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All Better Now: A Memoir


All Better Now: A Memoir

ALL BETTER NOW by Emily Wing Smith is a unique coming-of-age story in which the author shares her own experiences, which range from horrifying to funny to just straight up surprising. Though these occurrences are unique to the author, many of them are also relatable to readers, like the emotions she felt while going through all of this. Emily Wing Smith is the author of two other young adult novels containing the similar themes of love, loss and growing up. ALL BETTER NOW is a little more special, though, as it is a very personal story that the author herself can tell.

Emily Wing Smith had a hard childhood. She grew up in and out of therapy for her extreme anger and learning complications, and didn’t have a chance to interact much with her peers. Without going into much detail, many unfortunate things happened to her, including getting hit by a car, being diagnosed with a brain tumor, having to go through operations for said tumor and having to start life over after these incidents. It was extremely difficult for Emily to connect with others, because they didn’t understand what all she had been through, which I’m sure many teens or preteens can relate to.

"This is an inspiring book for all young adults who don’t believe in themselves or don’t think that they’ll be able to accomplish their goals..."

In addition to the physical hardships Emily faced, she went through a roller coaster of emotions, not unlike those of other teen girls. She made up a friend and a boyfriend in order to gain the approval of a girl at school. Emily struggled to maintain friendships throughout high school, but eventually found a group of friends who understood her. This is encouraging to teens who are struggling with friendships or relationships, because it shows that everything has a way of falling into place eventually, and that you don’t need to impress everyone to be happy. This is valuable information, because teenagers spend far too much time worrying about what others think of them, and Emily proves that it’s better to be happy with who you are than who others want you to be.

I would recommend this book to young adults primarily, because it is a story about growing up. It shows readers that no matter what life throws at them, they will get through it if they persevere and never give up. In the memoir, even after her accident and her multiple surgeries, Emily goes back to school, excels in her classes, and goes on to become a published author like she’d always dreamed of. This is an inspiring book for all young adults who don’t believe in themselves or don’t think that they’ll be able to accomplish their goals, and ensures them that if they put their minds to it, anything is possible.

Reviewed by Leanna R., Teen Board Member on March 2, 2016

All Better Now: A Memoir
by Emily Wing Smith

  • Publication Date: March 8, 2016
  • Genres: Nonfiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0525426248
  • ISBN-13: 9780525426240