Thursday, April 4, 2013

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith ~ Review

Source:  Received eBook copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Description:

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? 

My Thoughts:

2 stars - I wanted to like this more

I liked the premise of this book and I loved this authors previous book, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.  So I may have gone into this with too high of expectations.

I did enjoy it.  I did read it in one day.  I did like idea of it.  But the characters were just not there for me.  I did like Graham.  He seemed the most real of any of the characters.  But I didn't know him enough.  He didn't spend enough time with Ellie.  We learned about so much from his thoughts and not his experiences.  The whole relationship with his parents could have been so powerful for me but it fell flat.  I needed more and I just didn't feel it in this book.

I did like the easy banter that sometimes flowed between Graham and Ellie.  It did seem like there was something between them that both of them gave up too quickly.

I think that is why Ellie bugged me.  They had been emailing for months and she liked him, a lot. But we didn't see most of that so I don't know why or how they fell for each other.  Then when she had the opportunity, she wasted it pretty quickly.  They had time they could have spend together.  Time that I wanted for them so I could get to know them better.  In the end, I was frustrated with why Ellie had made that choice.  Her secrets that kept her from him were but a footnote.  A non-event.  It was sad really.

Speaking of the end, I was disappointed.  I wanted more.  I wanted...well I can't really say without spoiling it for you but I wanted to know more, past what I got.

The pacing was good.  I kept flipping the pages and it was done in a day.  I think I was hoping for more so I kept turning.  Wanting and seeing the potential but what I got didn't work for me.  In the end, I wasn't satisfied with this book.

Others felt differently.  Check out their reviews below.


  1. I just read Andrea's review! LOL I'm kinda bummed that this one wasn't better. I'm sure I'll still read it at some point though. Thanks for the review!

  2. I've heard the same from my other blogger friends. Most of them thought that Statistical was better. Great insightful review!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  3. I'm so sad to see that so many people aren't enjoying this. I was really looking forward to it, but now I'm not so sure. The characters and the romance are what I was really looking forward to and it seems like that is what it really lacks. Great review hon!

  4. This is so sad! I just traded for this one, and it should be here this week. I'm hoping I can enjoy it! I've seen really mixed reviews.

    YA Sisterhood

  5. *sigh* I felt mostly the same, Valerie. I just knew the story could be so much more. Comparing to Statistical Probability is a let down for sure.

  6. Oh dear, I was going to go out and buy this book tomorrow. I think I still might, but I'm sad that (at least to you) it didn't measure up to Jennifer E. Smith's first book. I don't know, I want to read it, but maybe I'll put it off.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

  7. Ah man that really sucks. I was looking forward and reading it especially since I liked the first book so much.

    Jess @ Jesus Freak Reader

  8. Awwww.. I'm so disappointed. I've been so excited to read this, but I've seen so many reviews like yours lately that now I'm a bit hesitant. I'm sorry it wasn't a better story for you. Thanks for the honest review!