Jennifer's Reviews > Smile

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
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's review
Aug 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012reads, caudill2013, graphicnovel, kids, realistic, strongfemalecharacters, hornbookhonor
Read from August 06 to 10, 2012

I would have loved this when I was in upper grade school and junior high. As is, I still really enjoyed it although like many memoirs/non-fiction accounts the story wasn't quite as tightly constructed as fiction tends to be. Throughout, I kept thinking that Raina's friends kind of sucked and as the book went on I got angrier and angrier at them and wondered why Raina stuck with them. Looking back, I think I was inordinately lucky to have true friends from a very young age - it meant I missed out on a lot of the mean girl/bullying antics that seem to be so prevalent among girls. I mean, there were plenty of people who were mean to me (in junior high especially), but none of them were people I considered friends. Since I didn't have that experience, Raina staying friends with these girls who so clearly didn't respect her was hard for me to understand even though intellectually I know it happens all the time.

The dental procedures were actually pretty interesting as well as inducing several winces. It must have been horrible going through that crazy sequence of tooth traumas, but Telgemeier manages to convey that while balancing it out with plenty of humor. I'll be interested to read whatever she does next and I think this has a good shot at racking up a lot of the Caudill votes this year.

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