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This Is What Happy Looks Like Hardcover – April 2, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316212822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316212823
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-This well-crafted, character-driven love story opens with an endearing prologue told in emails. When 16-year-old Ellie O'Neill accidentally starts an exchange with a stranger, she doesn't expect their virtual conversations to turn into a romance. But over the course of a few months, that's exactly what happens. Ellie doesn't know the boy's name until he shows up on her doorstep. He's Graham Larkin, a famous movie star whose next film just happens to be shooting in her quiet Maine town. While most of the girls are dying to be in her shoes, she has reservations. Ellie is the illegitimate daughter of a prominent politician, and her mom moved them to escape the unrelenting media. Now they struggle financially in order to maintain their privacy. Graham's life is anything but private. However, though he is handsome and wealthy, the teen is also lonely and uninspired. His parents, uncomfortable with his fame, choose to distance themselves from him, while his controlling manager wants Graham to date his beautiful costar for the good publicity. Despite those obstacles, Ellie and Graham sustain a sweet and genuine romance. Their chemistry is undeniable, and readers will wonder about their love story long after the last page. An excellent recommendation for fans of Maureen Johnson.-Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

When “GDL” gets an e-mail address wrong, the surprise recipient, “EONeill,” decides to reply. The two develop a deep and intimate rapport despite guarding their true identities. But down-to-earth movie star Graham Larkin is certain that Ellie is someone special, and he lobbies to shoot his new movie in “the middle of nowhere, Maine,” Ellie’s hometown. Ellie is shocked to learn who Graham is, and she is anything but thrilled by the prospect of dating a teen heartthrob. Meanwhile, the paparazzi trailing Graham threaten to upturn the quiet, carefully constructed life Ellie and her mother have nurtured to smooth over a high-profile secret. The shared third-person narration lends a quiet insight into these two likable characters whose histories and flaws are relatable and fully fleshed out. The blend of celebrity glitz and small-town coziness gives this summer love story a pleasant frame, and it will leave readers wishing for more time with this endearing couple as the sun rises on their last morning together. Grades 8-11. --Heather Booth

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Customer Reviews

I really loved the characters and I really felt a good connection with them.
Dark Faerie Tales
I wanted...well I can't really say without spoiling it for you but I wanted to know more, past what I got.
Valerie StuckInBooks
I feel like it was put into the book for a good reason, and then kind of blown over at the end.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Thompson on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is What Happy Looks Like was surprising, to me. I read a review yesterday by Jen YA Romantics, that described it as a mix of You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, and What a Girl Wants. That's about as accurate of a description as I could ever hope to come up with.

What was surprising for me about This is What Happy Looks Like is that it was, hmm... underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, it was sweet, and charming. I liked the characters, but there was not a lot to keep me hooked. In fact, I put this down for three days because I got swept away in another series that was full of fun and passion and angst, highs and lows. And in comparison, this was just nice.

Smith is obviously an extremely talented author. I absolutely adored The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I raved about it to all my friends for months, and credit it with making me love a boy named Oliver. Maybe that has caused me to judge this book a little too much. And though I liked Ellie and Graham, their portrayals were just sort of flat. I understood were they were coming from with their feelings and questions about their lives, but they didn't feel fully developed. I almost felt a true attachment to them and their story at certain points, the epic was just within reach, but then the story would move along and the feeling went away. Also, I would have like a least a smidge more resolution in the ending.

This Is What Happy Looks Like was a good, if underwhelming, story. I did like it, but will also say that I never fell in love with it. And I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it, but I would also say to maybe be prepared to not be swept away.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Fly to the Sky on April 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So to start off, I just want to put it out there that I am NOT a big fan of contemporaries. I mean there are a few authors in that category that I will read, but normally I'll stick to the more Sci-Fi and Fantasy aspects. Well Jennifer E. Smith is one of those authors I can't get enough of. A few months ago when I read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I fell in love with her writing style. So when I heard that she had a new book coming out with an amazing premise, I just had to pre-order it. And then I had to stay up until four in the morning to read it. (yeah, I'm the kind of person who does that, BUT only if I don't have school.) My point is This is What Happy Looks Like does not disappoint.


1.) The E-mails. The e-mails were funny and it was a great concept, although it might have made a bit more sense if they were texts. (More people text than use e-mail.)

2.) Dual POV. In The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, there was only Hadley's perspective, but in this book, both Ellie and Graham get there say.

3.) Ellie and Graham. I just loved bot of them. They come off as really shy around each other and it's really cute. I love Ellie's back story and why she has a reason for not wanting to be with Graham. So many times you read a book and the main characters are kept apart for stupid reasons, but here, it made sense.

4.) Graham's pig Wilbur.... You never actually get to meet him. :'( But I did think Graham's relationship with his pig was insanely sweet!

5.) The cover! I just LOVE the cover. It's just so pretty.

6.) Jennifer E. Smith's writing style. I've already said this, but I just love how she writes the story, she actually makes you feel connected.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on April 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jennifer E. Smith gets the cutest covers in the world, doesn't she? I picked up The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight almost entirely on the merits of its adorable cover alone. And when I saw the cover for THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE, I immediately began daydreaming about how happy they would look next to each other on my shelves--an activity I engage in all too often when it comes to books of a feather. And given how much I loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I felt that my feelings for her next novel were sort of a foregone conclusion. Especially when you take into account the much-billed You've Got Mail meets Notting Hill premise. I ask you--who can resist the wild potential of that setup? No one. That is who. But one of the things I loved the most about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was how it packed so much more of a punch that its name or cover suggested. It was deeper and wider than its slim-ish page count and 24-hour time period foretold. I don't think I realized going into this one how much I was counting on the same thing being true of it.

Ellie O'Neill and Graham Larkin don't know each other at all. Ellie is the daughter of an ex-waitress turned shop owner in the backwoods town of Henley, Maine.
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