Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: "This is What Happy Looks Like" by Jennifer E. Smith

Out of the blue, a random email she receives (but was intended for someone else) starts a months long conversation with the boy who'd sent it.  They tell each other everything - except their names and other little details.  Like the boy, neglects to tell her that he is Graham Larkin, teenage movie star.  But Graham is smitten and finds a way to have his next movie filmed in Ellie's tiny coastal Maine town - just so he can meet her.  And while they get to a rough start, there are sparks...  but Graham's celebrity status threatens to blow Ellie's most private secret into the open and that just cannot happen.

I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by this author, and wanted to read more by her.  This seemed like an unusual premise, kind of fun and all - but really?  It just ended up being okay.  The characters and the ups and downs of their getting to know each other (or not) are cute and all, but it just wasn't anything that got me feeling much either way.  I'm really totally meh about this book.

Can I mention just a couple of the things that bothered me about the book?  First of all, geography.  This is supposed to take place in a cute little town in coastal Maine that is a 1 hour drive south of Kennebunkport, 2 hours south by boat.  Now I have no idea how long it takes to boat anywhere, but folks - I live 1 hour south of Kennebunkport by car, and I'm two states away!  I understand that many people wouldn't know or realize that Kennebunkport is really in the southern part of Maine (and they probably don't care) but this irked me.  I love Maine and have spent time south of Kennebunkport every single summer for the past 14 years.  My second issue came in the form of the secondary character - Ellie's best friend.  I don't want to get too spoilery here - but I didn't believe in their fight at all.  I thought it was taken too extreme on the friend's part.  Real friends would talk it out, maybe not right away - but they wouldn't let it brew for a month like that - not with so much going on in each other's lives.  Granted, she did sort of redeem herself at one point, but it just seemed like a lazy way to push her aside for that time period.  Lastly - there are so many loose ends at the end of this book!  And not in the "oh I hope there will be a sequel" sense but more like "really? after all that, this is where we leave things?"

So if you have/are a reader that is just super gung-ho for YA contemporary romance type books - go for it.  There are some cute parts and all.  But that's about all I have to say about it.

*****
This is What Happy Looks Like
by Jennifer E. Smith
Poppy, 2013
407 pages
Source:  Purchased New
*****

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1 comment:

ChristasBooks said...

I really liked Smith's first book - the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - but this one fell flat for me. Here's hoping The Geography of You and Me is better!

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