This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Final Ruling: 3/5 stars

Hmm… the one word that I would use to describe this book is… mediocre.

Don’t get me wrong, it was super cute and I am such a sucker for a hopelessly romantic story; but, no matter how much I wanted to love it (which was seriously a lot), I just couldn’t. It was remarkably predictable, so much so that I could guess exactly what would happen before the characters did, which took a lot of the magic out of the events as well as the characters themselves.

Graham is the typical brooding movie star, discovered out of the blue and went shooting into stardom, where he was plagued by loneliness and a life under the scrutinizing eye of the public. All I can say to that is “BOO HOO”, so bad for you, you rich superstar. He annoyed me to no end, and it seemed like all he could do was either complain or brood behind his oversized sunglasses.

Ellie is the token young adult romance heroine, complete with red hair, pale skin, an affinity for chocolate, a home in a quaint small town, and a murky past (which, to be honest, wasn’t really as murky and dramatic as she made it out to be). She was shy, cute, and beloved by everybody in town. She pined after a boy she couldn’t have, fought over him with her best friend, and went around thinking “nobody could possibly ever understand” when, in reality, if she had just communicated with anybody, or better yet, communicated with Graham, everything would have been resolved in a much easier way.

That being said, the redeeming quality of this story was the plot premise. The story between these two had major potential, if it had been carried out with literally anybody except Graham and Ellie. Their meeting via a misspelled email address is absolutely dripping with fate and meant to be, two things I am such a sucker for. They were each other’s “person”, and their exchanges were heartbreakingly sweet and provocative, enough to tug on anybody’s heartstrings. In my case, it tugged the book up two whole stars on the universal five star scale. What can I say? I’m a sucker for true love.

I would recommend this book to anybody in need of a short, feel-good story about two kids hopelessly chasing happiness.


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