I've noticed a lot of published novels using sentences like this:
She smiled as if she were happy.
This sentence would be perfectly fine if the individual being discussed wasn't happy. Such as:
She smiled as if she was happy, but I knew the truth - behind those bright eyes burned hatred.
It's not accurate if the context is this:
I gave the little girl a lollipop. She squealed and smiled as if she was happy.
The reason it's not correct is because words like "as if" or "like" are comparing two things, but saying those two things aren't the same. So she may smile similarly to how she'd smile if she was happy (according to this sentence), but she's not happy.
So instead, it should be either changed to . . .
She smiled because she was happy. (Because she IS happy. It's not "like" she's happy. She truly is happy.)
Or even better . . .
Because writing about someone's facial expressions without actually saying the emotion behind them is a good way to show and not tell emotions.
I hope that makes sense. It's just a little pet peeve of mine that's been showing up in a lot of novels.