This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer 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?
Okay, I’ll admit it. I love books that have hidden secrets in them … and books with a little bit of romance … and books that I get so into that I can’t put them down once I start reading. This is What Happy Looks Like fits the bill for all three of these categories.
The identities of the main characters are hidden from each other for quite a while, during which time a wonderful friendship is forming. So you would think that when their identities were no longer hidden, things would be awesome. But they’re not. Not exactly. The thing about identities is that they can go a little deeper and hold a few more secrets than we think they would. And let’s just say that a person who has secrets might not want to be in the limelight like most other people would be. Of course, if you’re trying to keep a secret, you can’t really tell anyone that you’re trying to hide something. And hiding something can put a strain on a friendship, to say the least. On the other hand, if you find a confidant that you can tell your deepest secrets to, you might have found a friend for life.
All of this makes for very interesting reading. Author Jennifer E. Smith is an excellent writer who weaves this story of two people in a wonderful way – with many of the chapters dedicated to one or the other of the characters so you get a good feel for the thoughts and ideas of each of the individuals. That only helps the reader to understand the characters’ joy, hesitancy, and expectation when they are together. This book was an absolute pleasure to read.
Reviewed by Lynn