For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Monday, March 25, 2013

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


15790873If 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? ~ Goodreads

Review:

This book is sweet, pleasant, charming…

The first few chapters are adorable as the hottest teen movie star around Graham Larkin accidentally emails small town girl Ellie O’Neill asking her to feed his pet pig. Their interactions are funny and touching while they reveal small pieces of themselves that they are unable to share with others through the anonymity of email.

When they finally meet the story starts to meander. Don't get me wrong - these characters are wonderful people who deserve happiness but they spend a lot of time thinking and talking in their own heads with very little real action going on.

Graham is nice, not the typical bad boy Hollywood type. Ellie is nice, albeit with a secret that keeps her from fully embracing a relationship with Graham, and the publicity that will bring, but no matter what is thrown at the characters they just plug along making for a very anti climactic story. The characters and interactions fell kind of flat for me but there was an undeniable charm to the writing and small Maine town.

Final thoughts: I sort of feel like I'm kicking a puppy for not enjoying this book more. It's so gosh darn sweet. After complaining about all the books with angst overload I should have enjoyed this one but alas I did not.

If you're looking for a clean, cute romance with a dash of family/friendship drama then maybe this would work better for you than me, or possibly for younger girls. It has a very positive message about finding what makes you happy. It's not only about finding a boy who fixes everything but about the people you meet who make a difference throughout life.

Author: Website | Twitter
Source: Provided by the publisher for my honest review
Buy the book! Amazon

22 comments:

  1. I am thinking it might have been sweet overload! I do believe that books can be too sweet (especially for my tastes).

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    1. I don't mind the sweetness so much as the characters became bland because of it. At least for me anyway.

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  2. Stout know, I started this one on Saturday, and I feel sort of the same as you. I think part of the problem is I had just finished this intense (funny and dramatic and angsty story) and after that, TIWHLL felt sort of blah to me, too. In fact, I set it aside to beta read the second book in the other series.
    Like you, I do like this book. It's just not terribly engaging.
    Great review, Karen!

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    1. Sigh... That shouldn't say "stout know". It should say "you know".

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    2. Everyone is very nice and the story was sweet but if nothing ever bothers anyone then it's not all that interesting. i guess it was more about the journey and I did enjoy it - just didn't find anything very compelling.

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  3. I totally get what you mean about the book ..its cute but you don't always need a boy to fix it.

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  4. This book has always shouted Beach Read, and I do enjoy Jennifer E. Smith's writing, even if the stories are a bit sugary. Sometimes books are just for fun, not to be mind blowing :)

    I like the idea of the message being that it's not boys that make you happy, because that's certainly NOT always true!

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    1. It is cute and I read it in just a few hours. The book has a great message - I just didn't find the plot all that interesting. I liked her first book more so she's an author I'll still be reading in the future.

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  5. Too bad it wasn't better for you. Did you read Jennifer's first book? I wonder if it's best to not expect too much from it so you can just enjoy it simply.

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    1. I did read the first one. I wasn't really expecting too much from this book but maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind.

      I can't say I disliked it so much as I didn't find anything compelling about it if you know what I mean.

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  6. This does sound like a sweet and cute book. I loved TSPoLaFS so I am really looking forward to it. It's too bad that you didn't like it more, but at least you didn't hate it. Great review!

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    1. It's good. Just didn't blow me away. I thought TSPoLaFS had a little more depth to it than this one.

      I didn't hate it all. I'm still glad I read it it and I would still recommend it. I guess I just expected to swoon more lol

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  7. Thanks for the honest review. I squealed when I saw you'd written a review of it since I loved her first book so much. I'm still going to check this out. Hope it doesn't fall flat. Sorry you didn't like it more!
    -Jenna

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    1. I would definitely read it! the writing is great - it just wasn't a WOW kind of story if you know what I mean. Cute though.

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  8. Oh no! It sounds so adorable! :/

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  9. NO! Don't kick the puppy! LOL

    I know what you mean. I think that sometimes I need to be in the mood for sweet otherwise it just turns out overly saccharine. Doesn't quite go to the depths. Still, might be a sweet summer read.

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  10. That's exactly how I felt about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight! It was cute, almost too cute, but I thought it was kind of empty too and I didn't like it at all. That's why I was never even tempted to read this.

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    1. I didn't love TSPoLaFS either. I thought it was good but I wasn't all swept away or anything. This one was even more *cute* than that one. I thought the other book at least had a little depth to it.

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  11. Sorry you didn't enjoy it. Good review, though.

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    1. Thanks :-) Not every book works for everyone but I know a lot of people who did enjoy this.

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  12. Agreed. This one was utterly charming, but for me not very memorable. But there was a lot to like there with the characters and the setting and the cuteness! It just didn't blow me away or anything.

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  13. I agree that TSPolaFS had more emotional depth. This was a sweet fun book - as you know I called it a chick flick on a page :)

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