If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names.
Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.
When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?
Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose.
Quite honestly I loved this book. It reminded me so much of a YA book version of Notting Hill and I quite literally couldn't put it down.
Ellie and Graham 'meet' for the first time online by accident because of a mistyped email address. The conversation soon starts to fly back and forth as the two get more comfortable with chatting even though they don't know the other person's name. Ellie enjoys talking openly to another person and Graham, who is a movie star loves the fact he has found someone who likes him for being him rather than for being a huge movie star so much so that he engineers it so his new movie is shot on location in Ellie's home town and finally he gets to meet the girl who he has got to know so well for the first time.
I loved seeing the face to face relationship between Ellie and Graham develop with all its complications which occurred as a direct result of Graham's fame. I thought he was so brilliantly cute that it almost hurt. I also loved the whole host of secondary characters you meet along the way. I also loved the setting of the book which gave it a really summery feel.
The only complaint I have about this book is it finished too early. This is one of those books where I wanted a cheesy epilogue of some kind to let me know what happened to Ellie and Graham in the end. I must admit it did leave me somewhat frustrated.
All in all a fantastically cute read which I loved and would highly recommend and absolutely perfect to get you into that summery mood.