This Is What Happy Looks Like: Jennifer E Smith (Headline, 2013)
This is far removed from my usual book preference, being a contemporary teenage romance with no supernatural elements at all. I ought to dislike it intently, it starts with a random mistyping of an e-mail address connecting two people, who happen to both be seventeen, and happen to get along wonderfully, and one of them happens to be a famous film star who is practically a Mary Sue in talent and good looks. Except… I loved it!
My inner sixteen year old loved the budding romance and the ups and downs in it. My adult self cringed in the first few chapters when an accident meant a change in top (with name label) leading to a mistaken identity… Oh no, I thought, this is going to go on far too long when in reality as soon as the characters speak to each other they’d realise their mistake. What a cliché… But the characters did speak to each other and instantly realise the mistake – joy! I do like a plot that follows some logic, and this one does.
The story also manages to avoid what could be a trite family reunion by… Well, that might give too much away. It also avoids an overly cliché ending. Even if teenage contemporary romance isn’t your thing, this is compelling enough to grab your attention and keep it (I read it in one sitting), it’s not cliché-filled and although at the start the description of Graham makes him seem one-dimensional, the characters are all well-rounded. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of This is What Happy Looks Like by Headline for review thanks to a nomination from Jax at Making It Up. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.