[Review #109] This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith Cover - Review Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Book Depository]


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 thought I would enjoy This is What Happy Looks Like a whole lot more than I did. From the summary it sounded super cute and entertaining. Unfortunately I was disappointed.

I found the pace of This is What Happy Looks Like to be very slow. When I wanted to read the story happening ‘now’ the story tended to go back to a memory of the particular character we would be reading. For me this happened too often and I got bored. The memories were meant to let us see more into the characters and to feel for them, perhaps grow attached to them. But instead I found them near useless to the story and found myself wanting to put the book down.

I liked the email layout, I thought it was cute. This is What Happy Looks Like is sweet, but it isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Discovering your kind-of-anonymous pen pal happens to be a gorgeous movie star sounds like it would be all kinds of romantic and exciting, but it turned out to be way more complicated than thought. Which makes sense but is still not as fun as I thought.

While I thought this book was sweet and cute in places, it just failed to move me in any way. I didn’t care about the characters as much as I wanted to, I didn’t like how reckless Graham started acting and realised that he worked better without Ellie in his life. She distracted him and I hated that that was the point, he didn’t become better at his job because he met her and he ended up doing some stupid things just so he could hang out with her. It wasn’t very inspiring.

Unfortunately This is What Happy Looks Like wasn’t as enjoyable as I hoped. But if you want a light read then go a head and give it a go!

In Summary:
-This is What Happy Looks Like wasn’t as fun or as exciting as I thought it would be.
-This story is sweet but it sort of just ends with no idea of what happens to the characters next.
-The pages and pages of reading about memories that were meant to make us understand the characters more, were boring for me. The descriptions of the memories happened way too often in the story so I felt like it really hindered the pace.
-I didn’t like that this story didn’t leave a good feeling after it finished. I noticed that Graham and Ellie together didn’t make things better but rather made more distractions and mistakes.

Miss J

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4 thoughts on “[Review #109] This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

  1. I’ve yet to read This Is What Happy looks like but I did read Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight before. I liked it, it was sweet but like you were with this one, I got bored at times too. One thing about Smith’s books though is that I totally love the her book covers are so lovely!

  2. I’ve thought before if I were to try a contemporary that this might be a book I look at, I guess not! I honestly am not a fan of memories or flashbacks in story. I always feel like it pulls me out of the story or interrupts the flow. It does sound like a cute story, but meh. I think I’d read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight instead if I had to choose. Thanks for the review!

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