Publisher: Dutton Books
Published: March 2016
An honest and captivating memoir of the author’s childhood struggles as a result of a brain tumor, only discovered following a near-fatal car accident.
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 riveting 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 usually don’t read memoirs or biographies, because I’m not very interested in other peoples lives. I prefer the fantasy world and science fiction stories. However, when I read the synopsis of All Better Now, I got really intrigued by the fact that Emily has had the ‘luck’ of being hit by a car, to be saved from her benign brain tumor.
The book started out somewhat confusing, because it is written from the point of view of Emily at a young age. She keeps having tantrums and she is often angry, but she doesn’t understand why. You can see that it’s very frustrating for a young girl to be the outsider at school, to be mocked at and (very heartbreaking), getting taken advantage of by ‘so called’ friends. I admired that Emily could distinguish between real interest from people and the fake interest.
When the imaginary friend starts to write letters, it gets a little strange. Especially when some of the stories seem so real, you start to doubt if the friend is still imaginary or that he is somehow real. The second part of the book was even better to read. Probably due to the fact that the tumor was removed and Emily had a little better perspective of the world. I couldn’t help but marvel about Emily’s endurance during all of what she went through. With self mockery: I’m the lucky-girl-because-I -got-hit-by-a-car and perseverance, she builds up her life. Dealing with the lack of use of her hand and the Whoo-head and just keep going.
So, my utmost respect for Emily Wing Smith and four stars for this book (I received an ARC from FirstToRead).