Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks LikeTitle: This Is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publication date: April 2, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 404

Source: Bought from Fully Booked

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store




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?

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

*Book details from Barnes & Noble 

My review: 

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith was one of the books I looked forward to in 2013, but I never got a chance to read it because of work duties. Now that I’ve got free time, of course, I grabbed the opportunity to read it. This is the third Jennifer E. Smith book I read. Although I found the book lengthy, it didn’t matter to me because I was smitten from the first page until the last.

This Is What Happy Looks Like is an eye-opener, exhibiting happiness in a way that one doesn’t normally perceive it to be. The kind of happiness expressed in the story comes from within, and is something that material things cannot epitomize. Through its exceptional and poignant prose, the novel could be a soul-stirring journey for readers as it provides them with a deeper and meaningful sense of what happiness is really like.

What I admire in This Is What Happy Looks Like is the complex backstory of characters Ellie and Graham. It makes their personas organic and convincing. Ellie and Graham’s skin-deep flaws paint readers a picture of who they are within. That picture is definitely a strong foundation of each character’s frame, helping readers understand Ellie and Graham down to their core. Jennifer E. Smith is undeniably a champion when it comes to well-developed imperfect characters. The romance in the novel is really earnest and sweet. It’s not insta-love since Ellie and Graham have communicated with each other prior to meeting in person. Their email exchange is so adorable and I loved how it was the beginning of what will become something special—offline.

Jennifer E. Smith’s writing combines rich imagery and strong emotional punch. The author’s dynamic descriptions never fail to project clear mental pictures of scenes that make readers feel involved in the story. Should you be looking for contemporary YA with a unique storyline, depth, and authenticity, you’ll never go wrong with a book by Jennifer E. Smith. Reflecting the truths of teenage life, her stories are oftentimes a phenomenal reading experience as they fill the mind with wisdom that is worth keeping in life.

Shining with hope and bright promises, This Is What Happy Looks Like is a realistic and endearing novel that will carve a smile to anyone’s heart.


4/5 stars

Blog Tour: Proxy by Alex London [Excerpt + Giveaway]

Proxy Tour Banner
Hello everyone! For my stop in the blog tour for Alex London’s PROXY, I’m happy to share with you an excerpt from the book’s first chapter. Enjoy! 🙂
“Reduce Speed…Reduce Speed…Reduce Speed…” scrolled in front of Knox in an unfriendly industrial font. All the road signs and advertisements now said the same thing: “Danger Danger Danger.”
Knox waved off the Augmented Reality hook up. You weren’t supposed to be able to turn it off, but Knox had yet to find a security system he couldn’t hack. AR driving was for amateurs and accountants anyway. He gunned the car forward. The speed pressed him against the auto-cooled leather seats.
“You even know how to drive?” the girl cried out loud, her voice shrill and excited.
Knox didn’t say a word. He liked to let the growl of the engine do the talking.
He also couldn’t remember the girl’s name.
Amy? Pam?
Something old fashioned. He shot her another glance, his emerald eyes flashing mischief. He smirked.
That usually did the trick.
She was new in Mr. Kumar’s History of Robotics class, a transfer from home schooling. She liked the animations Knox hacked onto the public display on top of their teacher’s scowling face. Sometimes Knox gave Mr. Kumar devil horns or a top hat or made it look like he was lecturing them from a seedy strip club in the lower city. The girl had complimented Knox’s work on her first day at school.


Prize: A signed copy of PROXY!
Open to Philippine residents ONLY.
Please click on the link below to be directed to the Rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now head over to The Bookaholic Blurbs for the next part of the excerpt! Oh, and if you missed the first part, you can find it on Teen Readers’ Diary.

Thanks for stopping by, guys! Thanks also to the awesome Pinoy Book Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. 🙂

*For the full schedule of the blog tour, please click on the tour banner.

Poster - Alex London

ARC Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publication date: August 14, 2014

Publisher: Dutton

Pages: 339

Source: ARC from publisher (Thank you, Penguin Teen!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

Isla and the Happily Ever After is the final book in Stephanie Perkins’ companion series. Fans of the first two books, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door have been waiting for this and now that it’s here, I’m sure everyone’s rushing to the bookstore to grab a copy!

Oozing with heart-warming moments, deep affection, and passion, Isla and the Happily Ever After is one spectacular read! I was smitten with how it is to fall in love and appreciated the sweet little things that happen in between the process. My heart exploded with extreme feelings of happiness that words couldn’t describe enough. Isla and Josh are wonderfully flawed and entertaining characters that readers would instantly adore and connect with. Their chemistry is so believable and downright heart melting! The authenticity and natural spark of Isla and Josh’s romance made them a couple worth remembering. I truly enjoyed being a witness of their love affair from the beginning to the much awaited happily ever after.

Author Stephanie Perkins’ thoughtful, uplifting, and charming writing style impressed me a lot. I’m a fan! What I like most about her books is that readers get so much more than a love story. Beneath the romance element is an inspiring message that could change how people view life and the things around them. The depth and truthfulness of the stories pierce through the soul in extraordinary ways. Anna, Lola, and Isla take readers to an amazing journey of self-discovery, and that’s what makes Stephanie Perkins’ books remarkable.

Sweet and undeniably romantic, Isla and the Happily Ever After marvelously encapsulates the spellbinding magic of falling in love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is fond of a beautifully written contemporary YA brimming with unlimited possibilities and long-lasting bliss.



5/5 stars