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?
Release: April 2, 2013
Published By: Poppy
Review Copy: ARC, 402 pages
**Provided by HBG Canada
This is What Happy Looks Like was a really cute read. I'd like to say it wasn't predictable but at times it really was. This didn't take away from the book, I still enjoyed it but often seen what was around the corner. Though there was one aspect I didn't really see coming and I will discuss it later on.
The story starts off with some really fun emails. They were kind of like emails gone wild but not in a nudity kind of way. What started as a mistake turned into a deep but light friendship filled with information that you wouldn't really share with a stranger. This does turn into more when suddenly Graham has the chance to meet Ellie. Problem is Ellie wants nothing to do with the fame, the cameras or the problems that come with having movie stars in town. These are the very thing that Ellie and her mother have spent many years trying to avoid. The story became one of two people with the same wants but two very different ways of living life.
I was never really sure on how I felt about Ellie. She had the entire hidden past thing going but for the most part lived a full life in her little Maine town. Even not telling her best friend about her email romance is kind of a big deal. Though Ellie has a cute and sweet thing going for her I for the most found her bland and predictable. So basically I liked her but never loved her or really got invested in her. The same thing could be said for Graham. He was sweet and not what I expected from a movie star. He was exceptionally grounded but there seemed to be a sound reason for that. His rocket into fame wasn't exactly planned or worked for it started simply with wanting to impress a girl. I didn't find myself falling in love with him but he is the kind of guy that I would want someone I cared about with.
Despite not being overly impressed with This is What Happy Looks Like, it was a cute, clean and fast read. I think the thing that bugged me the most was how easily the two characters just rolled with the problems that came at them and didn't really work for what they wanted. The writing however was wonderful and so easy to get caught up in. I would recommend this for someone that was looking for a light read with a little romance.
But it had been about his pig, Wilbur, who had apparently, to his horror, gotten ahold of a hot dog during a barbecue.My pig, the email had read, is now officially a cannibal.
But the truth was, he was pretty sure he was falling for a girl he'd never met before, a girl whose name he didn't even know.
After the first movie came out, it had been the opposite; each time someone recognized him in public, it was like a benediction, like in some strange way he was being knighted: Graham Larkin, Somebody. But now- now it was the lack of recognition that made his heart thump in his chest...