April 2, 2013
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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?
The email that starts everything couldn't be more unassuming. One that Ellie could have not replied to, could have ignored, not knowing who it was from. But she replied . . . and everything was changed.
Though, I didn't know the summary of this novel -- I think I chose to read it based on enjoying The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and liking this cover, alone -- so I didn't know the two main characters names, relationships or that Graham was a movie star.
TIWHLL begins with Graham and Ellie's email exchanges and it was fun to see how they 'met.' As the story brought in the movie, it became clear -- even not having read the synopsis that states it -- that Graham was Ellie's email buddy and they were going to be in the same location.
I worried it was going to be too much like a teen romance film when her friend Quinn was introduced, especially after Quinn was a fan of Graham Larkin, movie star and Ellie didn't seem to be. That it would be the type of story with too many missed chances, bordering on too much frustration as the main characters can't quite get it together and/or one of them wants the other, but one falls for someone else. Full of broken hearts and tears.
Thankfully, it wasn't.
It did feel a bit cinematic, at times, though. More like a television show or mini series, though where you learn more about the characters and their back stories than you would in a movie. The sweet, cute, summery feeling of Ellie and Graham -- and Henley make TIWHLL a perfect summer read, either fitting in with your summer surroundings or transporting you to an ideal small town summer.
Yet, we also get some depth and a bit of drama. Things aren't entirely smooth sailing for Ellie and Graham, but the hindrance isn't the, at first, obvious one.What it is, along with how it all plays out, brings out a lot about the different characters in the story.
This Is What Happy Looks Like is fun and enjoyable, great for the summer. It starts off fantastically, pulling you in right away and is one you can fly through. Henley, Maine, the town created for the novel reminds me more than a bit (though maybe a bit less eccentric) of Gilmore Girls' Stars Hollow and left me wishing it were real.
You may also enjoy: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
thank you to the publisher for the egalley through NetGalley