I loved this book, and I'm not a fan of self-help kinds of things but this book is far from that. It's a memoir, with bonuses. It's funny, draws you in, and most of all it's not anything like "poor me" but more of a "come with me and feel what I felt" kind of journey. Intimate, raw, and vulnerable. The pearls are parts that I'll go back to when I get kicked in the teeth :). Darah is a remarkable woman, and I'll be glad to read more when she's got more to share, personal or not.

Bethany Vedder

Words cannot express how timely and impacting Darah's book, Girl With The Crooked Smile, was to my life. I had just recently lost my husband due to brain cancer/tumor. Darah's trials mimicked mine in a way, and her resilience to not give in to the sadness, gave me encouragement. Most women my age have lived long enough to experience some of what she went through. By no fault of her own, to have to endure such hardships at a relatively young age is quite astounding! I was lured in by her clear and descriptive writing. She painted a wonderful picture of her life in such beautiful detail. Her positive outlook is refreshing, and her strength to keep going to see what is just over the horizon has inspired me to keep going as well. Thank you Darah!!

Lynne B.

I finished The Girl With the Crooked Smile on a weekend holiday and found it to be compelling. I could not help but be reminded of Al Capp's "Joe Btfsklk",the little guy who always was under an umbrella and grey skies. Darah lifts that umbrella and clears the skies. She is wonderfully expressive. Her attitude, mental composure and self-speak are amazing. The story line is almost impossible to personalize --who could possibly face her challenges and come out the other end with success??!! Her pearls of wisdom and rules for handling the moment -- no matter how difficult --are noteworthy. I will read anything she writes going forward.

Linda Brickman

Reading Darah’s book I was inspired by her strength and ability to handle devastating circumstances. As it turns out, toward the end of reading her book, my dad was tragically killed in an accident. I found the strength to cope with such a huge loss thanks to this inspiring book. I highly recommend anyone to read her amazing life story. Thank you for sharing your most intimate moments. Forever Grateful

Taimir Terrell

It is hard to believe you are not reading fiction while turning the pages of Ms. Zeledon's book. What the author endured and conquered is unheard of, though her ability to describe with gut-wrenching honesty and detail is nothing short of inspirational. This memoir encapsulates one woman's visceral reactions to life's toughest punches. Darah is candid and frank,as well as mighty and strong (though she boasts to be a mere 5 feet 1 inches tall). Her love for her family and will to survive bounces off the page. I read the book in 24 hours. It was that beautifully written. I highly recommend this book for reading groups and anyone who has questioned their ability to fight adversity. Darah gives you the pearls of wisdom for both. Bravo!


I read this book over the weekend and I am just floored. I'm absolutely amazed by the ability of the author to persevere through so much in such a short period of time. It is an easy book to read because you're both compelled to keep reading and see what happens as well as her writing style makes it so easy to read overall. If I ever need to take a sick day again, I will think about it differently. My definition of sick has been altered after reading this book and the events that Darah has lived through- it keeps/puts it all in perspective. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to read this book and get a glimpse of what the Girl with the Crooked Smile is all about.

N. Glantz

"Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. The book was extremely thought provoking on many levels. It really got me to think about the 'what ifs'. It was very grounding. It got me to examine my own chaos, and evaluate how I can do things differently. I was reminded that I need to be present in order to reframe the way I view everyday circumstances, both large and small. It even got me to question my faith and spirituality. You truly are an inspiration!

I have to tell you that your book almost single-handedly got me through the past few weeks...I was feeling a lot of anxiety recently and didn't know why, as I'm not an anxious person. Well, I had a few changes in medication that I take for my thyroid and for joint pain and I'm just finding out that it resulted in a serious reaction. I typically have normal blood pressure but, come to find out my pulse and blood pressure have been extremely high (resulting in this crazy anxiety, nausea, and feeling like I'm losing my mind). My ears have been ringing, my heart racing, etc. The only thing that I can think to do to get through those moments, especially the morning, has been to pick up your book and read. As I would lose myself in your story, I was able to ground myself enough to get out of bed and face the day. So, as bizarre as this may sound, thank you!" --Alisa M. Fliss

Alisa Fliss

Genuine, heartfelt, funny and warm.

Girl with the Crooked Smile is equal parts "force majeure" and "joi de vivre." While I purchased this for my wife, I picked it up one hot summer day while camping and found myself drawn into the author’s life and family. I read it cover to cover in one sitting!

Life altering and unforeseeable events are so integral to our human condition that our French brethren coined "force majeure," a phrase recognized even here in the land of Freedom Fries. Darah’s authorial license gave me more than a compelling summer read warmed by anecdotal humor and familiar love. Albeit tacitly acknowledge by me and other loving husbands, Darah penned us a provocative reminder of how important our support is to our wife. But more than anything, Darah’s written a genuine "joie de vivre" (joy of being alive) treatise.

Tom Jaeger

I finished Darah's amazing book and I am so glad to have had it! Our lives have been a roller coaster since my husband got sick and it is not over yet. But Darah's book has been so helpful!!!! Her pearls of wisdom apply in so many ways! I am going to copy down all those pearls on a list and keep it in my purse! This book is truly inspirational and Darah's pearls of wisdom are my saving grace right now as we go through such hard times.

Sheila B.

Girl With the Crooked Smile held me captivated. I read it in one day - could not put it down. Definitely heart-warming, inspiring and up-lifting. Would recommend this book to everyone, whether they have an "up" or a "down" story. It's the optimism, courage and passion for life that is the inspiration for all of us in coping with what life brings us.

Audrey R.

I love reading and usually only recommend books that I think are out of this world. In this case, before I do that (which I did), I need to express my feelings about it.

Your book simply changed my life. I am a person that, as many others, has gone through quite a lot, but saw it as sent from G-d, as part of living. Then, after your book, it simply put life in perspective and showed me that if someone had been through enough, it was you. But the way you come out after each fall, so positive, so gracefully, so humbly and with so much faith, you surely have much to teach all of us.

Darah, you taught me many lessons with your book and I really want to thank you, with all my heart. I hope G-d just gives you a safe and steady journey for you and your family since I think you have proven to HIM how to take all his tests with style. And above it all, still show determination, love, faith and willingness to continue fighting...

After saying all this, I loved, loved, loved your book, and being able to write to the author, makes me love it a bit more.

Thank you for writing it. It changed me.

Clodi Lalo

I'm convinced a Higher Power led me to Darah. After having a dream where I found a shirt with the name "Darah" embroidered into it, I figured it was a sign. Not sure if "Darah" was a person or place, I Googled the name and found Girl with the Crooked Smile. When I read about Darah and realized our similarities (I have 5 kids and am also from South Florida) I knew there was a reason for me to read this book. Although, I haven't experienced any of the tragic events that Darah did, I could see myself in her every day struggle to survive through another day. Our tribulations may be different but our will to persevere and save face for the sake of those who depend on us is strikingly similar. This book served as an inspiration for me to keep pushing for a better tomorrow even though today may not be as easy as I would like it to be. Thank you for writing it.

Nancy Piloto