This Is What Happy Looks Like
Title: This Is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Your Readers
Number of Pages: 404
Advertised Age Level: Ages 13-17
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 17
Language: no profanity
Drug/Alcohol Use: none
Violence: main character punches someone
Social Issues: first love, fame, illegitimacy
Suggested Movie Grade: PG
When an e-mail address gets typed in incorrectly, an unlikely friendship begins between small town girl Ellie O’Neill and uber famous, teen heart throb, movie star Graham Larkin. For several months, the two get to know each other through exchanged e-mails, neither one divulging his or her true identity. But when Graham manages to persuade the producers of his next movie to film in Ellie’s coastal Maine town, he can’t resist the urge to find the girl who’s come to mean so much to him.
Ellie can hardly believe that her mystery e-mail pal is none other than super star Graham Larkin. While she struggles to come to terms with the reality, she can’t help but be charmed by the real guy as much as she had been by his e-mails. The two know that they have something special. However, Ellie is hiding a big secret, one that would cause a lot of problems and pain if it were to ever be made public. Since Graham is constantly hounded by paparazzi, Ellie isn’t sure that being with him is the smartest thing, even though she likes him a lot. As the two try to work out some way they can be together yet keep Ellie out of the spotlight, things get out of control.
Potential Points of Concern:
Ellie is the illegitimate daughter of a highly successful politician who was married at the time of her conception. Ellie’s mother has moved them to the tiny Maine town so that the scandal that surrounded the affair will go away.
Graham’s parents have distanced themselves from him ever since he became famous. He spends much of his time alone in a large house, with little family support.
Graham punches a photographer when the guy takes pictures of him and Ellie and will not leave them alone.
Graham “borrows” a boat so that he and Ellie can travel to a nearby town and see Ellie’s father. He doesn’t tell anyone he’s taken the boat.
Age Appropriateness: 13 +