Sunday, April 21, 2013

This Is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown and Company; Hachette)
Released: April 2, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Library
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 perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?
Another great love story in the style of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight!! 

Graham and Ellie are both fully-developed characters, so that every decision each one of them makes seems totally natural, even the ones that pop out of thin air. Quinn and Ellie's mother are equally fleshed out, and Olivia is delightfully flat! Together, the cast of characters creates the prefect setting for this love story to happen.

The story starts with the emails, and those set the stage for a meaningful story. The emails talk about nothing, but at the same time, they're deep and thoughtful. They're a great way for both Ellie and Graham to let down their guards and really let someone get to know them. Of course, as Ellie's mother mentions, striking up a relationship with someone online is never a good idea, but in their case, it's best it happens anonymously so that neither one knows the other's secrets.

Then when Graham gets to town, their relationship falls naturally into that rhythm. Ellie is of course at first distrustful, not knowing what Graham's endgame is. But when they both figure out how to reconcile the person they see with the person they know, their interactions become as sweet as possible.

The story is left open-ended. Graham is going back to Hollywood and world tours, but there's a sense that the relationship will continue anyway. I sure hope so!

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