YA Book Review: This is What Happy Looks Like – 3 of 5

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

happy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You know what this book needs? I little whoopie to go with all those whoopie pies. (Heeeey oh!) You can’t have a super dashing movie star and a cutesy red head and only have a couple of chaste kisses. Is that a spoiler? Apologies, friends.

It’s not that I didn’t like the book. I did. In fact, I power read the book in about 6 hours. Usually that means it’s a home run, but instead, as I closed the cover, I didn’t feel much of anything. Imagine a meal at your local supper club. (Aka: the Lobster Pot) You leave with that happy, full-stomach feeling, but it’s nothing to write home abut.

The whole book has an ongoing feel of anti-climax. All the characters think they are taking a giant leap of faith, but in truth it’s only a hop. The “mix-up” of people in the beginning is quickly resolved. Ellie’s mom issue is short lived, her father issue is almost confronted, but not really, and movie star’s parent issues aren’t really issues at all. Even the difficult personalities of Olivia and Quinn end up fizzling.

The problem with this book is it’s too damn realistic. Smith has taken a straight forward, real-world approach – where grudges aren’t really held, where big plans fall through, and where love doesn’t have to be a big deal. Love can flow into life and slowly grow. That’s a wonderful truth about life, but it’s not what we want to read in books. We want big bangs and daring leaps – especially when one of the main characters is a movie star. Instead we get sprinkles and taffy. It’s all lovely, but it’s not enough.

Also – how is it that we never got o meet Wilbur the pig? I was so looking forward to that!

Categories: Weekly Review, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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