Review: All Better Now by Emily Wing Smith

25776223Title: All Better Now

Author: Emily Wing Smith

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I ask myself: how am I living still?
And how I ask it depends on the day.

All her life, Emily has felt different from other kids. Between therapist visits, sudden uncontrollable bursts of anger, and unexplained episodes of dizziness and loss of coordination, things have always felt not right. For years, her only escape was through the stories she’d craft about herself and the world around her. But it isn’t until a near-fatal accident when she’s twelve years old that Emily and her family discover the truth: a grapefruit sized benign brain tumor at the base of her skull.

In turns candid, angry, and beautiful, Emily Wing Smith’s captivating memoir chronicles her struggles with both mental and physical disabilities during her childhood, the devastating accident that may have saved her life, and the means by which she coped with it all: writing.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin First Reads in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

All Better Now is a memoir that follows the life of a young girl with many physical and mental issues. Ever since she was very young, Emily has suffered with anxiety, constant headaches, poor eyesight, outbursts, and many other issues. When she is hit by a car, the doctors find that she has a tumor located in her brain. While Emily believes that the brain tumor was the real reason for all her issues, she soon learns that there are still obstacles she must learn to overcome.

Each chapter is structured as if the author plucked out an experience or memory from her life. Most of the experiences/memories were significant, whereas some of the experiences/memories seemed random. Clearly, the experiences/memories were not random, as the author took her time to include them in her book, but they could seem quite random to the reader.

This is an interesting read and I did enjoyed watching all the obstacles that Emily overcame. However, I felt extremely underwhelmed when reading this story. Yes, this young child suffered with mental and physical challenges. Yes, this young child had quite a few horrific experiences that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, young or old. Yet I never connected with the author on an emotional level and I believe that is what leaves me feeling rather blasé about this book.

If this book interests you in the least bit, I suggest giving it a try. I am definitely in the minority when it comes to a lower rating on this book, as many other readers have enjoyed this book.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Even as a child, Emily Wing Smith had overly thick eyebrows, a passion for writing, and a tendency toward attending odd schools. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when she graduated first with a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and later with an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. It’s also no real shocker that she spends too much money on eyebrow waxing.

Emily lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, where she writes, bakes chocolate chip cookies, and occasionally substitutes at her old high school (which hasn’t gotten any less odd).

You can find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her website.


One thought on “Review: All Better Now by Emily Wing Smith

  1. I read this also and yours is the first blog review I’ve seen (I reviewed it on GR but not the blog.) I felt weird critiquing a memoir, because it’s someone’s life, but there are still authorial choices, so…. I agree with you. I felt this book spent too much time on her childhood and not enough time explaining how she adjusted after her accident and surgery. It felt off balance to me.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics


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