‘Smile‘ begins and ends with Raina visiting the dentist. The novel is interspersed with recollections of frequent appointments she had with that dentist and every other form of dentist she, or the reader, could imagine. Despite these memories of her ever more complex and invasive oral surgery, Raina’s story is not entirely unique; she shares the same agonies of uncertainty and fear that every growing girl or boy suffers. Standing out, being isolated, not being seen as being good enough or being embarrassed, are overwhelming anxieties.
Raina Telgemeieir empathises in this warm, funny, appealing graphic novel. ‘Smile‘ won much acclaim and was highly successful in the United States. It is easy to see why.