Ellie and Graham met in the virtual world after she received an e-mail he'd intended for one of his friends. Despite living on opposite sides of the US their relationship has blossomed - they've talked about anything and everything, shared all the trivia of their lives but ignored the big things that matter - like why Ellie and her mom left the city behind and moved to 'middle of nowhere' Maine and like the fact that Graham is a famous teen film star. Then Graham manages to get the location of his latest film moved to Ellie's seaside town and they actually get to meet! Can real life live up to their expectations and how can a mega-star be seen out with an 'ordinary' girl?
This Is What Happy Looks Like is a delightful feel-good romcom-style novel. With a growing romance between a famous actor and a 'normal' girl it's like a role-reversal, teen version of Notting Hill. Ellie has almost fallen in love with the guy she's met on the internet - but she certainly hadn't imagined that he was a major teen heart-throb. Ellie's caught between her feelings for Graham and her mother's desire for privacy - not an easy thing to maintain with the press watching Graham's every move. The author captures how difficult it must be to try to lead a normal life under these circumstances and shows that a film star's life is not all fun.
Set in a seaside resort, there's a definite summery holiday feel to everything, whether it's swimming in deserted bays or the whole town gathering for Fourth of July clam-bakes and fireworks. The characters are well drawn, both genuine and charming; the plot, while it's every girl (or woman's) dream come true, is believable; is a happy end inevitable? Read it and find out.
Maryom's review - 5 starsPublisher - Headline
Genre - rom com, teen/YA
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