First Lines: On the first day of September, the world went dark.
This was the last of my YA contemporary romance run of my library books. (And next up are quite a lot of more paranormal-type books.) I saved this for last because I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I really enjoyed The Probability of Love at First Sight, but I felt that This Is What Happy Looks Like missed the mark. So I wasn’t sure how this one would go.
Lucy and Owen never would have met if the power hadn’t gone out through the city. Stuck in an elevator between the tenth and eleventh floor, they strike up a conversation as they wait to be rescued…but the conversation doesn’t stop there. They spend the rest of the night talking and discovering what NYC looks like in the dark. Once the power is restored, reality comes crashing in. Lucy is moving to Edinburgh with her family and Owen heads out west with his father. The only things that keep them connected are postcards and occasional emails while they faintly hope that they could someday be reunited. But what if when they see each other again, it isn’t like they’re hoping?
For me, this book fell just onto the side of “miss.” It wasn’t the winner I was hoping it would be. It had its cute moments, but it just never all came together.
I’ll start with some of the things I found cute. The initial chapters as Lucy and Owen get to know each other. That’s pretty cute. Also, I was a big fan of all the traveling throughout the story. Between the two of them, they visit something like 10 different cities and countries. With Lucy being out of the country, she gets to experience some culture shock, which I find a lot of fun to read about. Is that weird of me?
But one of the biggest problems I had was that I never really connected with either Lucy or Owen. I related to each of them in different ways, like I understood Lucy having only brothers for siblings. Me too. Or Owen’s fascination with astrology. Me too. But for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into the mind or emotions of either one.
It’s not that Smith can’t write relatable characters. Because I totally fell for Liam and Paisley, two of the minor characters in this book. They were fabulous, even though we actually see very little of either one. So it’s not that relatable characters aren’t there, but I just didn’t buy into Lucy and Owen.
Which leads me to big problem #2: I didn’t believe the love story. Lucy and Owen have one night together talking and that’s basically it before they move to opposite sides of the world, yet they spend so much time pining and moping over the other one. Look, I believe in love at first sight (if my cookie addiction is any indication of that). I’ve had those nights where I talked to someone who seemed really special for hours and didn’t see them again after that. But I didn’t spend months wondering what they were doing or where they were. It just seemed…a bit creepy, I guess. Stalkerish? Something like that.
Overall, it had cute moments, but it just didn’t work for me. I never found my “in” with the characters.