Monday, January 11, 2021

#AmReading YA

This Will Be Funny Someday

Katie Henry
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
A girl walks into a bar… then onto a stage, and up to the mic.

Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself—in school, where her boyfriend does the talking for her, and at home, where it’s impossible to compete with her older siblings and high-powered parents—but when she accidentally walks into a stand-up comedy club and performs, the experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an aspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident, comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her group of friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene.

The only problem? Her new friends are college students—and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. Now Izzy, the dutiful daughter and model student, is sneaking out to perform stand-up with her comedy friends, and she can hardly remember all the lies she’s telling to keep her two lives separate.

Her controlling boyfriend is getting suspicious, and her former best friend knows there’s something going on. But Izzy loves comedy and this newfound freedom. As her two parallel lives collide—in the most hilarious of ways—Izzy must choose to either hide what she really wants and who she really is or, finally, truly stand up for herself.
Isabel had grown accustomed to keeping her thoughts to herself and trying not to rock the boat. As the outsider in her own family, she was always being cutoff or ignored. After stumbling into an open mic, she might have finally discovered her voice via standup comedy, but would she be able to find her way out of her tangled web of lies. 

This is my third Katie Henry book, and once again, it was a hit. Henry never shies away from tough topics, but she always tackles them in such an interesting and thought provoking way. What stands out is that I am always left with something to think about when I finish one of Henry's books. 

Five things I LOVED about this book!
  1. Isabel was a character I wanted to hug and go to bat for. Yes, she let a misunderstanding turn into a lie, but she never meant to hurt anyone. She just wanted to be a part of this world that had offered her an escape from her own. Because of how well Henry captured Isabel's loneliness, I forgave her poor decisions, I even cheered her on, though I knew she would have to face the consequences at some point. 
  2. Comedy was king in this book. It was fantastic the way Henry wove the "tutorial" through the actual open mics. From writing the set to shutting down a heckler, I got to read the how-to and see it put into action. Issues in comedy were addressed as well. I had previously read other books, where the issues women faced in comedy had been explored, but Henry went further and explored the challenges faced by comedians of color as well. 
  3. Friendship was also an important part of this story. Isabel had been feeling left out by her family and isolated at school, and to have these three college aged comedians welcome her into their world with open arms was a big deal. Isabel was also trying to rebuild a relationship she let crumble, and needless to say, I had my fingers crossed she could mend that bridge and any others she damaged along the way. 
  4. It was about finding her voice. Isabel had lost herself in an abusive relationship and trying so hard to be "the good child". Watching her rediscover herself via comedy, via this awesome group of friends was a joy for me, and reminded me that everyone needs an outlet, where they can express themselves. 
  5. This book explored so much and did so with a lot of heart and a touch of humor. I especially liked the way Henry tackled Isabel's romantic relationship. It's important to show both healthy and unhealthy relationships in stories. 
This was quite a journey! It was funny, heartfelt, and honest. It was about growing up, finding your voice, being seen, and making a place for yourself in this world. I absolutely adored meeting Isabel and cannot wait for everyone else to make her acquaintance. 

You Have a Match

Emma Lord
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord's You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby's growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
Abby signed up for a DNA test to support Leo, her unrequited love and best friend, as he searched for a connection to his biological family. Little did she know she would find a match. Abby and her newly found sister were determined to get to the bottom of this "situation" and figure out the whole story before their parents discovered what they were up to. 

Lord's debut, Tweet Cute, was a tremendous hit for me, and I was chomping at the bit to read more from her. Needless to say, she once again delighted me, and here are some of the things I loved about You Have a Match

The setting was one of my favorites! Sadly, I didn't get to attend sleep away camp as a kid, but I adore a camp setting. There's just something about being outdoors, enjoying nature, and let me tell you, Lord had our cast get into some fine messes as they tackled the great outdoors. This setting also lends itself to fun camp hijinks, and yep, you guessed it, there was some of that too. 

I thought Lord assembled a rather fantastic cast as well. They each had something unique and interesting about them, and the dialog between them was top notch. The banter was so snappy and witty. I just couldn't get enough of it. Lots of smiling, snickering, and laughter from me. 

I won't lie, I was really eager to find out why Abby's parents gave Savvy up for adoption. The whole truth of the situation came out slowly, and parts were really heartbreaking. But, it was beautiful seeing all parties involved trying to build something from this "reunion". I especially liked seeing Savanah and Abby bond. It was not an easy road to understanding each other, as they seemed like polar opposites, but the summer was one of learning and growing for all, especially Abby. She gained a new perspective, which even extended to how she saw herself, and I felt that it really propelled her forward. 

The heart of this story was the bond that formed between these two new sisters, but it was also about family, friendship, and more. A lively cast of characters combined with a multitude of fun and touching moments PLUS a fabulous ending left me with a warm heart and a big stupid grin on my face.  


**ARCs received in exchange for honest reviews.

Did you ever go to summer camp?
Let us know in the comments!

22 comments:

  1. I like and I feel for Izzy in This Will be Funny Someday. From your review, there is so much happening in this book, but Henry is a skilled author that pulls it all off.

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    1. It never felt like there was a lot going on though, which is always a good thing. I am really solidified as a Henry fan at this point.

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  2. I'm excited to read the new Emma Lord. I love that it focuses on the bond between the two sisters. It sounds really good!

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    1. It was cute. When I read Lord's books, I feel like I am watching The Gilmore Girls, which is a wonderful thing for me. It was quite an interesting situation she created in this book, and the results were very sweet.

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  3. I like the sound of You Have a Match. What a shocking discovery to make!

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    1. The full story was even more surprising. Definitely an interesting premise.

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  4. My soft spot for books about sisters makes me really want to get You Have a Match now. And now everything else that sounds good about this just feels like a good plus.

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    1. It was fun watching these two very different young women form a bond. It was fun and had heart. My sweet spot.

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  5. You enjoyed You Have a Match more than I did. I liked how it started and how everything came out, but the middle was a little more boring to me than I was expecting. It could have been my mood. Everyone else seems to love it. Great review.

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    1. I vibe well with Lord's humor, and as long as I am entertained, I am a happy reader. I was also really curious to get the whole story, so I was invested on reading further.

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  6. You find great YA and contemporary reads! I'm so glad both of these books were winners.

    Happy Monday!

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    1. Both were authors I have enjoyed in the past, so I wasn't that surprised, but I was happy about it

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  7. I never went to camp as a kid, either, so the setting on You Have a Match is really appealing, and watching the two sisters get to know each other sounds fun, too!

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    1. I did volunteer at Girl Scout day camp and did some overnights, but I always dreamed of going to camp as a kid, since I lived in a city.

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  8. I am almost done with You Have a Match and am enjoying it. I am quite curious what else we will learn before the book draws to a close. This Will Be Funny Someday sounds wonderful!

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    1. The adults had an interesting backstory in Match, but I was happy with the way it all worked out

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  9. Awww, we're review twins today with Emma Lord's new book. It really was just such an all around lovely and emotional read and I loved Lord's writing. I had actually forgotten until I read this one, that I still have Tweet Cute sitting on my kindle so I really need to read that one soon.

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    1. If you liked Match, I think you would LOVE Tweet Cute. That book made my face hurt from smiling too much

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  10. I have Tweet Cute on my tbr and it sounds like I need to add You Have a Match to it too! I went to 6th grade camp with our whole school district, along with a few other districts, and it was one of the highlights of my childhood moments with friends. It was such an amazing experience and it even forced me to try foods that I didn't like at the time, tomato soup, that then I loved lol. Fabulous reviews!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. I liked Tweet Cute a bit more than the new one, but both were fun and cute. Fun! I only experienced camp as an adult volunteer and it was mostly day camp. I love tomato soup too

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  11. I've been seeing some really positive reviews for You Have a Match. The premise is so intriguing and I can't imagine the range of emotions that Abby must have went through. And it sure sounds like that ending delivered!

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    1. Lord's books are fun and also make you warm and fuzzy. Entertaining and enjoyable.

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