Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Love Story, Romance, Coming of Age
Page count: 405
Perfect Strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet- albeit virtually- when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two seventeen-year-old’s strike up an e-mail relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country, and don’t even know each others first name.
In a witty and unforgettable correspondence, Graham and Ellie share details about their lives, hopes, and fears. But they don’t tell each other everything: Graham doesn’t know the secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree, and Ellie is unaware of Graham’s life in the spotlight.
When Graham seizes an opportunity to spend time in Ellie’s tiny hometown of Henley, Maine, he takes their relationship from online to in person. But can two people from such different worlds be together despite the odds
Non Spoiler Review:
This love story revolves around the two protagonists: One, is revealed to be extremely busy, and with an extremely easy reputation to ruin. The other, an ordinary girl, though perhaps not ordinary enough.
If you enjoy the romance and the unpredictability of life, even unexpected, then This Is What Happy Looks Like is a story you might enjoy. It has a sweetness and simplicity to the core of it, along with friendship and family trouble.
However, there is no other subplots, unlike The Fault in our Stars, such as pondering about death, or serious questions, straying from the focus of romance. I tend to enjoy this more, even though This Is What Happy Looks Like did have the seriousness of conflict over Ellie’s family, and a decision, however, based on her romance.
Spoilers ahead! (only two or three)
Like I said in the non-spoiler review, it was a sweet story. The unknown romance between a celebrity and a town girl. Not because of Graham being a celebrity, but for being him. Who doesn’t love that? I thought it was a cute, but almost too unrealistic story for me. I thought it was sweet, and I really did like the characters. I felt upset by how Graham felt about how his parents treated him. Not badly, but as if he were overly important. Over emails, they get to know each other through clever conversations.
To me, almost not clever enough?
I liked the story, and I guess I’m still getting used to full on romance stories. I love romance in these science fiction and fantasy and dystopian books where they are loving each other against these impossible and unrealistic odds. In This Is What Happy Looks Like, it just seemed so much easier and focused on love and less on life, though there were valuable life parts in there. I did like Ellie’s decision that she makes on her own, she’s a good role model, to choose her own safety over someone she loves, it must be hard. She’s not heartless, and she is brave enough (or forgetful enough) to walk Graham along the beach, risking her identity. What frustrates me the most is THAT SHE DID NOT TALK TO HER FATHER. She had a chance to do something that she wanted to face on her own. She had the chance to have a bit more heroine inside of her.
I don’t know, maybe it’s me getting used to this kind of writing? I enjoy love stories, I swear, but I think this still might be out of my range.
The description and detail however was mesmerizing!!!!!!!!! I wish I could write with such detail, and such a tone that makes you want to draw and paint whatever Jennifer Smith was describing because beautiful or not it was fascinating.
I have conflicted feelings about this book. But you heard me.
Rating: 2 2/3 stars!
Have you read this? What are your thoughts? Have you read any other love/romance novels? What do you think of them?