Friday, 14 February 2014

♥ Valentines Day Review: ♥ This is What Happy Looks Like ♥

This is What Happy Looks Like

Publication Date:  April 2nd 2013           
Publisher: Headline                        

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  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?
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After reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and loved it, I knew This is What Happy Looks Like would be around the same calibre and it was. Jennifer E. Smith has a way of seamlessly writing well endowed characters. Pulling both of those characters views and lives into one without a break. She also makes you care about the characters, and I really did get lost in the story, wanting to know what would happen to them because they felt real.

I really loved the idea of someone stumbling upon the wrong email address and how that email could change your life, because it did for both of them. They may not have met otherwise, and it forged a bond there before they did, which made them and you root for what they could have.  That made them work that little harder because it was worth it, even if they got lost a little on the way.
The way it was written had a huge effect on the character's personalities, since Ellie's and Graham's  alternating perspectives are in third person sometimes inhibits the voice of the characters, but through conversations and little bits of email, it really helps you get a sense of them.

Ellie is such an admirable character, she's level headed, and smart, and for all the crap she has to sacrifice and keep secrets because of something she has no control over and still doesn't, right there, is a strong and loyal person. And though she has to lie to her best friend, I'd rather have a friend like her. She's someone you know you could trust, and she's completely herself. She has her own issues, which with help from Graham and the truth, helps her resolve them and see what's right in front of her.
Graham really surprised me, I was expecting the cocky-movie-star-love-interest-who-then-becomes-the-character-you-want-him-to-be, but he wasn't. He was already the character you wanted him to be, and he was nothing like I thought he would've been painted. For one, Grahams really...lonely.  It was a good exploration of that side of him, how being famous, having everybody know your name and being shot from fame overnight, is not everything it's cracked up to be, or you ever imagined. It shows the good and the bad. He stumbled upon acting and loved it, but he's also missed out on a lot of things, and the fact that he has to be careful of who he lets get close to him, cut's him off a bit, but he's no fool. And you can tell just how much he really liked Ellie before he even saw her. He also has a pet pig, which is well, cute.

The thing I loved about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and now This is What Happy Looks Like is that though there is a happy ever after, it's not cheesy, and it's not a complete easy one, it's a work in progress happily ever after with ties tied but left open enough for you to fill in want you want to happen next. It's also realistic, there's no promises, there's no fake everything will work out.

This is What Happy Looks Like was a cute, fun and entertaining read that through all the obstacles, and setbacks, sometimes the simplest of things is what happy looks like.
Rating: 5/5
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