It's been months since I have accepted any books from publishers for review or logged onto NetGalley, but when I saw Jennifer E Smith's newest book I could not resist. Her last, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is one of my all -time favorites. Smith's writing is fresh, clean contemporary YA at its best.
What Happy Looks Like is set in a small town Maine home of a perfect fourth of July celebration and the state snack, whoopie pies. Ellie has never tasted one, but teen heart throb Graham is out to change that. He is convinced the two need to meet face after their chance email mix up turns into more. Graham is headed to Ellie's home town (leaving his pet pig behind) on a mission to film his newest movie and meet the anonymous face behind the name. His initial plan of attack at her work ice cream store named "Scoops" backfires and he is not experiencing love at first sight like he thought he would. Things turn interesting when she proves to be even more mysterious and aloof than he predicted as Ellie and her mother have a past that needs to stay hidden. You'll grin from ear to ear at the lengths Graham will go to to steal some alone time with Ellie, and the storyline tugs at your heart stings as it emphasizes the important of family ties. The setting is magical...summertime in a resort village with just enough home spun charm. Smith's style is poetic, witty and even slightly melancholy. There are questions left unanswered with an open ending where readers fill in the outcome. I really wanted to dig deeper into the characters. Hoping here is a companion novel or sequel out there, even a novealla in the future. But for now I am thrilled with another oustanding read from Jennifer E Smith and am waiting for another of her books I ordered to come in my mailbox.
Pre-order This is What Happy Looks Like. It is a perfect ray of sunshine to beat the winter blahs!
Content is suited for teens 14 and up. One swear word, otherwise clean.