This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithBook Title/Author: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
: Little Brown 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No
Other Books From Author: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, The Comeback Season, You are Here, The Storm Makers

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A friend let me borrow this one!




When Ellie accidentally receives an email meant for someone else she never could have imagined that the person she developed a friendship with is one of the biggest teen movie stars — Graham Larkin. They’ve kept up the conversation but have remained anonymous about who they are and their background. Graham decides he wants to meet Ellie in real life so he makes sure his next film is shot in Ellie’s very small town in Maine which happens to be the perfect location for the film. When Graham finally reveals himself to Ellie it seems like it is destined to not work. Even if Ellie really believed something could ever work out between an average girl from a small town and a famous actor, she knows she has to avoid all the attention and the spotlight to hide her past.

I thought this one was okay — cute, light and entertaining enough. I didn’t feel as much for it as I did The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight but it wasn’t by any means a BAD book at all. I enjoyed it in the way I enjoyed (ok, still enjoy) Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movies like Passport To Paris, Winning London, When In Rome, etc. It was more of the cheesy cute romance variety where you’ll need to suspend some disbelief and there’s a bit of predictability. This actually would make a VERY cute movie on ABC Family or the Disney channel.

The romance is very cute and is the sort of thing that 13 year old Jamie would have gone gaga over since she always dreamed of chance encounters with the boys of Tiger Beat who plastered her walls where they would fall madly in love with her. It’s a really cute, fun premise that certainly was easy to get into.

The tension of the romance is in that Ellie, the main character who ends up emailing with THE BIGGEST TEEN MOVIE STAR, has absolutely noooo interest in fawning over a movie star. I loved reading the emails they exchanged between each other and how she had NO idea he was famous. It led to some crazy tension when he finally rolls into town and she finds out that HE was the person she had been emailing all along. Not to mention the fact that Ellie has her own secret and needs to keep her life private — something that dating a celebrity would not afford you with all the paparazzi intruding on their every moment. It’s the typical “we could never work out because our lives our so different” kind of thing and I really did enjoy watching them through those moments.

While it was very cute it just didn’t didn’t do a ton for me. I liked the characters but kind of found them to be a little dull though I did love reading about a nice guy though I wished he would have been a little more interesting. The story, at points, seemed to drag and I just never really felt invested in the story or characters to make me feel anything other “well, that was cute.” That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it because I definitely did just wasn’t super strong for me. Also, we read this for book club and it honestly didn’t lend to much discussion to be honest.

This Is What Happy Looks Like is a cute, clean romance that I thought was okay and enjoyable but I didn’t particularly love it. I enjoyed it in the way I enjoyed Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen movies. It’s filled with romantic tension as Ellie tries to fight her feelings towards the guy she has been emailing who she finds out is actually one of the biggest teen movie stars. It’s full of cute moments that I think 13 year old Jamie would have swooned over but it didn’t leave a huge impression on me though it was totally sweet and uplifting. I would 100% recommend this to tweens/younger teens though!



This Is What Happy Looks LIke by Jennifer E. Smith


Recommend if you like: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen movies or Disney channel movies/ABC family shows, clean romances, cute & light books

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? If you have read it, what did you think? Did you feel differently than me! I would love to hear it!

All I Need by Susane Colasanti | Book Review

20130501-213622.jpgAll I Need by Susane Colasanti
: Viking Juvenile May 21, 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA – Realistic Fiction
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: When It Happens, Waiting For You, Something Like Fate, Take Me There, So Much Closer

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I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!



Every summer Skye hopes to find the boy that will sweep her off her feet during her time at her beach house. When she meets Seth, a guy she has never seen before, at the last party of the summer it’s evident that they both feel this incredible connection to each other. Seth doesn’t show up when they are supposed to meet before they both go back to school for the year and Skye is left wondering why he never showed up, if she was just the only one feeling the connection and, if they COULD find each other again, would that spark still be there.

This was one of those breezy, romantic books that I need once in a while; despite some things that bothered me which I’ll address later. It wasn’t a favorite by any means, it didn’t blow my mind or really stick with me but it’s the kind of feel good story that makes a perfect beach read. It’s light, sweet and very much captures the essence of summer romances and the ups and downs of starting a relationship and really getting into the nitty gritty of getting to know each other. It’s like those rom coms that I always watch wherein I predict most of what happens and don’t really walk away feeling CHANGED but I have that ooey-gooey “YAY love!” feeling in my heart. Sometimes you just NEED THAT, ok! Or I do. I am a former closet romantic — for years I hate-watched chick flicks and my college roommate was appalled that I didn’t squeal watching Sweet Home Alabama with her. I secretly did. SHHH.

The romance in All I Need by Susane Colasanti falls under the realm of insta-love so if that bothers you, you have been warned. I do feel like summer romances is my favorite place to let insta-love shine because it really is how summer romances typically are in real life (experience speaking here!) — they are a whirlwind and you everything speeds up because you know you only have the summer. I loved that Susane showed that whirlwind aspect of it despite sometimes the intense feelings were eyerolly at times because it went from crush to soulmate feelings very fast. I personally would have liked it a little better if the “OMG HE/SHE is the ONE!!” factor would have just been turned down a smidgen. I get whirlwind but the intensity of the feelings to me seemed a little forced.

I really liked how the story ventured outside the summer as well and dealt with life AFTER a summer romance and the troubles of their relationship. It showed that period of time when the honeymoon period is over and you start to really SEE that person — their flaws, their dreams, what they want in life, etc. I thought it portrayed that period really well and I enjoyed seeing them struggle and triumph in trying to define and figure out their relationship.  HOWEVER, the book takes place in a span of 3 years so things feel a little clipped sometimes and the time shifts just were sometimes jarring how they would jump suddenly and I just didn’t feel really connected to it.


This was a quick & fun read that I thought was good — not amazing though. Just a solidly light, cute read that would be perfect on the beach or when you are craving something that reminds you of those feel good, romantic chick flicks. I didn’t particularly love the characters or felt it stood out but I did enjoy reading it and thought that the insta-love summer romance was fun but a little TOO “omg he/she is the one” so soon. It did coax a few “awwwws” out of me during the cute, romantic parts.  It’s my first Susane Colasanti novel and I will probably be checking out her other stuff when I’m needing a cute romance that really embodies what it is to be young and in love — in all its messy glory!



All I need by susane colasanti review

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Have you read any other Susane Colasanti novels? Since this is my first one which one do you recommend me trying next?



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