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This is What Happy Looks Like
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This is What Happy Looks Like (This is What Happy Looks Like #1)

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  33,309 ratings  ·  3,659 reviews
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 per
...more
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Headline
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Amanda Not at all. It's generally a sweet love story (the farthest the characters go is kissing). There's not even any swearing, or at least no more than 1…moreNot at all. It's generally a sweet love story (the farthest the characters go is kissing). There's not even any swearing, or at least no more than 1 or 2 words :)(less)
Dare You To by Katie McGarryThis is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithJust One Day by Gayle FormanEleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
2013 Contemporary YA
2nd out of 243 books — 1,483 voters
Allegiant by Veronica RothClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareRequiem by Lauren OliverThe Indigo Spell by Richelle MeadUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
YA Novels of 2013
67th out of 1,531 books — 10,650 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Debby
2 stars

As a true hopeless romantic, the "normal girl meets and falls in love with a famous boy" story makes my heart flutter. No matter how cliché, I really enjoy reading stories like it. And yet... This Is What Happy Looks Like is just lackluster in everything. This review will contain spoilers. Beware. I just can't review this book without pointing out the idiotic plot points.

So Ellie and Graham meet by accident when Graham misspells an e-mail address. They don't know who the other is, but the
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Reynje

No, this is what boring looks like.

After The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and now this, I think it's fair to say that Jennifer E Smith's writing is just not for me. The potential is there - interesting premise, realistic complications - but unfortunately the execution is bland and tedious, and I don't feel the most was made of the conflicts raised.

Meh.
Giselle
If you want a read that leaves a smile on your face, This Is What Happy Looks Like is the perfect choice! A sweet romance, a small town, and fun characters make this a great summer read that you should definitely bring on vacation!

A modern day fairy tale is what this story is, really. It's not the kind of love story that's particularly believable--no one accidentally pen pals a stranger who ends up being a movie star--but if you enjoy those lightweight romance books where the story is more of a
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Mitch
Believe it or not, I’ve seen You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Not willingly, but I’ve seen ‘em. This is What Happy Looks Like is neither. In reality, what this really is is Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!... which I have also seen, also not willingly. So if you're looking for some cute emails (it's not written wholly in epistolary form though, don't worry), yeah this book has 'em. If you're looking for every single movie star tired of his job deciding to looking for romance with a small t ...more
Booknut
It is now 11:28 pm.

I forced my drooping eyelids to stay open so that I could finish this amazing book.

This is officially the best book I have ever read in my 17 years of life.

I'm crying and laughing at the same time.

I've been given a precious gift; a story that, like a jigsaw piece, has clicked into a place in my heart, a place I never knew was empty and waiting to be filled.

I'm so, so happy. And this book is to blame.

So it's off to bed - tomorrow is nearly here! And like our main protagonist, I
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Carmen
So the thing with Jennifer Smith's stories is... It's not unique but it's... Amazing.
I don't know she does it, but somehow, it's almost like she takes cliches... and makes them new and refreshing, and remind us of WHY they became a cliche in the first place. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight used the cliche of love at first sight, and this one of falling in love with a celebrity.

And OMG. I loved it. It was absolutely adorable.
I did wish the mystery of who Graham was withheld a
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Jessie
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

Nothing really happens, but a cute story nonetheless. The events in this book was actually pretty realistic. It deals with the problems Graham faces as a movie star and Ellie's past. Though there never was a real solution to them, there isn't supposed to be one in reality, and I find the no solution part really refreshing. In reality, there are difficulties we can't tackle, problems we can't handle, that's why the whole plot felt like something that would actually happen
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Monica!
You guys, it has been a crazy couple of weeks here in Monica!Land. I quit a job that I love for a job that I think I will grow to love, but that right now I’m mostly just overwhelmed by. I’m purchasing my first home while simultaneously helping my mom move out of her house. My husband’s heading off for a lengthy visit to his home country without me, I’m nursing the worst sunburn I’ve had since my trip to France (where for all intents and purposes my back peeled entirely off and left my spinal co ...more
Kat (Lost in Neverland)

This Is What BORING Looks like


After Ellie gets an email from a random stranger online when he types the wrong address by accident, the two of them start chatting and form a three-month long pen-pal relationship. They never reveal their names but Ellie finds herself telling him things about her life that not even her best friend knows. The whole mystery of the situation makes Ellie look forward to each exchange with excitement and thrill.

What she doesn't know is that the funny, charming stranger
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Jasprit
3.5 stars

This is What Happy Looks was a super cute book about two strangers being brought together by an e-mail being sent to the wrong e-mail address. Before you know it Ellie and Graham are sending e-mails back and forth to each other for the next few weeks. Ellie doesn’t know Graham’s name and that he’s a famous actor, but he’s the only person she’s ever opened up to. She finds it easy to talk to him and tell him things about him she’s never told anyone before. Ellie’s not had the best life,
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Nafiza
Here you go:

I haven’t read The Statistical Possibility of Love at First Sight so I was not really aware of Smith’s writing style when I first started this novel. I do think the premise, while it has been done countless times in countless variations, will remain attractive to anyone looking for a fairytale romance.

Except, you know, this novel doesn’t exactly deliver on the fairytale portion. It’s not exactly grim and realistic but Smith is careful to ensure that the not-so-fun parts of the fairyt
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Irena
There's one thing about me (that you did or did not know) that had a huge impact on me when it comes to enjoying while reading this book: I am a celebrity freak.

So I didn't go into this book totally blind. Even if I wanted to, I don't think that would be possible for me since many of my GR friends have already liked and recommended this book to me.

This is a light and fluffy contemporary novel, perfect for summer read.
I can't help but to feel a little bit sorrow for not waiting two more months so
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Claudia
Oct 15, 2012 Claudia marked it as to-read
"You've Got Mail" + "Sleepless in Seattle" + the super star thing + a mystery in the family?!

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Melanie
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

“Maybe growing up was really nothing more than growing away: from your old life, from your old self, from all those things that kept you tethered to your past.”

What does happy look like? For me, happy looks like reading good books. I wasn't exactly the happiest person when I finished this novel. But that's not to claim that Jennifer's latest was a complete disaster, I would just put it as mildly interesting and cute. I think I would've rated this differently
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Robin (Bridge Four)
This is the kind of book you read in-between other books. It is sorta like cotton candy, you put a big fluffy wad in your mouth and it dissolves immediately without much fuss or substance to it. Don’t get me wrong it is delicious and enjoyable but it really isn’t going to stick with you either.

That is what This is What Happy Looks Like was for me. It is easy and flows along without much thought. It is cute and if you have already read Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door it th
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Burn
You got to appreciate cliches sometimes...
He thought that when he saw her, when their eyes first met, that it would feel different. That all those Hollywood clichés were clichés for a reason. It was supposed to be unmistakable, that feeling, wasn’t it? Like a punch to the stomach.

List of what I needed lately:
something entertaining
romance
something sweet
something that gives a fluffy feeling
hugs and kisses
comfort
something refreshing and relaxing
of these are granted to me by This is What Happ
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Katrina Passick Lumsden
The word for today is: Disappointment.

That is what this book was for me; a major disappointment. I will attempt to explain why, but it may not come out as coherently as I hope.

For starters, nothing happens. Yes, there are events, characters do things, but nothing happens. Nothing really changes except for a few minor details, a few outlooks shift, but after being force-fed a diet of secret scandals and lies, I felt like perhaps there should have been a bit more climax. Instead the entire story
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~Tina~
Call it fate, destiny, meant to be or maybe it was it's own kind of miracle, but when fate decided to send a mis-typed e-mail that sparked a new found friendship for GDL824 and EONeill22 that gave a whole new meaning to internet connection, wouldn't you answer back?

I've only read one other book by Jennifer E. Smith, but that was all it took for me to want to read more of her work and fall in love with the ideas she comes up with. Jennifer has a knack with taking something impossible and making i
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Anna
Apr 10, 2015 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebooks
2,5 stars. Disappointing book. My expectations were too high I guess but it was a cute book to read. Enjoyable at best.

Ellie gradually becomes a tiny bit annoying whereas Graham becomes a better guy. But there isn't really any development. The story is so cliché. The plot wasn't very exploited but I did love the papz thing that made me realize how hard a celebrity's life can be.
Aside from that, it was so slow. I feel horrible for that but when I saw the acknowledgements page I was so fucking gl
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Kennia Belikov
This book was so adorable and made me so happy I cried... because I cry for every little thing lol. If you want an innocent, cute, first love type of book then perhaps you might enjoy this. I'll come back to write a full review <3

Jennifer E. Smith focuses on one concept and then builds her stories around it. She chooses to write about faith and those little moments that have the greatest impact in someones life. This book is about a boy named Graham who sends an accidental email to a girl nam
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Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
What starts off as a mistake, ends up as the cutest little love story that I read this year! I have to say that this is my favourite of Jennifer's books. There was more of a story and not just any story, but one of those cutesy romantic stories that we all know and love. It involves a very lonely celebrity boy and your normal girl caught up in a cute little tale that makes me wonder if this could be based on a movie.

