Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Books Read: Jennifer E. Smith - This is What Happy Looks Like

When 17-year-old Graham Larkin sends an email to a friend about his pet pig, Wilbur, the last thing he expects is a response from the other side of the country, from one Ellie O'Neill. As their online friendship blossoms, they begin to reveal more about themselves but crucially leave out the truth about Ellie's past and Graham's career as a Hollywood heartthrob. 

And when a new location needs to be found for Graham's next film, he jumps at the chance to visit Ellie's hometown, Henley, Maine. But, now that they're together, it's impossible to keep their secrets for long and there's a lot to overcome if love is to blossom...

When Ellie O'Neill receives an email from a random stranger, teenage film star Graham Larkin, asking her to feed his pet Wilbur she replies to let him know that he's sent the email to her in error.   And so begins the start of a new online friendship for the two of them, although neither disclosing exactly who they are, as they start exchanging messages revealing little snippets of their lives.

During one of their many conversations Ellie lets slip where she lives, a quiet town in Maine, so it seems like fate when the location for Graham's next film falls through and he suggests Henley in Maine as an alternative.   

Despite an initial case of mistaken identity, Graham and Ellie eventually meet and find that they have a connection offline as well as online but both have issues that they have to overcome...

As a sucker for romance I really wanted to love This is What Happy Looks Like as it fit the bill, girl meets boy and falls in love, but it was all a little bit too saccharin sweet for me.  I'm not sure if this is because I don't fit the bill for the target demographic for this book as it's been a long time since I could be called a young adult!  It was an OK read to pass the hours but it's definitely not one that I would pick up again to read in the future.

For me the email exchanges were actually the best bit of the book as they were cute and fun, I enjoyed reading their banter between Ellie and Graham as they friendship grew.

I'd like to thank Headline for sending me a copy of this book to review.

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