This Is What Happiness Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Ellie lives in a small, tourist town in Maine. One day she receives an accidental email and begins an e-flirtationship with the person on the other end. At the same time, a big time movie star of the most recent wizardly-YA adaptation comes to town to film his next movie. While mistaken identities, paparazzi, and family secrets create obstacles, Ellie finds that her own heart is the biggest barrier to love.
Romance Score: Good Effort
Ellie and Graham have a cute flirtation going on. They also have a real relationship before the summer sparks fly, so the romance felt more real. Still, I wish there were a little more depth to it.
I’m conflicted about this. Ellie’s mom takes charge of her life and encourages Ellie to do so, too. But, I disliked the “don’t trust anyone” (especially men) theme that she also repeated.
The cast is fairly small and it’s in a small town in Maine. I have family in main, so I know exactly how un-diverse it can be, but I still think there could’ve been more – especially with an LA film crew in town. How cool would it have been if the movie star hottie was a POC?
This book is fun, flirty, and light – just like a good summer romance should be. I’m also enticed to try another Smith book; a definite sign of a good summer love!
No one really stands out for me. But, I think it might be the pet-sitter taking care of Wilbur, the pig. His (lack of) response to Graham’s increasingly annoying emails actually made me smile.
“Sunrises over the harbor. Ice cream on a hot day. The sound of the waves down the street. The way my dog curls up next to me on the couch. Evening strolls. Great movies. Thunderstorms. A good cheeseburger. Fridays. Saturdays. Wednesdays, even. Sticking your toes in the water. Pajama pants. Flip flops. Swimming. Poetry. the absence of smiley faces in an email.
What does it look like to you?”
After reading this, I felt like Ellie and I should be best buds. We like a lot of the same things. I wish the story had the same amount of personality that this list did.
Also, I love when I catch the line in a book that corresponds to the title. (Not included here, but on the same page in the book.)
Fun Author Fact
She came up with the premise for the book because her own very common name resulted in some misdirected emails (something I can definitely sympathize with). And, she loves Harry Potter!
Is this worth a book hangover?
It was a quick, fun read. The story wasn’t especially original and it lacked depth, but I still found myself hoping that the two would find a way to make it work. Also, so glad Ellie is following her writing dreams!
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