This Is What Happy Looks Like
By Jennifer E. Smith
Narrated By Andrew Sweeney, Marcie Millard
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
Release Date: 04-02-13
Publisher: Hachette Audio
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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?
At a Glance:
This is What Happy Looks Like is a fun, light, romantic comedy that will have you wishing you could fall in love all over again. Though parts were frustrating, and often cliche, you end up not caring, and overall the book had the feel-good quality you want when picking up this type of story.
This audio was narrated by two different people, for the two points of view represented. Andrew Sweeney read for Graham's chapters, and I thought he did a really great job. It was just the type of warm voice that I believed could be Graham's, and I enjoyed listening to him a lot. Ellie's chapters were read by Marcie Millard, and I wasn't as happy with her narration. There are readers that become the characters, and readers that read the characters, and she was definitely the latter. She really enunciated every word and it felt stiff, and formal. She also sounded kind-of old, which made it hard to picture her as Ellie. Still, it wasn't awful, and I was able to get past it and enjoy the book. I would still recommend listening to it, if you can get past the things I mentioned.
I loved the beginning of this book. The emails that went back and forth between Ellie and Graham were so fun! I loved the anticipation, and the banter, it was just really cute. When Graham decided to actually go to Ellie's town and meet her, I just fell in love with him. He was seriously, so adorable! I loved them together, and thought they were MFEO*
I liked the setting of the small town in Maine, and all the local places that were highlighted. I felt like I was there, and could picture it all easily. It was just a great, relaxing feeling.
I enjoyed the relationship between Ellie and her mother. They had actual conversations, and enjoyed being with each other. Their "checkered past" made things a little more interesting, and actually made me think a lot about things in my own life.
The romance build was good, but not amazing, considering that's basically what the book is about. I did think more could have been done to make it a little more exciting, build a little more anticipation. And I was frustrated by the fact that they wasted so much time not being together. I mean, I basically read this book for the "feels" and when they spent so much time apart I felt a little jipped. I didn't think it really built tension, it was just annoying.
Stuff That Bugged Me:
I didn't care for how depressed Graham seemed to be about being an actor. He said he enjoyed it, but it didn't seem like he enjoyed it. It seemed like he dreaded it, and like he was miserable. I mean, the first thing that Ellie notices about him is how sad he looks. So, either it wasn't written in a way to make me believe he really did like it, or he should just quit. Why do something that makes you so unhappy?
Also, I can't say that I loved the ending. I mean, this book is all about all the cliches and the typical rom-com-ness, so I just want my Happily Ever After. Things that were resolved, were a little too easy, and other things weren't resolved at all. I just felt a little unsatisfied with how things wrapped up (or didn't).
Hmm...I didn't realize how much bugged me until I started writing this......
I still really liked it a lot. I finished it in record time, especially considering it was an audiobook. I'm glad I read it, and I think that you should too. It was sweet and fun, and yes, reminded me of You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Notting Hill etc.
Have you read it? What did you think?
*MFEO: Made for each other (Sleepless in Seattle)
- Profanity: Mild
- Sexual Content: Mild
- Violence: Mild