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This Is What Happy Looks Like  By  cover art

This Is What Happy Looks Like

By: Jennifer E. Smith
Narrated by: Andrew Sweeney, Marcie Millard
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Publisher's summary

From the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight comes a humorous and heartwarming novel about small towns, big love, and mistaken email identity.

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two 17-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

©2013 Jennifer E. Smith (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"[T]his sweet novel has a premise worthy of the movies.... [The] charming leads, smalltown backdrop, and absurdly romantic conceit will win hearts." (Publishers Weekly)

"Utterly convincing... a cast of vivid, sympathetic characters whose fate matters to readers and keeps them turning the pages." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This phenomenal depiction of an instant connection shows that everything happens for a reason. Smith's unique story will make you contemplate the magic of fate. I've been waiting for a love story like this forever." (Susane Colasanti, best-selling author of So Much Closer and When It Happens)

What listeners say about This Is What Happy Looks Like

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Every Teenage Girl Dreams Come True

4.5 stars for the Book and 5 stars for the Narration.

This plot is every teenage girl dreams come true! Who didn’t dream about dating a superstar back in the time? I know I did, and the circumstances of their encounter are the perfect meet cute, and totally in synch with today’s technological and social media dependant world. Plus, I can’t help to gush over Graham’s absolutely romantic grand gesture. I would die if a movie was set in a particular place just so the star could be near me!

It was great that the story wasn’t only focused on the romance part, but it also has an intricate subplot that I wasn’t expecting. It captured marvellously the hell celebrities and public people go through with paparazzi, it’s just awful.

The only downside to the plot is that once all the elements are put into play, its development is too predictable. It’s so easy to see what’s coming next, but it is still oh so enjoyable to attest.

I loved that the author was focused on showing a different face to fame, and that it portrayed accurately how lonely and hard a celebrity’s life could sometimes be. I’m not a Britney Spears fan, but it sort of reminded me of her song “Lucky”.

That being said, what stands out the most with these characters are their relationships. How they are intimate but fragile. How they aren’t perfect. But my absolute favourite character was Ellie. She was so responsible, but it was easy to the teenage in her. It was just so simple to relate to her. I was rooting for her all along.

Whenever we get two narrators the gender role problem disappears. We have a clearly identifiable voice for each character. Nevertheless, they did have to play the other characters voice, even if it was for a brief a moment, at times; and both, Andrew Sweeney and Marcie Millard, did a great voice. I barely noticed it wasn’t the same voice because I was deeply involved with the story and their representation was good. It wasn’t the same of course, and at moments it was a bit weird that the voices changed a bit, that’s the downside of having two narrators. But they still made it work. I have to praise them both, because I felt they truly captured the essence of their characters, they sounded like two teenagers. They made the story come alive, and it was beautiful.

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