This Is What Happy Looks Like – Jennifer E. Smith

This-Is-What-Happy-Looks-Like-Jennifer-E-Smith-Book-Cover This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith asks a simple question, if fate sent you an email, would you answer? After reading this wonderful offering my answer is unequivocally yes. I couldn’t help thinking as I read This Is What Happy Looks Like that this is what Love Unscripted should have been. 

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?
The plot of This Is What Happy Looks Like is deceptively simple, superstar meets ordinary girl, they correspond and fall in love without ever revealing pesky details like the fact that Graham is a famous teen actor and that Ellie has secrets.
There are many parallels between Jennifer Smith’s YA novel and Love Unscripted, the hero disenchanted with his fame and the ordinary girl not easily impressed with the trappings of super-stardom.  Where the two stories deviate is the development of the relationship between the characters, Graham and Ellie in their months of emails have bared their true selves to the other. Rather than the multitude of mustache twirling villains in the farcical Love Unscripted the forces keeping Ellie and Graham apart are more subtle. Essentially the only real obstacle to this relationship is the complication of being together in the unforgiving eye of the paparazzi which in my opinion strengthens the story itself rather than distracting the reader with incidents that strain credulity. Instead of multitudes of psychotic love struck stalkers Ellie and Graham simply have to decide of the relationship that they forged over months of exchanged emails is strong enough to survive in the harsh glare of reality.

AUTHOR: Jennifer E. Smith

RATING: 4  Stars

GENRE: YA Fiction


2 thoughts on “This Is What Happy Looks Like – Jennifer E. Smith”

    1. I haven’t read her first one yet. I was initially looking for a comparable to Love Unscripted and it was the closest approximation at the time. Statistical Improbability is patiently waiting in the TBR pile.

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