Skip to main content

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry: YA Book Review


This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Overview: Izzy is sick of being 16. She's sick of being the "easy kid" who never causes a problem for the family or demands attention. Her mom is always busy working at her law firm, and her dad just isn't super invested. School is awful, and her controlling boyfriend makes her question what it means to be in love. And then she stumbles into a bar on comedy night, and suddenly, she finds a world so different from her own- one that's better. Though it requires maintaining more than a few lies, this new life with her college friends is too good to give up. That is, until it all comes crashing down. About growing up, being your authentic self, and navigating intense relationships for the first time, this book is incredibly relatable and quite unique in the way it approaches common YA questions. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 I relate to Izzy on a deep, deep level. From the second I read the synopsis, I knew the book was going to speak deeply to my soul. I've always wanted to be older. I fast tracked through high school to get to college, all my friends have always been older, and I've constantly craved the level of seriousness that being older affords you. Unlike Izzy, I didn't grow up in a city I could sneak off into, so I turned to the internet and the book world. It gave me that sense of security and community I never found at school. Being judged for my talents first was the greatest relief. So, while I can see the flaws in Izzy's plan and understand her college friend's feeling of betrayal in the end, I also can't blame Izzy. I haven't seen that deep need to be a grown up portrayed in this way before, with a character that is mature and ready enough to pull off interfacing with the adult world genuinely, just not perfectly. I love how Henry showed the value in being exposed to what the world has to offer outside of the confined walls of high school while also showing the negative sides of Izzy thinking she had everything figured out. Mo and her college friends give Izzy the injection of confidence she 100% needed, and they offer her valuable life advice. They're truly the friend group she needs, and I appreciate the way the group addresses Izzy's lies, and their relationships morph in a way that isn't completely negative. 

Branching out, Izzy also has to navigate an abusive, controlling relationship with her boyfriend, Alex. While he never crosses complete physical lines with Izzy, Alex always wants to keep her scared that the threat could escalate. He makes her doubt her own reality, and it's a hard place to get out of, especially after she's been isolated from her best friend. In a way, this relationship makes her secret college friends even more important. They become her proof that she can form a life on her own, and once she admits what's happening, Mo is key to opening her eyes to how bad the situation truly is. The farther Izzy pulls away from Alex, the more confidence she builds, but Henry shows how much time it takes to truly end a manipulative relationship as Izzy has many stops and starts. The book approaches the topic from a realistic, compassionate angle that is so important to showcase in YA because it can help teens who have no context for what an "okay" and "not okay" relationship is. Also tied to this storyline is a concerned teacher who quietly steps in to offer Izzy support where she needs it, by offering her classroom during lunch and giving her extra books to read. It's always the teachers who can quietly recognize the kids that need a bit more support who truly make all the difference. 

The final hurdle in the book among the character conflicts is between Izzy and her parents. Izzy loves her parents, but she wishes they had more time for her. Her mom is always missing their special days in the name of work, and Izzy's older sister told her that her mom resents her for coming along and making her career even harder. Izzy's twin older siblings fit in the family in a way she never has. Izzy's always been applauded for being the simple, easy kid who always does everything right. Stand up is her silent rebellion and a little freedom she feels she deserves. I definitely related to her frustration with the expectations around her to always be okay and self-sufficient, and all of Izzy's motivations were understandable. When it all blows up and her parents find a clip of Izzy's stand-up about them, I love that Henry allows Izzy to stand her ground, apologizing for the negative things that came from her words but not for saying them and speaking her truth through her art. That was such a powerful moment for me. 

Plot: 4 The book is mostly a character based story about Izzy's growth more than it's about the plot. I think that's why it took me nearly a two weeks to finish it, even though I enjoyed every time I got to sit down and read. There's not much urgency, but I don't feel like that's what this book asked for. It oscillates between quiet moments of family conflict, tense moments with Alex, and sneaking out to the comedy clubs. The scenes were remarkably crafted and important to Izzy's character growth, but it's not a plot driven book. 

Writing: 5 I'm a huge fan of Katie Henry and her writing style. I've been following her books since her debut, and every single one has been incredibly unique and compulsively relatable. Every single one of her books has spoken to a different part of me that I rarely see reflected back to me in media. I guess that's why I'm always so eager to keep picking up her books. Her style is incredibly detailed and immersive. You live deep within the main character's head, and a world truly flourishes through their eyes. I could see nearly every scene in this book vividly. Also, all of her books are incredibly funny in a dry, sarcastic way that I love and can't get enough of. T
his book isn't just funny because it's about stand up comedy. I've read tons of books about stand up in YA, but they're always through the lens of high school clubs. I loved that Henry used it to force Izzy outside of her bubble and how she contrasted it with this high school world where everyone has known each other their whole lives. It gives the book more power, and I also just love any book that takes YA out of the strictly high school setting. 

More By The Author...

