We Are All So Good At Smiling: Book Review

We Are All So Good At Smiling: Book Review

We Are All So Good At Smiling by Ambre McBride was such a short but powerful read. Content warning: suicide, mental health, grief.

We Are All So Good At Smiling by Amber McBride

Whimsy is a hoodoo witch coping with so much grief and sorrow in her life. She relies on her magic and fairy tales to get her through. We open the novel with her being taken from these things and put in a hospital. There she meets Fairy, a fae with wings like the moon and a garden tattooed across his body. They are drawn to each other. 

After they are released, they find out that they go to the same school and share a connection outside of what either of them are aware of. And they are connected to the woods, which have been enchanted and cursed, but the only way out is through.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and it was amazing. I could tell this book was written in verse, and I don’t expect anything less from a book as magical as this one. I really liked the way music was incorporated throughout, and the narrator was great.

Fairy tales from around the world and mythical elements are a fresh and interesting way to talk about mental health struggles. We also get to see Black characters in this way, which I thought was really cool. We also get to see the intersections between race (and being the only one or one of few) and mental health. And the writing was just so beautiful all around. I appreciated a teen book about mental health that didn’t center the hospital experience and highlighted the internal journey of working through grief and sorrow.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, but with caution. Although it mentions grief and suicide, I didn’t think the content was too graphic, and it was appropriate for teen readers. This was the first book that made me cry in a long time. Five stars for sure!

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