Mundie Moms

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

By: Jennifer E Smith
Published by: Poppy (Little Brown)
Released on: April 2nd, 2013
Source: arc from publisher to review
5 Stars: I LOVED It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

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? 

Jennifer E. Smith is an author who knows how to capture my heart. Her writing engages me, her characters make me wish they were real, and her storytelling leaves me wanting more. In her newest release, This Is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer introduces me to believable characters with Ellie and Graham, she gave me a beautiful setting I wish I could go visit, and told me a story I could not get enough. I tried to pace myself with this book, but I couldn't help myself and devoured in one setting. 

There's just something about a Jennifer E Smith book that I can't get enough of. Her writing is simplistic, lovely, and has this feeling of comfort to it. Her books always satisfy my reading craving for well written, enjoyable book, so much so that her books sit one of my shelves that holds my "go-to" books. You know the type of books I'm talking about. The ones that ALWAYS satisfy that reading crave you get, when you're looking for something that's enjoyable, and all around fulfilling read.

I loved how Ellie and Graham's relationship was developed. These two couldn't be more opposite of each other, and yet they're so much a like. I loved both of them from the moment they're both introduced to the story. Everything about them felt realistic, including their email interactions, which I loved, down to their meeting in person, and their time together. The way their relationship was paced, was perfect. Not to mention all that happens surrounding them. Both characters are learning to make the best of situations they're in, trying to find their own unique places in the world. Okay not that Graham has to worry much about his place. 

Being a movie star affords Graham the things that Ellie can't easily get, but that never once goes to his head. I LOVED Graham for how grounded he is. Jennifer does a lovely job at complicating things with his movie star status and Ellie's quest for staying out of the lime light. That is for good reason, giving a secret about her mother's past that gets revealed within the story. What I loved about Ellie is her treating Graham like he was just a normal guy. These two together had this cute, almost shy like interaction in person, but email wise they were so much more open and relaxed. Slowly but surely they became much more open and relaxed around each other, well really Ellie became more relaxed around Graham. I adored Graham for his loving her more "normal" life style. Ellie too is a character who was so easy to like. 

This Is What Happy Looks Like is another fantastic Jennifer E Smith book. I enjoyed the character development and LOVED the romance element in this story. It was so perfectly paced. It was innocent, sweet, and the kind that is so satisfying as you're reading it, but after you're done with the book leaves you wanting more. It's a romance that's relatable and realistic. I loved it! If you're looking for "that perfect" read, I highly recommend picking up this book! It's a fabulous, clean cut read

EW's The Bane Chronicles Interview With Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan

EW is full of all sorts of goodies today. First we get a TMI Movie Still, than we get this.....

now they're sharing their interview about The Bane Chronicles with Cassie, Sarah and Maureen. Check it out here and read it below:

