This Is What Happy Looks Like

October 19, 2015

Have you ever dreamed of having a pen pall?
I know I have. Some lovely person on the other side of the world that I could share my day, my thoughts, my exciting adventures with and in return here things from them.

Imagine then if some random account sent you an email then and you replied saying that you thought that email wasn't intended for you.
Then this sparks a conversation and there you have it! A pen pal.

Imagine then if this pen pal turned out to be famous.
Now I wish I could say that that had happened to me, but sadly, it didn't.
It did happen though in one of the latest books I read,

"This Is What Happy Looks Like"

By Jennifer E. Smith

"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?"                                                                                                                          
Courtesy Goodreads

I go through moods when reading books. There can be times when all I want to read is something like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson and so spend hours at the library looking for books that hold some of there essence.
Other times all I want is a good teen romance. Some 'hard to achieve because my parents say no' classic love.
When I found this book that is what I was looking for, and can I say I wasn't disappointed.

The book begins with the first of the email correspondence and continues on interweaving further emails into the story at the start of each chapter. I was worried when it first begun that it would be another of those stories that is written entirely in email format and that frequently drops in some text talk like it was still cool. I find these frustrating as I loose track of which person is talking. The beginning of this novel had just enough to set the scene without it being overwhelming and thankfully no gr8 m8!
Largely set at a small beach-side town in Maine the story manages to follow both sides of the story by alternation point of view for each chapter. This meant you got to see both cause and effect of Graham and Ellie's decisions both the reasons behind them and there thoughts on each others reactions.
I was also surprised to see that the story developed quite quickly. Previous love stories about two people getting together usually take the entire book to finally get to the point. I felt that this one didn't and was actually quite surprised at the speed. In reflection this allowed to author to add more twists and turns which took me on more of an emotional roller-coaster than I intended to go on/.
I don't want to give to much away... because I enjoyed it so much and want others to do the same without spoilers. So to cap off 'This is What Happy Looks Like' was a well written teenage romance novel that was a bit different to the typical love story but most definitely worth the read.

Side note: On doing so research for this post I found that there is to be an eshort sequel *squeals excitedly* which I will definitely keep my eyes open for.

If you haven't already guessed I really enjoyed this book.

If this sounds up your alley I would definitely recommend this book. I got very invested in seeing these characters succeed through their ups and downs. It was one of those books that I picked up and didn't put down until it was finished.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think of it?
Any other good reads to suggest?

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