“This is What Happy Looks Like”—A Book Review

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith is a cute coming-of-age book…sort of. Not quite as awesome as her first novel, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but still an enjoyable read.

Perchance, two teenagers start swapping emails due to a small typo in the “send to” email address. Knowing nothing about the other originally, other than the fact that they both have a pet and have read Charlotte’s Web, the witty banter flows much too easily.

After a smidge of investigating from context clues gathered, the original sender discovers where his Internet Pen Pal lives. And because he just so happens to be no other than Graham Larkin (teen celebrity heartthrob), he pulls some strings and gets the production of his newest movie moved to small town Main.

Upon discovering that her mystery guy friend is insanely famous, Ellie wasn’t quite sure how to handle the news. Not one drawn to spotlight and drama, Ellie pulls away. But she can’t help how Graham makes her feel…the real Graham (the boy she spent several hours a day writing to), not Graham Larkin the movie star.

Figuring out what we think is important in life and what is truly important can be a hard truth to wrap your head around. A lot of the time, overcoming our own fear and learning to lower our personal self-preserving safety net is a difficult feat, indeed.

A pretty cute coming-of-age novel, with some pretty deep self-examination thrown in (not to mention coming to the realization that the whole world doesn’t revolve around you, no matter who you are, and you have absolutely no way of knowing exactly what other people are thinking, unless you happen to be telepathic), I would say This is What Happy Looks Like was worth the read. Three out of five stars!

 

“All that was left was the boy with a smile that seemed intended only for her”

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“The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight”—A Book Review

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is simply a delight! This tale takes place over a twenty-four-hour-hour-period, is fast paced, and nearly impossible to put down.

Hadley is having beyond the worst day. She misses her flight to London, where she is headed to attend her father’s wedding, and she’s never even met the bride! So not only is Hadley already super cranky about having to go to her father’s wedding (when she feels so betrayed by him for being so void in her life and moving to London in the first place), but now she is stuck at the JFK airport, waiting for the next available flight, which will put her arriving in London with not a minute to spare.

While waiting for the next flight, she meets Oliver. He’s British, incredibly cute, and going to college in the U.S. Call it fate, call it happenstance, call it a coincidence, call it whatever you like, but something brought these two together again, putting them sitting next to each other on the long plane ride to the UK.

Over the course of the 7 hour trip, the two strangers get to know one another, talking about everything under the sun, and even divulging things they have never told another soul. Is it completely insane to fall in love with someone you don’t even know? Probably, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

This pulse pounding and heart-wrenching Teen novel with have you believing in the miracle of love and hope again. I guarantee you will be cheering these two young protagonists on, just as I did! I give this quick and fun read four stars!

 

As Hadley and Oliver are departing the plane and are headed to two separate Customs lines:

 “But before she can move any farther she feels a hand on her elbow, and just like that Oliver is beside her again. He looks down at her with his head tilted, his hand still firmly on her arm, and before she has a chance to be nervous, before she even fully realizes what’s happening, she hears him mummer “What the hell,” and then, to her surprise, he bends to kiss her.”

…seriously, people: Le Sigh, and also, Eeeeeap!

 

The New York Times Book Review

“A gorgeous, heartwarming reminder of the power of fate… an endearing and lushly written account of how it feels to fall in love, the unique heartbreak of parental disappointment and what it means to forgive those who’ve hurt us deeply.”