Smile by Raina Telgemeier

(After writing up the review for Sisters, I see that I never did a post for Smile! So here’s what I said on Goodreads.)
smileThis book was huge the year it came out and somehow I never read it even though every single YA person I know loved it. And with good reason! I loved this. Strangely, I felt like I could relate both to the awkward middle school protagonist AND her mother (I guess I’ve reached a certain age?) This was touching, moving, and completely realistic (as it should be given that it’s a memoir.) That delicate border of 12 going into 13 was heartbreakingly relatable

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

sistersThis is the sequel to Smile, and just as heartfelt. This time the focus is on Raina’s relationship with her sister Amara, specifically during a long family road trip to Colorado.  Although it covers some sensitive stuff, like the family’s growing pains in a small apartment, sibling rivalry, and parental woes, it actually didn’t feel as heavy as Smile.  I couldn’t quite place where this fit in chronologically with Smile, but Raina had braces in it so it is in that timeline.
I loved the road trip details, but for me the big standout is the snake story. Given that I am terrified of snakes and the drawings of Raina with giant terrified eyes is pretty much me.

Another winning book by Telgemeier. I’d read anything she writes & draws-she perfectly captures the sweet and sour feelings of adolescence.