May 10, 2013

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



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?

add to goodreadsThis Is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date:  April 2, 2013
Publisher:  Poppy

Available for Purchase:

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewOh books that could easily become the next teen hit move…how I love thee.  With how much I had fallen in love with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, I was so excited to start reading This is What Happy Looks Like!  With the attention grabbing cover, there was no way that I was going to pass this one up.

Have you ever wished that a super-hot movie star would suddenly notice you and do whatever he could in his power to meet you IRL (in real life)?  That is exactly what happened to Ellie O’Neill!  And it all started with an email that accidently made it into her inbox.

You know how it is.  You’re sending an email from  your phone and quick fingers make for not so much accuracy.  So imagine Graham Larkin, teen heartthrob, must feel when a quick email to a friend about his pet pig, turns into a chance encounter with a girl who opens his eyes.

The thing is, he hasn’t told Ellie WHO he is.  Sure, he’s told her about his likes, his dislikes, his dreams, and his past, but the one not so minor detail he chose not to disclose to her is that he’s the hottest and most sought after young actor out there today (who btw was totally Zach Efron in my head).

After months of back and forth conversations, a chance opportunity presents itself where Graham and Ellie can finally meet, although he doesn’t actually tell Ellie his plan because – hey! – she has no idea who he is!  The movie that he’s currently working on is in need of a new film location, and Graham believes that Ellie’s home town would be the perfect backdrop (and the perfect time for him to reveal himself to her…!)

So when he arrives on location, and decides to take his chance and goes to see her at work, a slight misunderstanding begins the awesomeness that is This Is What Happy Looks Like.  Not only do we get to witness the reaction of Ellie finding out who exactly her “pen pal” was, but we also see a different Graham Larkin, one who longs for a life that is normal, out of the spotlight, and one where he can be with the girl who he can’t stop thinking about.  And the spotlight is exactly where Ellie does NOT want to be.  With a secret that has been hidden since she was born, the risk of being in the spotlight with Graham Larkin is one that she doesn’t want to risk…or will she give it all up for a chance at true happiness?

I had so much fun reading this book!  Reading This Is What Happiness Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith kinda sorta reminded me of the movie Win A Date With Tad Hamilton staring Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, and Josh Duhamel ( a little bit).  I mean, yes, the date wasn’t won, but the winning part was pretty much like winning the lottery…a one in a million/billion/gagillion chance that the latest teen heartthrob would accidently send you an email.

I loved that Graham Larkin was a pretty down to earth kinda guy!  I loved that he had such a great sense of humour, and was a totally sweetheart to boot.  I loved that even though he was theeeeeeee Graham Larkin, HE was the one who was nervous to meet Ellie.  It easily made him such a crushable character.

I really enjoyed that each chapter opened up with an email from either Graham or Ellie to one another.  And I thought that is was so awesome that the book started with a string of emails between the two of them!  That author, Jennifer E. Smith set up the back story of the book through the initial email.

What annoyed me though was Ellie`s best friend Quinn.  She is one stubborn chick.  I don`t understand why Quinn soooo royally pissed at Ellie for meeting Graham!  I mean, come on, the chance encounter was over email. EMAIL!  They didn`t even meet, and she had no idea who the other person on the other end was.  How could Quinn fault her for not telling her that she had a pen pal?  Seriously?  Argh!

And when it came down to finally finding out what Ellie’s deep dark secret is, it made the story even that much more intriguing.  I will let you guys know that I was really wasn’t able to put this book down.  The way in which the story was written was so addictive.  And never mind that it’s a subject that teen girls all over the world daydream about.

Fans of cutsie, make-you-smile-while-your-reading-the-book-in-its-entirety, teen movie type reads will fall head over heels in love with This Is What Happy Looks Like.  I would love to see a follow up to this book to see where both Graham and Ellie are now?  You know, like one of those “Where Are They Now?” type television show episodes.  Grab your copy ASAP and get ready to get your smirk on!


About the Author:




Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her writing has been translated into 28 languages.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Bookish Brunette

    I’m all over cutesy, made me smile, made for movie teen books!!!! I’m so sad I haven’t read this one yet!!!

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    Ah! I hope you get to read it soon! Total teen flick in your mind.

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