Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This Is What Happy Looks Like
After reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I immediately followed Jen E. Smith on Twitter and stalked her a bit, only to find that her next book was being released a few days later! And the publisher was running a competition to win a copy, all you had to do was send in a picture of your idea of what happy looks like. So I entered a picture of my adorable best friend and I on her birthday, laughing with flowers in our hair.
Totally won a copy of the book. Totally smiled all day when I got the email. TOTALLY screamed with joy in the post office when it arrived.
And the book was sooo lovely. I read it in a few hours, in my sparkly bed at sunset. I was hooked from the very beginning. The beginning is an exciting and captivating meet-cute, the kind I'm sure must have happened in real life somewhere! He typed the incorrect email address, and his email sends to her. She replies politely, and they start talking, in short bursts of quirky-adorable. Right from then, I felt like I was inside a Hugh Grant film.
She loves poetry, he draws cities. She has striking red hair, his eyes are stunningly blue. They become each other's escape, a place where they can be themselves because they knew each other's truth before they had a chance to be anything else. Ellie puts it so perfectly, 'Theirs was a partnership of details rather than facts. And the details were the best part.' I love the idea of knowing someone by the things that make them smile.
'He liked to draw buildings --high rises and brownstones and skyscrapers with rows upon rows of windows--and when he was anxious, he's sketch out entire cities. He played the guitar, but not well. He wanted to live in Colorado someday. The only thing he could cool was grilled cheese sandwiches He hates e-mailing most people, but not her.'
It's cinematic in it's romance and all the little moments made me smile so big. There are a couple of pages I bookmarked, specifically because the way its written makes you feel like you're inside a film, it's all fast paced or slow-motion gravitational pull, or that magic kind of blur.
It's a cute love story of chance and fame and small-town life, which also deals with family troubles and the risks we take for love. It made me dreamy for a small-town American life, and it made me realize I miss hotels and first dates. It will make you think about what makes you happy, and it will make you smile. It may also make you want to send emails to random address in the hopes that it's a charming celebrity..
'Good morning, E. Was there any better way to greet the day?'
'The whole thing was oddly surreal, and for a moment, Ellie could almost see the magic in it; she could almost understand why someone might fall under his spell.'
'The thought occurred to her with surprising force: He's sad.'
'But her favourite part of the shop was her collection of picture frames lining the shelves in the far back corner. They came in all shapes and colours and sizes, some of the silver and some of them wood, while others were made of sea glass or had delicate designs along the edges. And in each and every frame, instead of a glossy photograph, there was a poem.'
'So far, I heart Maine too.'
Ellie's 'Happy Looks Like' list:
Sunrises over the harbour. Ice cream on a hot day. The sound of waves down the street. The way my dog curls up next to me on the couch. Evening strolls. Great movies. Thunderstorms. A good cheeseburger. Fridays. Saturdays. Wednesdays, even. Sticking your toes in the water. Pajama pants. Flip-flops. Swimming. Poetry. The absence of smiley faces in an e-mail.
I've just started Follow me Down, and am currently obsessed with Headline's YA books. They have a really cute Facebook page/Pinterest board which you can follow here: