Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
Author: Joya Goffney
Genre: YA contemporary
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 4th May 2021
Perfect for the fans of To All The Boys I Have Loved Before by Jenny Han and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.
This is the story about Quinn, a high school senior, who likes to keep a journal of her lists. She writes lists about everything from the times she ugly cried to the things she’d never say out loud to the boys she wants to kiss. Basically she writes her deepest, darkest secrets in her journal.
Her parents are rich and she has already gotten into Columbia and her parents are very proud of her. Life seems to be going well for Quinn until one day her journal goes missing. Her journal looks just like that of Carter’s and it get swapped with him in a study session. But he loses her journal.
Soon after her journal goes missing, an online blackmailer emerges blackmailing her to do the things on the list. Otherwise her journal will go public and her secrets will be spilled out for the entire world to see.
She is desperate to find her journal so she teams up with Carter Bennett – who was the last known person to have her journal – in a race against time to find the blackmailer.
They don’t really like each other at all but desperate times requires desperate measures. They journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face and she finds herself on the path to courage, living in the moment, and falling in love.
This book is a perfect blend of a light hearted story and serious issues like cyber bullying and racism. This book was equal parts fun and equal parts serious, and I loved that.
I loved seeing Quinn form new friendship with Carter and Olivia. Olivia was such a likable side character and a great friend to Quinn. She and Carter helped her immensely in figuring out who the blackmailer was and their friendship felt organic and genuine. Though being blackmailed to do something is a terrible thing and I’ll never tolerate that sort of behavior, but seeing Quinn open up and grow as a person was nice. She was becoming more confident and was facing her fears head on. It was a good thing she had Carter and Olivia next to her in this ordeal.
Parents’ high expectations and the pressure put on their children was also shown as Quinn dealt with her parents wanting to send her to Columbia.
Quinn was a great character. She felt very real and acted like a teenager (as she should) with her flaws and being afraid to do new things. I personally think the romance between Carter and Quinn was sweet and genuine. It was kind of a hate-to-love situation as the story starts with them not liking each other, but soon they form a friendship and starts liking each other. He also did a terrible thing (not the blackmailing part) and I am glad he fully accepted his wrongdoings and was very apologetic about it.
This book shines light upon difficult topics like racism and how harmless racist jokes said by our friends are still racist and can hurt very much. Cyber bullying was very prominent in this story and I am satisfied the way it was handled in the end. Afterall cyber bullying and blackmailing are very serious offense. I appreciated that Quinn didn’t let this issue just slide by but made sure there were consequences for it. Another issue was invasion of privacy and losing a friend. Both of which hurts a ton, especially to a teenager who are experiencing them for the first time.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this book. I really appreciate books like this that is equally fun and serious. I couldn’t find any flaws in this book, it was really close to perfect. This is definitely one of the best YA books I have ever read. Highly recommend!
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
If you liked my review or if you have any thoughts about this book, please leave a comment!