Showing posts with label this is what happy looks like. Show all posts
Showing posts with label this is what happy looks like. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

10 Beach Reads For People Who Don't Like Beach Reads feat. Sophie Kinsella, Julie Hammerle & more






I'm one of those dreadful people who are easily bored by straight up romance books unless they are absolutely extraordinarily excellent. 

Here are some of the books that I would bring to the beach.




THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH - Lisa Brown Roberts
A really cute story about a girl looking for a rebound crush. Especially recommended for trekkies.

TALON - Julie Kagawa
Okay, listen, hear me out - this may be about shapeshifting dragons turning into humans but it's totally a summery beach romance. Sounds weird, is weird.

KEEPING THE MOON - Sarah Dessen
In terms of beach reads you can never go wrong with a Dessen book. This is a super light contemporary with a great protagonist!



PLUS ONE - Elizabeth Fama
As a dystopian novel this really isn't a regular pick for a beach read, but listen: This book is so light and easy and pretty much about people stealing babies. It's a weird fairytale-feeling kinda thing.

WEDDING NIGHT - Sophie Kinsella
This is partially set at the beach and kinsella, what more can you want!

FATED - S.G. Browne
The personified fate falls in love and it's absolutely hilarious!



THE PRINCESS DIARIES - Meg Cabot
I love this book so much if there is one light, funny book that I have and can read over and over again, it's this.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE - Jennifer E. Smith
Such a pleasant surprise!

THE SOUND OF US - Julie Hammerle
A sweet contemporary that's equal parts hilarious and unique. Also classic music!





WE AWAKEN - Calista Lynne
I think dreamy, magical books are always excellent pics for beach reads! This one features two lesbian asexuals and dreaming!

What are your favorite beach reads?

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

[Review] This is What Happy Looks Like - Jennifer E. Smith

Headline Cover 2013



In "This is What Happy Looks Like" by Jennifer E. Smith, famous movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends an email to small town girl Ellie O'Neill.

They keep sending emails to each other for months. Ellie has no idea who her new online pen pal is - until Graham manages to move his new movie project to her home town to get an opportunity to finally meet her in person.


Sugary Sweet Romance

The premise of the famous superstar coming to a small town and falling in love with the average high school girl isn't very realistic - but it sure is fun to read. Smith has an insanely entertaining writing style. I didn't even notice how quickly the pages flew by.

Graham and Ellie have an established relationship in the beginning of the novel. It's frequently mentioned that they have written to each other for months, when the reader in fact only gets to read about a handful of their email conversations. While I think the novel could have been better had the relationship just begun in the beginning, I think Smith made the best out of it. Graham and Ellie genuinely seem like they have fallen for each other and it's really cute to see them interact.

Dual Narration: You're Doing It Right!

Usually I'm not a fan of alternating point of views and multiple narrators, especially not in romance stories.
For "This is What Happy Looks Like" it actually works, because there are two sides to the story. Smith makes sure to feed the reader with important details that fuel the plot through each switch of narration. This is the first time I've seen a dual narration work very well. I enjoyed Graham's narration way more than I did Ellie's. There is just something to the character of Ellie that makes her insanely unlikable to me.
Ellie didn't seem half as enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a movie star than every other teenage girl. She just overall seems absolutely indifferent to the whole thing. Maybe that's part of why Graham is initially smitten with her, but to me that's just not realistic. I didn't like Ellie for her whole sense of unbelievableness. First she really doesn't care that a movie star fell for her, then she has no intentions of reconnecting with her friends, and lastly she has absolutely no common sense. She's just a very exhausting character to read about.

Random, Unnecessary Side Plot

In general the story has a very rocky start. The whole mistaken identity hook is wrapped up way too quickly and I feel like a lot of funny passages got lost there. What bugs me the most about the novel is that everything just works out to smoothly. There is no teenage drama, there are no authority figures actually trying to break them up.
The attempts of Ellie's mother and Graham's manager are very, very lax. it could have made a super interesting side plot to have someone try to break them up (maybe use Quinn in the process? What was the point of her character by the way?). I feel like along the way Smith just lost the sense for plot. Having Ellie try to meet her father is just unnecessary and elongated the story for a very unlikely reason.
All in all, I did enjoy reading this, but I'll forget it very soon. "This Is What Happy Looks Like" is a cute summer read, but that's it.

Rating:

★★★☆☆

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I had fun reading this, but I doubt it will stay with me for a long time. I love the beachy and summery vibe and the love story is alright, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. If you're looking for light literature, this is it.


Synopsis:
"If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-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?"
(Source: Goodreads)

The Series

This is What Happy Looks Like (#1)
Happy Again (#1.5)


Additional Info




Original Title: This Is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: July 2nd 2015
Pages: 368
Medium: Paperback
Publisher: Carlsen
Cover: Carlsen, 2015.
Genre: YA / Romance 
ISBN: 978-3-551-31413-0

This Is What Happy Looks Like on Carlsen

(pictured above: Carlsen 2015 Cover)



Recommended for Fans of:

  • "Starcrossed" by Josephine Angelini
  • Small town love stories
  • Beachy reads
  • Celebrity meets Average Girl stories

What's Your Favorite Summer Read?


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