for it.  For one, you really don't get to see many of the emails they write back and forth and so you miss a large chunk of watching their relationship develop.  The book basically begins with Graham arriving in Ellie's hometown.  Secondly, the obstacles (because there are always Obstacles) seem very arbituary.  I couldn't understand why Ellie's best friend wouldn't talk to her for weeks because Ellie didn't tell her she was having an email relationship with some teenage guy in another city.  I also couldn't understand why Ellie was so into Graham one minute, then won't speak to him for a couple weeks.  And why would Graham just accept this?  Really, Graham is just kind of being taken advantage of here.  Especially when they meet back up again at the end.  And lastly, Ellie's reason for "avoiding the spotlight" seemed kind of silly.  Overall, it's a nice, fluffy but slightly problematic book. 

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