Light Reading and Quick Thoughts: Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Friday, August 2, 2013


(Photo credit)
Having read and loved Raina Telgemeier's Drama, I was eager to read her Smile, which was really the only other book of hers that I'd heard about. (Imagine my wonder though when I discovered today that she has a whole series under her name - The Baby-Sitters Club, which luckily, my local library has the whole set of!) As soon as I finished Drama, I requested Smile from PaperBackSwap. I received my copy last night and devoured it in two sittings, and that too only because I had to step out on an errand.

Smile has every bit the same style of fun graphics that I loved the most about Drama. While Drama was fiction, Smile is a graphic memoir. When Raina was in sixth-grade, she tripped near her porch when racing with her friends and broke her two front teeth. One of the teeth fell out while the other went all the way into her gums and lodged itself there. (Yes, I cringed heavily during this phase. A tooth getting pushed into the gums is a spooky thought.) This harrowing incident was going to send Raina on a four-year trip through the world of dentists, periodontists, and other different kinds of -dontists, enough to upset her a lot about her physical appearance. Considering that she is also entering the world of teenhood, the accident couldn't have come at a worse time.

Smile


Smile was a lot of fun to read, mainly because Telgemeier laces her story with humor. At the same time, it isn't hard to see how much the whole incident hurts her. It doesn't help that her friends love ridiculing her, not giving her the support that she craves. She also learns first-hand the effect of smiling at other people. However, I struggled with her narrating style. There were sudden pauses in the story that seemed very jarring to me and when I expected more explanations at certain points, none came. It wasn't too big a deal really - Telgemeier makes up for it with her awesome graphics that definitely articulate the book Raina's feelings and worries very well.

And now, I'm off to post this book back on PaperBackSwap and pick up her series.

3 comments:

AnneBennett said...

I see that smile won an award with E on the label. Do you know what that award is? I've never seen it before.

bermudaonion(Kathy) said...

I've been wanting to read this book too!

Athira / Aths said...

I think it's the Eisner award. I just read that the book won that award.