Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: December 24, 2013 by Poppy
Length: 407 pages
Source: bought (at Barnes & Noble)
“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 Is What Happy Looks Like is such a cute book! It is written in 3rd person point of view and alternates between Ellie’s and Graham’s perspective. The story begins when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail instead of sending it to someone who will babysit his pet pig, Wilbur. I really like the two main characters because they are so believable. Ellie’s life is simple; she goes to work at Sprinkles (an icecream parlor) and uses the money she earns to fulfill her dream. Graham on the other hand just wants people to see him for who he is. He is tired of people, especially girls, treating him “extra special” just because he is a celebrity. There are also a couple of Charlotte’s Web references which made me smile because it is one of my all time favorite children’s book.
The story takes place in Maine, and the way the author describes the setting felt like I was there. She uses a lot of descriptions but not too much that it will make you bored. I can easily imagine the beach scenes, Graham and Ellie’s dates and their adventures, where Ellie works, etc.
Family and friendship is also significant in this book. The two main characters help each other out to resolve their family conflicts which I really loved because it shows that these characters are compassionate and caring. I really recommend reading this book because it was a light, fluffy read and it was easy to just dive into the story. At times it was a bit unrealistic and hard to believe but overall I enjoyed it.