Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like | Jennifer E. Smith

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

I finished this book in a sitting, not because it was unputdownable, but because I was staying  at a place without any Wi-Fi connection that day so literally, the only thing I could do to pass time was read. I’ve mentioned in my last post that I was having trouble picking up books again after my reading hiatus, and this getaway definitely helped me ease into reading mode.


This story is about 2 people from different places who somehow got connected due to a mistyped e-mail address. For me, the amazing part is the fate. I mean, let’s be real, out of all the e-mail addresses in the world, what are the chances that you actually end up sending an accidental e-mail to someone normal who’s about the same age as you? That shit doesn’t happen in real life! This is quite embarrassing, but I actually tried to get a pen pal after reading this book. Believe it or not, there are actually websites to help you look for pen pals. Yeah. They exist. So I chose a seemingly decent person who seemed like he genuinely wanted a friend to talk to, based on his bio, and I e-mailed him. Long story short, I got sex-mailed. Yep. I think I’m going to stick to the traditional way of meeting new people from now on.

In a way, the fate and coincidences in the story appealed to me because they were so picture perfect they made me wish life was that easy. It makes me feel good and warm and bubbly inside, and that’s why I love it. Although the characters did face certain problems, they were never really huge or climax-ey (not an actual word). I did not worry when Quinn and Ellie had a falling out. I did not worry for Graham when he was waiting for the bad news after lashing out at the journalists. I did not worry about how Ellie’s dad was going to react when he saw her. But that all works out for a chick lit like this. The lack of climaxes makes it a light and fast read, with the promised happily-ever-after at the end.

I felt that Quinn and Ellie’s friendship wasn’t developed really well in the book? If ‘developed’ is the right term. Quinn basically just appears at the beginning and disappears throughout the story only to pop right back into the picture at the end. Quinn and Devon (Quinn’s love interest) could just… not exist and it wouldn’t even really matter. Also, I find it weird how Graham’s parents suddenly decided to change their attitude at the end of the story. First they were awkward around Graham and they kept a distance from him, but then suddenly at the end they called him and invited him to go home to spend some time with them? What made them change their minds all of a sudden? It seemed to me like the author was in such a rush to paint a happy picture for the ending that without any further explanation, she just turned every negative part of the story into a positive one.


All in all, even though there were flaws, I enjoyed the book as light reading and it made me feel good, which was satisfying enough. On to the next book, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson!

Rating: 3.5/5


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