Quotes from This Is What Happy Looks Like

Jennifer E. Smith ·  404 pages

Rating: (44.7K votes)


“Exactly. How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”
“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“From: EONeill22@hotmail.com
Sent: Saturday, June 8, 2013 1:18 PM
To: GDL824@yahoo.com
Subject: what happy looks like
Sunrises over the harbor. Ice cream on a hot day. The sound of the 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.

What does it look like to you?”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Childhood memories were like airplane luggage; no matter how far you were traveling or how long you needed them to last, you were only ever allowed two bags. And while those bags might hold a few hazy recollections—a diner with a jukebox at the table, being pushed on a swing set, the way it felt to be picked up and spun around—it didn’t seem enough to last a whole lifetime.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“I never said I was good,” he told her, taking the pen. “Just that I liked doing it.”
“That’s the best kind of good.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Maybe growing up was really nothing more than growing away: from your old life, from your old self, from all those things that kept you tethered to your past.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like



“It was exactly as he’d thought it would be, like the first time and the millionth time all at once, like being wide awake, like losing his balance. Only this time, it wasn’t just him; this time, they were losing their balance together.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Nothing's all that scary if you can see it coming.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Looks like the wrong kind of bait can get you the right kind of fish.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“No matter how long it’s been or how far you’ve drifted, no matter how unknowable you might be, there were at least two people in the world whose job it was to see you, to find you, to recognize you and reel you back in. No matter what.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“I'm not sure I'm quite finished saying hello yet.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like



“It seemed to Ellie that you could tell a lot about someone by the way they carried a secret—by how safe they kept it, how soon they told, the way they acted when they were trying to keep it from spilling out.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“He hadn't realized how much it could mean, having someone to talk to like that; he hadn't realized that it could be a kind of lifeline, and that without it, there would be nobody to save you if you started to drown.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“The geography of the thing wasn’t the point; it didn’t matter where they were: there was still too much space between them.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Maybe there was something safe in the not knowing, something that made it feel like all the mundane questions you were usually required to ask were not all that important after all.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Salutations," he said, and she smiled.
"Good morning."
"Yeah," he said. "It really is.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like



“But from where he was standing, he could see her perfectly: the wavy red hair and the oversize T-shirt with a smiling lobster on the front, the way her legs were tucked up beneath her on the swing, and the freckles across her nose. He could see her, and it was just like he’d thought. It was just like being punched in the stomach.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“The morning felt like a mixing bowl just waiting for its ingredients; there was a sense of possibility to it, a promise of something more to come.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“So that means your mom's okay with everything?"
"She will be," Ellie said. "We both will."
Graham nodded. "I'm glad."
"She took it better than expected. If you'd asked me yesterday, I would've guessed I'd be locked in my room tonight."
He waved this away. "I'd have to come to rescue you," he told her. "I might not have a white horse, but I do have a very portly pig."
"How romantic," Ellie said.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“He’d mistaken loneliness for independence, and had become so good at closing himself off from the world that it took an e-mail from Ellie to remind him what it was like to have a real conversation.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“He'd thought this was the start of something. But clearly she'd changed her mind, and he felt stunned by how quickly the whole thing had unraveled, the end coming before the beginning really even had a chance to begin. His poor telescope heart - that fragile, precious thing - would have probably been better left in the box.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like



“Together they waited for the sky to flip over like the turning of a page, the bone-colored moon giving way to a brilliant sun, the promise of a new day, and Ellie was surprised to find herself thinking of the little town in France, the one with all the miracles. She could only hope that in a place filled with so many wonders, it would have still been possible to appreciate something as remarkable and ordinary as all this.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“And like every ending, it was a strange mix of exuberance and sorrow.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“He was surprised to find how much he missed writing to her. For so many months, she'd been the person on the other end of all his musings, and now she was gone and his thoughts were left buzzing around inside his head like frantic fireflies in a jar. He hadn't realized how much it could mean, having someone to talk to like that; he hadn't realized that it could be a kind of lifeline, and that without it, there would be nobody to save you if you started to drown.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“How are you supposed to find what you’re looking for if you’re not convinced it’s even out there?”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Now it was like her brain was split in two. One half understood that the person writing to her was just down the street. But the other half still couldn't let go of the more general idea of him, the comforting and mysterious stranger with whom she could talk about anything. His sudden presence here had thrown her wildly off balance, and even as she noticed--with a little thrill--that a new email from him had indeed arrived, there was something disconcerting about it.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like



“It had always been the two of them through everything -every adventure and every expedition- and now there was this awful distance between them, and she tried not to think about all the stories they were missing out on, all the litle moments and bigger milestones that had happened over the past few weeks without the other knowing”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“The end coming before the beginning really even had a chance to begin.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“She could only hope that in a place filled with so many wonders, it would have still been possible to appreciate something as remarkable and ordinary as all this.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“And though it seemed odd that she still didn't know his name, something kept her from asking. Those two little words, she knew, would inevitably set off a chain reaction: first Google, then Facebook, then Twitter, and on and on, mining the twists and turns of the internet until all the mystery had been wrung out of the thing.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like


