Monday, March 2, 2015

Review : This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Monday, March 2, 2015
Title : This Is What Happy Looks Like
Author : Jennifer E. Smith
Genre : YA Contemporary
Release Date : April 2nd, 2013
Publisher : Headline


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?

*This review contain some spoilers, highlight it if you want to read it

What I expect from this book is a romance set in a small town and (preferably) end happily. I actually got all that, but it seems like the story cannot get into me. The paced is slow and fast at the same time [spoiler] (like, they meet for 2 days, ignore each other for 3 weeks, then talking again for 1 week, all in 300+ pages) ,and also confusing. Anyway, even though this could be a great book, I can't enjoy it.

This book began when the main character, Ellie, got an email from a stranger. And from that, they keep sending each other email for 3 months, before the stranger--who's actually teenage movie star Graham Larkin--think that Ellie's place is suitable for his shooting location. And so, the story goes on. Personally, I think Ellie is just like a normal teenager who doesn't have many friends. She's pretty shy, and also has a fear with paparazzi because 'something' [spoiler]She is actually the illegitimate daughter of a senator. On the other hand, Graham is pretty funny and nice. He's not arrogant, since he come from a middle-class family too. I think I like him more than Ellie.

The plot is probably my least favorite thing in this book. It seems like its just talking about Ellie and Graham. Even when they aren't sending email or talking, they will be thinking about each other. Sure, there are some twist in this book--her father, her best friend, financial problem--but its really a little. That's probably why I didn't really enjoy it, because it's too focused on the romance

The romance is actually cute, but since--like I said--its too focused on the romance, it became boring. Also, I know that this isn't insta-love, they had been emailing each other for months, but it feel like that. Take a look on this :
"But from where he was standing, he could see her perfectly: the wavy red hair and the oversize T-shirt with a smiling lobster on the front, the way her legs were tucked up beneath her on the swing, and the freckles across her nose. He could see her, and it was just like he'd thought. It was just like being punched in the stomach"
That sentences is when Graham saw Ellie for the first time. Maybe this is just me, but that line sounds like a line from an insta-love book. Anyway, beside the insta-love thing, the romance is still cute and awkward (which I like), just like the typical first love.

THE ENDING! The ending is probably the best thing in this book. I literally can't write how I feel without spoiling it, so I will keep it simple. Its full of feels and uncliche. It was set in the fourth of July, with those fireworks and those party, its really beautiful. The ending is also the reason I gave this book 3.5 stars instead of 3. Overall, I might not really enjoy this one, but that doesn't mean you won't enjoy it too!

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