Kid Konnection: This Is What Happy Looks Like
When movie star and teen heartthrob Graham Larkin emails his pet sitter, he gets the email address wrong and sends it to seventeen year old Ellie O’Neill instead. She doesn’t realize who the email is from but she’s concerned about his pet so she responds, letting him know he sent it to her by mistake. They strike up a friendly email correspondence so when Graham has the chance to suggest the location for a movie shoot he suggests the small town where Ellie lives.
Things don’t turn out the way Graham planned, though. It seems that others want to keep him and Ellie apart and Ellie is very disturbed by the media attention that follows Graham everywhere he goes. Their worlds just might be too different for them to have any kind of future.
I thought This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith was absolutely delightful! The story is somewhat predictable, but it’s told with such heart and emotion that it just didn’t matter. The point of view alternates between Ellie and Graham so readers get both sides of the story and can empathize with both characters.
This book is sweet and romantic enough for older YA readers but clean and innocent enough for younger ones. I appreciated the fact that it showed being famous isn’t always as wonderful as people imagine it to be. I do think this book will appeal to female readers more than males but wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to either.
I listened to the audio version of This Is What Happy Looks Like. It’s narrated by Andrew Sweeney and Marcie Millard and they both do an outstanding job – they were Graham and Ellie to me. The book lasts approximately eight and half hours but I wanted it to last longer.
For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.