“Maybe they were nothing more than a footnote.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, quote from This Is What Happy Looks Like



About the author

Jennifer E. Smith
Born place: Chicago, IL, The United States
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“I want you to be more than what I was and will ever be,”
― Durjoy Datta, quote from Our Impossible Love


“If one's different, one's bound to be lonely.”
― Aldous Huxley, quote from Uljas uusi maailma


“MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 Port St. Lucie, Florida First impressions are important, and in his first full meeting with us as the Mets manager, Terry Collins makes a really good one. We are in a conference room in Digital Domain Park. Everybody is there—Sandy Alderson, the new general manager, his assistants, the players, the coaches, the trainers, the clubhouse manager, and even our two cooks. We go around the room and introduce ourselves. Sandy speaks first. “The expectations for this club outside of this room are very low,” he says. “I know you guys expect more of yourself, and I expect more of you too.”Sandy is not a rah-rah guy, and his approach is low-key but very compelling. “The goal of any professional sports franchise is to win, and that’s why we’re here.” When he’s done, he turns the floor over to Terry, who says, “Sandy stole my speech.” Everybody laughs. Terry has no notes. He speaks from the heart. I’ve heard a lot of these first-day speeches, and believe me, it’s more common than not for them to seem formulaic, straight off boilerplate. This is not like that at all. Terry is intense, fiery, and enthusiastic. I never get the feeling he is saying things for effect. It seems so authentic, the way he makes contact with everybody in the room and jacks up the decibel level. Even when he dabbles in clichés—“We’re going to do things the right way”—you can’t help but feel his passion and energy. Terry is a small man and doesn’t have an imposing presence when you first see him, but he is powerful nonetheless. The essence of his talk is simple: “Everybody says we’re going to stink. I hear it over and over. I think they’ve got it all wrong. You want to come along as we prove them all wrong?” Terry talks for twenty minutes or so, and by the time he is done, all I can think of is: This is a guy I’m really going to enjoy playing for. CHAPTER THREE FAITH ON WALNUT Some kids are fighters. Other kids are scrappers. I am a scrapper. I spend two extremely scrappy years—fifth and sixth grades—at St. Edward School, and the trend continues into the seventh grade at Wright Middle School, where the kids are bigger and stronger than me, but not too many have less regard for their bodies. I don’t worry about pain or getting hit or getting knocked down. I just get back up and come back at you like a boomerang. My goal when I fight is simple: I want to give more than I receive. This doesn’t make me proud. It’s just what it takes to survive, and in seventh grade survival is what I’m all about. Fights aren’t an everyday occurrence in my neighborhood, but I seem to have more than my share of them. I fight to defend myself, to right a wrong, or to settle a dispute. I’m not picky. I figure out early that in a school where smoke billows out of the bathroom and pregnant girls walk the hallways, you don’t want people thinking you are wimpy. So I learn to act tough when I need to, and sometimes when I don’t need to—which gets me into trouble. In the lunchroom one day, I get up from my seat. You have assigned seats at Wright at lunchtime, and strict rules about leaving them, the school’s effort to prevent the cafeteria from turning into WrestleMania. But I need to get a homework assignment from a classmate, so I get up and walk across the lunchroom. A monitor corrals me and says, Get back to your seat. He’s kind of nasty about it. I don’t appreciate his tone. I cuss under my breath. Not loud, not a bad cussword, but an audible obscenity, no doubt. Now he doesn’t appreciate my tone. Come with me, young man. You are going to regret your garbage mouth. He’s right—I am going to regret it—because this is Tennessee in the mid-1980s and corporal punishment still rules the day. The monitor escorts me down to see Mr. Tinnon, the assistant principal in charge of paddling. He conveniently keeps the paddle by his desk.”
― quote from Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball


“No one could say it was my choice to kill the twins, any more than it was my decision to bring them into the world.”
― John Burnside, quote from The Dumb House


“Present us with a silver cup for something when you're a filthy rich lawyer, I dare say? Yes. You'll be a lawyer. Magnificent memory. Sense of logic, no imagination and no brains.”
― Jane Gardam, quote from Old Filth


Interesting books

The Exiled Queen
(37.9K)
The Exiled Queen
by Cinda Williams Chima
The Strain
(70.4K)
The Strain
by Guillermo del Toro
The Merchant of Death
(42.2K)
The Merchant of Deat...
by D.J. MacHale
Death in Venice and Other Tales
(17K)
Death in Venice and...
by Thomas Mann
A Little Life
(107.9K)
A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara
Danny the Champion of the World
(48.2K)
Danny the Champion o...
by Roald Dahl

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.