Friday, April 12, 2013

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Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Narrator:  Marcie Millard, Andrew Sweeney
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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?

I love this cover.  I knew the minute I saw it that I'd have to read this book.  But I wanted to read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight first because I'm a little bit obsessive-compulsive and I prefer to read an author's works in the order they were published, assuming I have plans to read their other novels. Anyway, I liked TSPoLaFS.  It was cute and a little bit sad, but I enjoyed it.

This is What Happy Looks Like isn't nearly as sad, though it does contain a somewhat depressing storyline later on in the book with regards to Ellie's parentage.  But on the whole, it was a jaunty little tale of first love that left me feeling light-hearted and a little bit giddy.  I just wish there had been more pig.  ;)

In this book, as in TSPoLaFS, I never felt a deep connection to any of the characters, but I liked them regardless.  They had their quirks and their charms, but it was hard to believe a couple of aspects, namely that Graham could be so worn out on his stardom after only two years in the spotlight and that Ellie had never felt the desire to contact her father prior to the events of this story.  But without those things, the story wouldn't have been much of a story, I guess.

The story itself made for a good audiobook, too.  I appreciated the dual narrative this time around; it was nice to hear both sides of the story.  The narrators portraying each main character sounded the part, with Ellie's snark and Graham's sincerity shining through each voice.  And the fact that Sweeney only softened his voice to portray a female character rather than raising it a few octaves was a plus.  (That is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves in an audiobook.)

This book was adorable, cute, fluffy...pretty much any adjective you'd use to describe a bunny.  :)  If you liked The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, you'll likely enjoy this novel, as well, though I have heard many say they enjoyed the previous novel more than this one.  Both had an endearing romance, but one was about loss and forgiveness and the other was more about taking chances and starting over.  I think I liked them about the same.  =D

Rating:   photo 4-1.png


  1. I enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight too, Jen. A lot of people didn't like it because of the horrible parents, and I hated the father like you can't believe. I've seen a lot of middling reviews on this one so I'm happy to see you enjoyed this. I love audio books, so maybe I'll try this one. The narrator can really make or break the story. Good to know this is a good one. Great review Jen. :)

  2. Yayyyy!! I downloaded the audio this week. I didn't read your review because I'll be listening to this next, but I'm super psyched to see the 4 stars! With all the mixed reviews I was getting nervous. But you and I often like the same books, so now I'm looking forward to it again. :D

  3. Cute + fluffy + pig? SOLD. It's good to know it's not terribly deep, though, but that you enjoyed it so much regardless. :) I definitely have to pick this one up soon!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  4. I can't wait to read this one! Oh god, raising a voice a few octaves for a character would drive me nuts too! I'm glad this one worked out for you. :)

  5. Yes, those were things I had to suspend disbelief on. That Graham was so lonely and jaded, and the whole Ellie's father thing. But there was a lot of cuteness too.

    And the audiobook voice raisers also make me nuts. The weird falsetto thing -- not good. Glad that was not an issue here..

  6. I enjoyed this one, too. It's the perfect summer read, but I agree that, beyond liking the characters, I didn't feel personally invested in this story. Sometimes you just need some fluff, though. I recently checked out the Statistical Probability from the library and can't wait to read it as soon as I get through at least a couple of the books I'm currently reading. Great review!

  7. I was SO EXCITED to read this one, but I've read a lot of mixed and mediocre reviews, so I've held off, even though I have the book from the library. I'm glad to hear you liked this as much as Statistical, as I really enjoyed that book. I think I'll pick this one up when I'm in the mood for something light and fun. I sure do like bunnies. Maybe this one would be even better in audio. Thanks for sharing.


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