Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer Smith

So I wrote this review right after I finished reading this book a few months ago, and then apparently I forgot to post it! Just one of those things that got pushed to the side in favor of homework, most likely.

I literally just finished reading this book, This is What Happy Looks LIke by Jennifer E. Smith, and had to get my thoughts down right away.

I loved this book. It wasn’t overly exciting, or dramatically adventureous, and it doesn’t really push any boundaries; it’s just one of those books that I read and feel satisfied and content at the end of. I guess it could be called a feel-good story. Small town girl falls in love with movie star through a unique set of circumstances which lead her to think he is just another guy, not THE guy on the covers of her trendy best friend’s magazines. The characters are well-developed, with enough information being given about the lesser characters to have a good idea of who they really are but not so much that they become more important than the main characters. Nothing distracts the reader from Ellie and Graham’s simple romance, even though they themselves spend more time avoiding each other than actually together for most of the book. We watch their relationship grow slowly but honestly just as the other characters do. The book isn’t only about their summer romance though; always in the background is the summer poetry course at Harvard Ellie has been accepted into. Despite being very smart and making the exclusive program, there is still a cost to attend which Ellie cannot afford. There might be someone she hasn’t seen in a long time who can help, but this is uncertain, and finding them will be an adventure Ellie has never before considered. It’s a nice side plot to keep the story from being too simple or cheesy of a romance.

This is not the kind of book which makes you question life or anything profound like that when you finish it. It will probably not change your opinion on anything. It is simply a good story; a comfortable read which is uplifting and just leaves the reader with a content, it-will-all-work-out feeling. A comfortable 4 stars.

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