Let's Call It a Doomsday

Heretics Anonymous 

Into YA with Katie Henry

If You Liked This Book:

War and Speech 

Crying Laughing 


Popular posts from this blog

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Blog Tour Stop: Like Home by Louisa Onomé

  Today, I want to shine the spotlight on Like Home by Louisa Onomé, which came out this week. That means you don't even have to wait to pick up a copy of your very own. Thank you to Turn the Pages Tours and Penguin/Delacorte Press for arranging this. So let's get into what this latest YA is all about! Synopsis: Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil. Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good. Only, Kate’s parents’ corne

YA You Need To Read: April 2021

It's already April! School has been super super hectic, and I'm starting my old job as a bookseller again, so I haven't had much time for reading lately (ironic, I know), but I did want to talk about some books coming out in April that I can't wait to read (one day) that might inspire you to pick them up. I particularly can't wait for My Epic Spring Break Up! It's been on my list for a while now (I mean, look at that cover), but I also found some new books that hadn't been on my radar while browsing around the internet that I wanted to bring to your attention.  Let me know in the comments what April books you can't wait for!  Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Kahn  April 6th Zara has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. She's always dealt with the Islamophobia that's rampant in her high school, but when the star football player gets suspended, Zara becomes the target of a racist attack by the rest of the team that puts her and her family'

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi: YA Book Review

  Yolk  by Mary H.K. Choi Overview: Jayne is in fashion school in NYC. Well, she's enrolled. It's debatable how often she actually attends. June has a fancy job in finance, or that's what everyone thinks. But when June gets cancer, the estranged sisters are pulled together because June needs Jayne's identity to get treatment. By pretending to be her sister to get the life-saving procedure, June is forced to come clean and pull Jayne back into her orbit. Though their relationship stays rocky, they're suddenly glued together, forced to admit that their respective glamorous lives are actually filled with roaches and trauma and missteps. Overall: 5+++ This book made me happy cry (that's never happened while reading) and sad cry. Characters: 5 The book is told from Jayne's perspective in an extremely close first person. This book has plot. Things happen in the way that life happens, but it's mostly just characters getting split open and probed for all their w

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

They Both Die At The End

They Both Die At The End  by Adam Silvera (368 pages) Overview: Mateo and Rufus are both going to die at the end, but I'm guessing you got that from the title. The thing is, Mateo and Rufus don't know each other till the day they are going to die. After getting their calls from Death Cast, the new organization that lets everyone know that they are going to die with a call sometime after midnight. While trying to digest the news, they both turn their attention to the Last Friend app in search of finding another "decker" to spend their final day with. As the boys try to think of ways not to waste their final moments, they start to form a bond they never anticipated. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 I have to applaud Silvera for keeping his (mostly) duel prospective narrative voices so separate. Mateo and Rufus not only have different traits but totally different dialects. Mateo is Puerto Rican, quiet, and totally paranoid with a hyperawareness about safe. Both careful an

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out  by Kate McGovern  Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing. On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4  Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried t

Writing Morally Gray Characters: A Guest Post by Laurie Devore, Author of A Better Bad Idea

Laurie Devore is stopping by the blog today to talk about her new book from Imprint, A Better Bad Idea , which is out now! This mystery/thriller/romance fusion is Laurie's third book, and it's a new twist on her usual contemporary YA stories. For this guest post, Laurie talks about crafting morally gray characters that your readers will still feel attached to and cheer on. Here's her best writing tips:  I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of what people will do when they’re pushed to their brink. While my new novel, A BETTER BAD IDEA, may seem like a departure in some ways from my previous novels, I actually think their DNA is quite similar. The stakes are higher, but as ever, this book is about girls making unimaginable choices because of their circumstances, whether self-inflicted or not.   I’m constantly thinking about what it means to write morally gray characters, and I think the main takeaway from me is that I’m just much more interested in what people do and w

Perfect on Paper: YA Book Review

  Perfect on Paper  by Sophie Gonzales (2021 Release!) Preorder The Book on Bookshop! Before I get into the review, I'm just so excited to be writing a book review! I hadn't finished a book since the end of September :(. Hopefully that's over now. Anyway... Overview: Darcy is like Hannah Montana. Well, kinda. She's not a secret pop star, but she does have a hidden identity. She's the girl behind Locker 89, home of the best relationship advice in California. Or, at least, at her high school. People drop a letter and $10 in the locker, and Darcy collects them after school when her mom, a teacher there, stays late. This goes perfectly until Brougham catches her. While it's a minor disaster, he has a fascinating Australian accent and some traces of charm, and he ropes Darcy into giving him personal relationship coaching to win back his ex-girlfriend. But maybe he doesn't want his ex-girlfriend back after all? And maybe Darcy could get over her painful crush on h

Trigger Warnings Show Empathy

This week, YA Twitter was alight with controversy over a number of things this week (per usual, unfortunately). Most of it was run of the mill discussion over labeling YA and creating new genres (which I've talked a little about and I'll link below the posts below). But there was one conversation at the start of the week that baffled me a little. It started with a YA author tweeting something insensitive about trigger/content warnings. She basically said that they shouldn't exist because they spoil stories and that the world is hard and bad or negative things can't and shouldn't be avoided. And the first thing I thought when I saw that original tweet, before reading anyone else's takes or more of the thread was "Wow. People really don't get what a trigger warning is and who they're for." Because trigger warning are put on media now for a small number of people who have a genuine need. It's a relatively new thing in books (and really mos