Reviews

We Are All So Good at Smiling by Amber McBride

purplepenning's review

Go to review page

emotional hopeful mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

Oof. I'm going to need a beat to process this one. My initial response is: ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ I'm so glad this book exists and I can see how it might work especially well for teenagers. But it's doing just a few too many things at once for my tastes. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

tangleroot_eli's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional hopeful sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
A magical realism adventure that's also an allegory for depression. A few notes don't resonate with me, but overall, what a symphony.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

keishamae85's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous challenging emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

alisonhori's review

Go to review page

3.0

I am truly not sure how to rate this book. I am generally more moved by story than by prose or poetry. I listened to the audiobook of this which has music and all kinds of stuff going on and overall, I just felt like there was so much going on with this whole story. Some of it reasonated and was beautiful...most did not reasonate for me. There were bits that really struck a cord and then some parts were all over the place and overall, though it was short, I was happy when it was over. Overall, I didn't feel like I got a real glimpse into the depth of clinical depression so I guess that made the book overall less upseting to read but also less meaningful.

ckillion's review

Go to review page

challenging emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

sel21's review

Go to review page

dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

daniellereadslikealot_'s review

Go to review page

dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

This is a complicated one to rate. A novel in verse, We Are All So Good At Smiling uses fairy tale metaphors for this story of mental illness, trauma and eventually, healing. Theo writing is certainly lush and lyrical and as a fairy tale lover myself, I enjoyed seeing the different stories used. I did think, at times, the author focused more on putting in more prose and fairy tales than giving more meat to the story. The story is a little vague and confusing at first and things do become more clear as it progresses, but the ending was a little frustrating as it cleared some things up and then also left no closure or resolution for other plot points. I loved the authorโ€™s note at the end as she talked about her own struggles with childhood trauma and mental illness and how she found solace in fairy tales. I will say, there were a few times I thought the book veered very closely into romanticizing mental illness, but I do think a big part of that is the fairy tale vibe and it being a novel in verse which always feels a bit more romantic of a writing style. All in all, this was a beautifully written story, but it did miss a few marks for me. 
CW: mental illness, mentions of self harm, suicidal ideation, racism, bullying, child death

skan's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

carleedb's review

Go to review page

hopeful reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

wondering_wildflower's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.75