Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: We Are All So Good At Smiling by Amber McBride

  • We Are All So Good At Smiling
  • Amber McBride
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Release Date: January 10, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250780386

Whimsy is back in the hospital to treat her ongoing clinical depression. This time proves different and life changing when she meets another patient, a boy named Faerry. She realizes they both share magic, a fear of the forest, and a dark forgotten secret.

Amber McBride’s novel, written in verse, is lyrical and beautiful. She deftly handles the subject matters of depression and loss through magic and fairy tales. The language beautifully captures the angst and hope of adolescence. While written in verse, it feels more about the journey than the destination as the reader navigates Whimsy and Faerry’s realizations.

This title will resonate with any teen reader who loves magic, novels in verse, or is looking for creative titles dealing with mental health, bullying, or grief. Recommend this title to readers who enjoyed Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo or Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi.

-Gia Ruiz

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 2, 2022
Release Date: October 18, 2022
Release Date: January 31, 2022
Release Date: January 3, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
The Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: