Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This is What Happy Looks Like (2013)

This is What Happy Looks Like. Jennifer E. Smith. 2013. Little, Brown. 404 pages.

This is the third novel I've read by Jennifer E. Smith. I've also reviewed The Comeback Season and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I loved them both in very different ways. She is definitely an author I'd recommend to fans of Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Dessen, and Deb Caletti.

It starts when Ellie receives an email from a stranger. It's obviously a case of mistaken identity--this G is asking her to take Wilbur for a walk. Not wanting Wilbur to suffer, she replies back and discovers...that he's a PIG and G is a kindred spirit. A true friendship grows between E and G. They both have secrets they're keeping from one another: Ellie's secret isn't hers exclusively, so it makes sense that she wouldn't share it with just anyone. G's secret is that he is Graham Larkin, movie star. He purposefully suggests Ellie's hometown in Maine as a shooting location for his new movie, he's truly hoping to have a magical summer with the woman he can't stop thinking about. But Ellie has reasons--good reasons--not to want attention from the media.

I LOVED the beginning of this one. The email exchanges were great. I enjoyed the rest of the novel as well. It wasn't quite love, love, love for me. I did enjoy both characters, and I thought there were a few scenes in this one that worked really well. But for me, it didn't have as many magical moments as The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight. It's a good romance. I'm definitely glad I read it!

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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