Smile, by Raina Telgemeier

Smile cover
This autobio-graphic novel chronicles the toothy trials of Raina’s adolescence, during which she basically had her entire mouth reconstructed.

I loved it! She gets middle school girl relationships perfectly, the way a group of friends chooses one to pick on. They don’t even know they’re doing it, necessarily, but enough “just kidding!”s really hurt. Not to mention, of course, that this is the ideal book to put braces angst in perspective. It spans a number of years, promising that by the time you’re settled in high school, the teeth and the friends do get better.

The whole package — art and writing and dramedic tone — reminded me of Hope Larson’s Chiggers, which is high praise indeed.

(And if you also grew up in the late 80s, you will love the “period” touches. I had completely forgotten about Caboodles. I was shocked — shocked! — to learn that Raina Telgemeier graduated high school a year ahead of me.)

Also reviewed at: Lavender Lines (who also has fond memories of the Caboodle), Abby (the) Librarian, and Stacked

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2 Responses to Smile, by Raina Telgemeier

  1. Sam says:

    She did indeed do the BSC comics, which I haven’t read (despite my unhealthy pre-adolescent obsession with the BSC). I think you’d dig Smile, definitely.

    Mostly what surprised me is that Caboodle still exists, with new makeup kits that don’t have geometric shapes in turquoise and salmon all over them.

  2. Martini-Corona says:

    Aha! I knew Raina Telgemeier looked familiar — she did the Babysitter’s Club comic. So I guess it’s a graphic novel, then. [Goes back and rereads] Oh, that’s why you had the hyphen in “autobio-graphic.” Right! I will have to check this out. Perhaps I will buy it from Hub Comics, since they are experiencing hard times recently…

    Previous Roommate L owns a Caboodle. This surprises you… not at all.

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