This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Living in the small seaside village of Henley suits Ellie O’Neill, who would prefer to remain in the shadows. Unlike other girls, Ellie does not dream of becoming famous or being in the spotlight. When a film crew arrive along with teenage heart-throb, Graham Larkin, Ellie politely humours, but does not share her best friend Quinn’s enthusiasm. Besides, she has other distractions to entertain her over the long summer months. Ever since an email was accidentally sent to her by a mysterious stranger, Ellie has savoured each subsequent message. The only topics off limits are their names and backgrounds. When her anonymous correspondent is revealed, Ellie has to decide whether the secrets her mother gave up so much to keep are worth turning her back on what potentially could be the perfect summer romance.
The story is introduced through a series of cute, quirky emails where the main characters are referred to only as G and E. This is enough for any reader to work out that the mystery seventeen year old, who lives alone with a pet pig called Wilbur, is none other than superstar actor, Graham Larkin. Despite this revelation not being withheld from the reader with any determination, I found myself intrigued as to what would happen when he arrived. Ellie is a breath of fresh air, with her honest manner and ability to fully value what she already has rather than focusing on what she wants.
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This was a captivating read, delivering everything that the bright, optimistic cover promises. The ending of the novel is left open, leaving the reader wondering what will happen between Ellie and her father and whether her relationship with Graham will survive the immense distance between their two respective worlds. There’s room for a sequel here and it would definitely be on my reading list!
Yes, it’s a bit predictable. Yes, it’s fluffy, but it is guaranteed to leave a smile on any true romantic’s face. This is What Happy Looks Like is a perfect modern day fairy tale.
Jennifer E. Smith's Website