This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

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?

“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.”

Upon writing this review, I kept on wondering, “What do I really feel about this book?’. I mean, I was interested before as like everybody else. Some of the bookworms I know were gushing about this so, what did the bookworm inside me do? I got a copy because I just can’t stop thinking, “What’s the fuzz about?”.

“Exactly. How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”

Well, it’s a typical “girl meets and falls in love with a handsome famous boy who happens to have personal issues”, blah, blah, blah, blah. I gotta say it’s cliché and in my opinion, this is what boring and legitimately uninteresting story looks like. No offence to the fans and all but I’m not impressed. Aside from the fact that I’ve heard stories like this a bunch of times so, it’s not exactly unique per se, it’s just not the kind of book you’d get hooked on to or to the point that you don’t get to sleep because you can’t stop reading.

It’s plain boring. I wasn’t moved. I wasn’t hooked. I didn’t fall in love with the characters nor did I come to love their connection to each other coz I believe there’s no connection or chemistry. What I did notice is that it is fast. The whole L-O-V-E is too fast. It’s like *snap* I’m in love. It’s instantaneous.

They met online. They talk to each other using email. That’s it. They didn’t even talk over the phone or see each other via Skype or something to at least feel that there is an attraction going on between them. I mean, how would u know that you actually like this person from the other side of the World Wide Web/Internet? He/she is basically a stranger and more importantly, might be a serial killer or a pedophile. You don’t even know if those things in that email are true. The default thing to do to actually verify if that person you’re talking to online is, at least, who he/she really is, to see the person via Skype. And from that point, you don’t instantaneously fall in love. That’s crazy. Sure you feel like you two have a connection, share the same interest and all but L-O-V-E? Nu-uh! Don’t be too gullible. This is not “Love at first click/email”.
It’s funny. How they knew that it must be something more or that Graham wanted to kiss her instantly. I mean, you don’t know the person. Your information is basically unverified and verified by one person only and that’s her/him.

Honestly, I only liked the first few chapters. The emailing and stuff were cute but that’s it. Beyond that, it’s blah. No climax. Nothing to get excited about. No hype. I mean, I’m supposed to get excited to the fact that they’d meet for the first time but since the characters are delusional, thinking they feel more about each other, I just yawned.

The personal issues of the characters are realistic but not well thought of. I guess I’m pointing to Graham’s issue with his parents. Doesn’t make any sense to me. There are contradictions with how their characters are established or how the situation is established. I get it that the author wants to, you know, make things happy and all so at the end she claims that his parents are keeping tabs on him.

And don’t get me started with Ellie and her mom’s financial issues. Her mom is completely selfish. I mean, I get it she has pride and dignity that’s why she refused money from the biological father but c’mon, if you know that you can’t fully support your kid then shove that pride away and think about what’s best for your kid’s future. Money is important. Let’s not lie. And in Ellie’s case, it is proven.

“Maybe growing up was really nothing more than growing away: from your old life, from your old self, from all those things that kept you tethered to your past.”

Anyway, I really can’t believe I finished the book. But it wasn’t easy since it’s not something I’d love to sit through the very end. Obviously, I am looking for more than just cuteness. More concrete plot, I guess. But I’d definitely recommend it to those who are just into fluff and this kind of cliché story. But you know, I’m not closing doors to Jennifer’s book. I’m actually liking her The Geography of You and Me. Just kudos to her illustrator. The covers are pretty. Hooking, actually.