First thing’s first: How did you come up with the idea for The Bane Chronicles?
MAUREEN JOHNSON: We always have jokes about each other’s books, and I have my designs on several of Cassie’s characters. It started over a long series of jokes like about what we would do.
SARAH REES BRENNAN: I came in a little later. Maureen and Cassie were chatting about several different adventures that characters could have had. Then we were all in France together when we started telling Magnus stories to each other.
CASSANDRA CLARE: We’d all rented this house [in France], and it had one really big fancy room that we couldn’t possibly use. We were sort of gingerly sitting in there, and then we started making jokes about Magnus and what he would think of the room. Maureen had one about Magnus during the French Revolution. Sarah had her theories about why Magnus was really banned from Peru, and it sort of expanded. I said, “It’s really a shame that we couldn’t write these as a series of ongoing stories, because it’s not really a novel format. It’s more of a series of interconnected short stories.” That was when we first started talking about it seriously.
Why did you decide on 10 installments?
CLAREWe had the realization that the best home for a project like this was probably the Internet because it allows for extremely non-traditional publishing formats. Then we started to buckle down and talk about what the stories would be and how they would be written. Since there’s three of us and we’re writing each story — Maureen’s writing half, Sarah’s writing half, I’m writing half along — it seemed fair to split them five and five.
Each installment is written by just two of you. How did you decide who would write what?
BRENNAN: When we started talking about it, it became clear what we were most interested in. I’d be like, “Well what about the other Mortal characters? What about Raphael?” What if he and Magnus had a history? And sometimes the stories we planned to write take a dramatic turn. Cassie, Maureen, and I were just on tour together, and a lot of people were asking about the characters in The Infernal Devices. Cassie and I got to talking about it on the bus, and we’re like, “Well, this could be a Bane Chronicle and then we had to break the news to our editor that we had a different Bane Chronicle!
JOHNSONA lot of it did happen in that room in France, and it did feel like the right setting for this — the place to be doing this crazy project. We talked a lot about time periods because we had so many to choose from. We went in like it was a smorgasbord and said, “We have four or five hundred years of history to play with. What are some awesome settings since we can do anything? Where should we go?”
What can you tease about What Really Happened in Peru?
CLAREThere’s a dropped mention in one of the [Mortal Instrument] books that Magnus is banned from the entire country of Peru, and he never says why. So this is the story of… I don’t want to spoil Magnus’ banning! But it actually covers a lot of centuries of Magnus’ visits to Peru.
BRENNAN: I do not know an obscene amount about Peruvian history. So I’d be looking at it and find that in one century Peru had this huge piracy problem. Magnus and pirates, obviously! And in another century there were confidence tricksters going all around preying on travelers, so what if Magnus met a confidence trickster? That sort of thing.
It was recently announced that Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams will narrate the audiobook version. How did that come about?
BRENNAN: Jesse Williams is so amazing, so I feel super lucky to get him…. He’s too handsome! [Laughs]
CLARE: I was like, “Wow, too bad you can’t see him when he talks!” [Laughs] We gave Simon & Schuster a massive list of our favorite actors and people we really liked. We were like, “Well these are people we really like and think would be great.” The different stories have different moods and different styles. [Simon & Schuster] came back to us with a couple different people and one of them was Jesse…. I think it was Sarah’s idea of having a different narrator for each section. We didn’t want to position the narrator as Magnus telling the story. We wanted to position them each as a narrator telling the story about Magnus.
So each installment is going to have a different narrator? Do you know who else might participate?
CLARE: It’s still going to be switched out for each installment is my understanding. And I know people whose names we threw in the basket. I don’t know if they’re going to do it or not.
Who did you suggest? 
BRENNAN: Are we allowed to say?
CLARE: I guess we probably could. We can be like, “Hey call me!” We threw in a bunch of different people who we thought would have really great comic timing, like Alan Cumming. For the ones that are set in England, we were interested in having British readers, so we threw in John Barrowman since he has a nice British voice and has also played one of the more better-known bisexual male characters in media. We thought he could have some fun with Magnus and his romantic life.
BRENNAN: I don’t know if we’re going to get them.
CLARE: They’re short stories so it’s kind of nice. We can go out to people with pretty busy schedules and be like, it’s only four hours of your time. It’s not a huge commitment.
JOHNSON: Yeah, just come in for a morning!

The Bane Chronicles: What Really Happened in Peru COVER REVEAL

I think I just died a little! Have you guys seen EW's cover reveal for What Really Happened in Peru? No? Here it is:

I know! I need more of this cover. Seriously, it's MAGNUS, okay part of him. How many of you are still staring at this cover..... It's kind of hard not to. I love the little details on it, like his pin, and I'm pretty sure Sophie is loving his painted nails. TUESDAY is the day we find out what REALLY HAPPENED IN PERU! You can pre-order it NOW from Amazon & from iTunes, Barnes & Noble and more HERE.

If you guys know Cassie, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson, then you'll know that these three are going to most likely going to have our emotions running wild. I wouldn't put it past them to tease us, trick us, and totally toy with our emotions. On top of all that, I can not wait to find out what they have in store for us. I can only imagine the incredible story we're going to get from this trio of power house writers.

Look for the rest of the short stories to be released each month from now till the end of the year. The schedule of releases for books 2-10 is:

May 21st
June 18th
July 23rd
August 20th
September 17th
October 15th
November 19th
December 17th
December 31st

Oh sweet! 2013 will be going out with a bang. I can only imagine what we'll find out about Magnus in the last installment.

TMI Movie Still & TMI Cast Interview in this week's edition of EW

There's been a lot of exciting talk about this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly (which will be out on newsstands this Friday) because of this cover....

I can not wait for this movie! AND because our most anticipated movie of the year, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is also featured in it! Yes, EW has treated fans to yet another fabulous Shadowhunter goodie. Check out this movie still:

It's out Simon, Clary and Izzy (Robert Sheehand, Jemima West and Lily Collins). 

There's some great interview with the cast, and one of the things I loved was what Lily said about casting of Clary

"I really I did Clary justice, because I'm a fan too. I have high expectations of my literary heroines."

During WonderCon Cassie was quoted as saying that "Lily was Clary." 

Of Jace and the negative reaction Jamie got from his casting of Jace, he had this to say,

"You've effectivively been given a Bible. Life can be much easier if it's mapped out for you.

I had to sit back and assess why I was doing this role and it's because I love it."

Honestly, I have to say it takes more than just love to fill the role Jamie is. He is going to be AMAZING! Cassie too has said he is Jace! I totally believe that. I'm thrilled that Jamie has stepped into Jace's shows, and this is coming from someone who was anti-Jamie in the beginning. He has sold me and I truly believe he will be stellar in this role. 

Of the negativity surrounding Jamie's casting, Cassie had this to say,

"I know intellecutally when there's a really strong reaction about someone being cast, it's great, because it means people care. I've seen Jamie play Jace and he's perfect."