Today’s Bookanista recommendation is
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
From Goodreads: 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?
Six Reasons Why You Must Read This is What Happy Looks Like…
- Characters – Graham and Ellie are so easy to relate to, and so easy to love. They’re genuine and authentic and layered. They’re kind to one another, and considerate of their friends and family. Graham and Ellie both have issues, but they’re not hung up on their troubles in a way that becomes tiresome.
- Setting – Maine! Summer! Small town! Ocean! Ice cream parlor! Movie set! (Enough said?)
- Romance – This one’s adorable, guys. Graham and Ellie are fantastic individually, but they make even more sense together. They have obvious chemistry, and their relationship is free of the contrived drama sometimes found in YA romance. The many challenges Graham and Ellie face on their journey to coupledom are formidable, but they feel real. Also, I like that this story doesn’t stretch out the “getting together” phase. There are plenty of sweet and steamy moments scattered throughout the narrative.
- Voice – Simply put, Jennifer E. Smith rocks the teen voice. Her books are a fantastic example of how contemporary YA should read.
- Email – Graham and Ellie meet online through a fluke email mix-up. Their on-going messages are sprinkled throughout the story, a device that could have taken a hard left into Cheeseville. Instead, the messages impart a quirky sense of fun, and a different way of getting to know the story’s main characters. Loved the emails!
- Fate – This is What Happy Looks Like lends the same warm-and-fuzzy tingles movies like You’ve Got Mail and Serendipity induce. There’s something so romantic and enviable about meant-to-be love. I think fate and real life meld perfectly in this book.
So… What are you waiting for? Pick up This is What Happy Looks Like before this summer ends — you’ll be happy you did!
Don’t forget to check out what my fellow Bookanistas are up to:
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Tracy Banghart delves into TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini
Christine Fonseca is held captive by ABANDON by Elana Johnson