Ellie sees her self as normal, but when Graham appears and realizes she's more t
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Angie
Feb 25, 2013 Angie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

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 Statistic
...more
Leahxx
*Spoilers*

1. I don't deal well with open endings. This ending is giving me anxiety. I need closure. I really do. I really, really do. I like open endings, I just can't cope with them. It will probably pop into my mind multiple times throughout the rest of my life wondering what happens to Graham and Ellie. For the rest of my life, I will be wondering.
2. I didn't enjoy this writing style as much. There were many enjoyable parts of the book, but there were also parts where I thought there was too
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Summer the bummer
DNF Review

If I were to summarize the main reason why I DNF'ed this in one word, it would be: immaturity.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a pretty immature/random person myself, but this isn't a case of the pot and the kettle. I'm talking about the shallowness of this book; it feels like pure fluff with no real point to it. It's not enjoyable fluff, either, nor can it be possibly categorized as "guilty pleasure". This book is pretty much the reason why I tend to stay away from contemporary fiction altoget
...more
Isamlq
3.5/5

If this is what happy looks like, give me some more! It does not disappoint, nor does not mislead... and it's an excellent pick for a fluff break between all those emotionally weighed reads i've been reading of late.

Not to say that there wasn't some heft here because there was: her and her secrets, then him in the public eye, but it's the light witty exchanges between them that first reeled me in. So, focus on their internet exchanges and I was tickled pink. And were I to piece this apart a
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Dre
I guess, Graham and Ellie needed more time to stew.


“How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”
“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.”

After my reading slump, I decided to take on contemporaries, and this book seemed like a good choice after I immersed myself with Xander and Caymen's life from The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I think Jennifer E. Smith found its way into my system.

The beginning of the book wa
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John Boettcher
I was expecting so much more out of this book. Possibly to see what Happiness actually looked like at the end of the book maybe? No, wasn't really the case.

The book actually had a good, unique, interesting premise, but about halfway through the book, it just stalled out and went nowhere. Nothing was resolved, nothing was figured out, and everything was left in limbo essentially.

Now, if I just got done watching "Inception" and am wondering if the top really fell over or not or if they are still
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Abi
Jun 26, 2015 Abi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 1-yalf
I was so sure this book was going to be 4* until it pissed me off.

And what is it that pissed me off? An overbearing mother that deprived her daughter of a father and the opportunity to be well provided for, justifying it with the ‘normal life’ (a bunch of small-town snores) she gave her in return.

Never mind that Ellie was poor, anxious about going to college and all the debt it would bring, always wistful about the father she never had and basically paying for her mother’s mistakes, gee thanks M
...more
Pauline
3.5 stars for this one. A nice story but I think it's the usual "Love me I'm a Celebrity" kind of thing, which is already a cliche. What I liked about the story is how they ended up knowing each other. How is that even possible? But yeah, it was cute but we never really know what happens after Graham left Ellie. I found myself a bit teary-eyed over the daddy issue, really wished that something else happened between Ellie and her father. The story was cute but it lacked the twists and all compare ...more
Hannah
Ok Jennifer E. Smith! Keep it up, this is the second novel of yours I've read that has completely stolen my heart and that I dub utterly perfect!. I now pronounce you my favorite Contemporary Author :)

This romance set up was fantastic, it wasn't like other books were they meet, they insta-love, they fight, they avoid and then make up for their happily ever after.
Yes they did go a period of not speaking but in my opinion for valid reasons and not just because they were childish and didn't know
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805184
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her writing has been translated into 28 languages.
More about Jennifer E. Smith...

Other Books in the Series

This is What Happy Looks Like (2 books)
  • Happy Again
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight The Geography of You and Me You Are Here Happy Again The Comeback Season

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“Exactly. How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”
“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.”
206 likes
“From: EONeill22@hotmail.com
Sent: Saturday, June 8, 2013 1:18 PM
To: GDL824@yahoo.com
Subject: what happy looks like
Sunrises over the harbor. Ice cream on a hot day. The sound of the waves down the street. The way my dog curls up next to me on the couch. Evening strolls. Great movies. Thunderstorms. A good cheeseburger. Fridays. Saturdays. Wednesdays, even. Sticking your toes in the water. Pajama pants. Flip-flops. Swimming. Poetry. The absence of smiley faces in an e-mail.

What does it look like to you?”
136 likes
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