Funny Story

Grade : A-
Reviewed by Kayne Spooner
Grade : A-
Book type : Contemporary Romance
Sensuality : Warm
Review Date : April 25, 2024
Published On : 04/2024

Emily Henry hits it out of the ballpark! Funny Story is joyful, funny, and full of wonderful characters–some you’ll love and few you’ll loathe. This is her best book yet. Readers new and old to Henry will love this one.

When the story begins, Daphne’s fiancé, Peter doesn’t come home from his bachelor party until the following day. When he does, it’s to ask Daphne to move out because he is now in love with Petra, the girl he grew up with. Daphne is devastated. She moved to Waning Bay, a small beach town in upper Michigan, to be with Peter and, suddenly, she’s out of a home and her future has gone up in flames. Waning Bay is a small place and, lacking any options she can afford, Daphne moves in with Miles, Petra’s also dumped boyfriend, and the adventure begins.

At first, Daphne and Miles don’t see much of each other. She works days at the library and he works nights at a winery, until she comes home one night to find Miles wallowing on the couch with a bottle of rum. He shows her the wedding invitation for Peter and Petra’s upcoming wedding. Daphne and Miles can’t believe they are already getting married – they’ve only been together for six weeks! They also find it odd that they are invited and after some drinks, decide to RSVP that they will be going with each other and announce they are dating. They hope to make them sweat. It’s a really funny scene.

Daphne loves her job working as a librarian in town which makes her somewhat sad because she’s not sure she can stay there. As she and Miles get to know each other, they begin to connect. So when Daphne tells him she is thinking of moving back to Maryland to live closer to her mom at the end of the summer, he asks if he can be her tourist guide, hoping to convince her to stay by showing her all the special places in Waning Bay. I loved watching them spend every Sunday together, exploring the area and this was my favorite part of the story. They go to farmer’s stands and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables and make delicious meals, they kayak at sunrise and ride in dune buggies. They take selfies together and post them on social media hoping to make Peter and Petra jealous.

Funny Story has strong opposites attract vibes. Miles is friendly and has a superpower of being able to get along with everyone he meets while Daphne is shy and lonely. (She misses the friends she met through Peter.) Miles is dyslexic and struggles to read while Daphne loves books and especially loves reading to the kids during story time at the library. They bring out the best in each other and there is a healthy slow burn with a nice balance of spice and fun times as they fall in love.

They both have family issues. Daphne is close to her mom but her dad is unreliable and has stood her up many times over her life which has been hard. Miles mother sounds really awful and he doesn’t speak to her or his dad. He is close to his sister, Julia, who is thirteen years younger (Miles is thirty-six). Julia surprises Miles when she shows up on their doorstep for a visit and doesn’t show any sign of leaving. Her youthful energy and snarky comments made me laugh and there’s a little mystery as to why she is there.

There’s a lot of drama in the last third of the book as Daphne’s father pulls into town for a visit and brings his new wife, Starfire, and Peter and Petra try to stir things up and to top it off, Daphne puts on a big Read-a-thon event at the library. The pace sped up and I was on the edge of my seat as I read through the last part. There were a few spots where I felt a quick text or conversation could have prevented a lot of the angst but I went along with it.

This is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. The subtle humor kept me smiling and I recommend it to readers looking for a swoony romance with opposites attract vibes in a small beach town.

Kayne Spooner

Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers.
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