On our sojourn down to Seattle for ALAMW earlier this year, we tried to stay for the Monday Hall opening…when the publishers give away all of their display copies! But we had to get back to Vancouver for various work and volunteer obligations. Except the nice people at the Little Brown booth had told me they would be giving out This Is What Happy Looks at Nine AM on Monday.
I needed this book. So, we decided we had enough time to be in the Exhibit Hall for half an hour. When doors opened, I went straight for Little Brown.
It wasn’t there.
I almost lost my cool. And I couldn’t ASK anyone about it because I am terminally shy and asking would require a lot of effort and it was early, and for some reason I had apple cider instead of tea at the cafe we stopped at, so I wasn’t feeling human yet. So, I went back out into the lobby area and watched that days episode of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries so that I didn’t have to wait the three hour drive home wondering what had happened.
Then I went back into the Exhibits, did a last check to see if there was anything I wanted (there wasn’t) and went looking for my people.
AND LITTLE BROWN HAD PUT IT OUT!!!!!
I grabbed a copy, grabbed my friends, got in our EPIC VAN OF TRAVEL AND BOOKS, and read 85% of the book on the drive home. I think I looked up when we crossed the border. Mostly because we worried about explaining that, yes, we’re bringing back books, but we didn’t actually spend any MONEY on them.
And then I finished the book after a nap. AND IT WAS SO GOOD AND CUTE AND ADORABLE AND I LOVED IT SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO MUCH!!!
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?
What I loved most about this book, as well as The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, is that on the surface they seem like fun, fluffy, romantic, fast reads. And to some degree they are. But they have these serious issues going on in the background of all the fluffy love.
I love that the book wasn’t about Graham realizing he didn’t want to be a famous actor. You could tell that he enjoyed acting and wanted to keep doing it, even if he didn’t know what direction he wanted to go in. He was lonely and unhappy, but it wasn’t about his job. It was about his, well, his aloneness.
Everything he said about his family was so…sad and poignant. I think that situation affected me more than any of the others in the book. Including the main romantic story line. It was just so sad how being successful put such a wedge in their family.
And Ellie! I loved her confusion and confliction. How she misunderstood what she really wanted to get out of…well, out of a certain encounter that she has. I loved her relationship with her mother and determination and how much she loved her dog.
When the book gets going after the initial pages of emails (which were fabulous) it looked like it was going to be a classic case of mistaken identity and I was worried. I don’t really like mistaken identity stories. But then IT WASN’T! The mistaken identity was cleared up quickly and the story became about these two strangers/not strangers trying to find in real life the connection that they had forged online.
Plus work out why the were unhappy. I really liked that part of it. How the growth of their relationship was really about them discovering themselves with each others help and discovering what they could live with and what they couldn’t.
Not all of their problems were wrapped up in the end especially with…well, with the different paths their lives were taking but I liked that too. I like that neither gave up their passions to be together but that they still wanted to be together, whatever that would look like. After all, their relationship started out long distance so at least we know they have that covered.
Much like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I read this book hoping for a fun story, a cute pig, and good romance. And much like Probability, I got that and so much more.
Except for the pig. You never get to meet Wilbur. My one and only disappointment. Though, you can read this SUPER AWESOME INTERVIEW WITH WILBUR.