Here are reviews of two YA contemporary books I read last week. Both were pretty good and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a good read.
This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
“Shakespeare said that life was a tangled yarn, both good and bad together, And I think it’s true. But I also think life is moments. Big moments and little moments, and sometimes, they’re not the ones you thought they would be.”
First off this was a totally different story than what I was expecting, but luckily not in a bad way. It wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, but there were some really great funny moments. It is more of a very serious coming of age, or acceptance story than a comedy of errors.
Izzy was a really interesting main character. I have to say I have never run across another character with the same auditory processing disorder that I have, which was fun to see and made me relate to her that much quicker. But Izzy has issues too, mostly in her lack of confidence in herself. But man, does she grow in this book. And it was the stand up comedy that actually makes her stand up for herself and begin to make the right decisions in her life and some of that took a lot of guts.
The scenes with her very controlling boyfriend, Alex were the hardest part of this book. There were a couple of times I just wanted to scream at her to wise up and realize how he was manipulating her. Luckily she does eventually, and that scene is awesome.
The funny parts were definitely the stand up comedy sets that she does, and some of her one liners, (especially when Alex doesn’t get her jokes). It was really interesting to see how comics come up with their routines and have to work to make them funny. It was very instructive. Also, some of the more sleazier aspects of stand up and how comics can be put into a box, and how the audience can have certain expectations according to how the comic looks. Some very nicely done social commentary woven into the narrative.
If you are looking for a really funny book, this isn’t the one you want. If you are looking for a heartfelt coming of age story with some very funny moments woven into it, then this is the story you want to take a chance on.
Don’t Tell A Soul by Kirsten Miller
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
“In the dark, it made no difference if my eyes were open or shut.”
This was a pretty good suspenseful story, that will keep you entertained. It isn’t as scary as I thought it might be, but it still kept me guessing until the end as to what was really going on.
Bram was kind of a hard character to like, but you do eventually come to respect her. She has had a very hard life and is a recovering addict. I can appreciate her need to figure out what really happened at her uncle’s estate, but there are a few times when I wanted her to just give up and go because it was quite dangerous for her to stay. She ends up being a pretty brave young lady who isn’t afraid to confront her fears.
The book starts off as almost a ghost story, many girls have been rumored to have died in the house over the years since it was built, and Bram becomes obsessed with finding out the truth about them. But as the truth is unraveled, the story become more of a psychological thriller, where you are not sure who to trust or what the truth is. The plot was well done, with lots of twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing. Lots of quirky characters too, and some of them will surprise you when they turn out to be one of the good guys.
The setting of a small upstate New York town, in winter, was perfect. And the manor at the top of the hill, was just as spooky and gothic as one would expect. There were some creepy moments in that house, especially when you weren’t sure if the ghosts were real or not. The descriptive writing was also well done as was the fast pacing of the book. It was a hard one to put down at times
If you like creepy stories, with lots of twists and turns, then this is one that you might want to add to your TBR. It has a great setting, a young woman that you can get behind even if you don’t like her very much, and a mystery that is bigger than it first appears to be.