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

Summary/Cover Image from Goodreads:
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?

I'm always on the lookout for fun and romance filled contemporary reads, especially during the summer months, so when This Is What Happy Looks Like appeared on my radar, I knew I had to read it. Luckily, This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith provided just that and much, much more. From a fabulous setting to relatable characters to a slow burning yet exciting romance, this book had lots of amazing things going for it!

One of the aspects I enjoyed most about this book was the plot. I'm always a sucker for a good celeb-meets-ordinary-girl-and-falls-in-love story, so before I even began the book, it was already winning in that area. Thankfully, Jennifer E. Smith did such a great job of developing that story line into something fresh and exciting. I loved the fact that Ellie and Graham meet over email, and how everything involved from there. It allowed for a lot more development than just a love at first sight thing would have. Furthermore, I enjoyed seeing how the emails tied into everything.

Another part of the book I enjoyed was the characters. The book allows the reader to see from the viewpoint of both Graham and Ellie, which added a lot to the book. Ellie was the typical girl-next-door type, but I still enjoyed getting to know her. She was someone who really had her head on her shoulders, but at the same time, had a lot of problems to sort through emotionally. Graham, on the other hand, turned out to be anything but the normal celeb teen heartthrob. He was sweet and kind, and just like Ellie, he had his own set of problems to sort through as well. Seeing them come together was awesome, especially when it allowed for character development. I also really enjoyed the wide variety of side characters! However, I wish more of Graham's pig was shown!

Smith's writing was also a decent. At times, I felt the story could have been shortened a little (it's over 400 pages and tends to drag occasionally), but other than that, I thought she did a great job of delivering a sweet and enjoyable romance.

In all, This Is What Happy Looks Like is a perfect summer read, and I look forward to reading more by Smith in the future!

Grade: B+

This Is What Happy Looks Like (Amazon, Barnes and Noble) is now out! 

Source: Library 


  1. Review twins! I posted a review of this today too-it looks like you enjoyed it a bit more but we both thought it could be shorter. Wish we could have met the pig-after loving Rosie in Poison, I have a soft spot for the animal.

  2. I loved Statistical and feel that if I read this book it needs to be just as good. Smith is a genius when it comes to writing stories like this, so I really hope she doesn't disappoint when I finally get my hands on this book. Great review though! I'm glad to hear all of the characters were great!(:


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