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Review: Four Stars for Funny Story By Emily Henry

By Rosemary Twomey


Looking for a captivating romcom to dive into? Here's spoiler-free review of Emily Henry's upcoming Funny Story.


Photo: Penguin Random House

I’m not going to lie, I have already read two of Emily Henry’s previous books People We Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers, and I have tried to read her others, but they just didn’t stick. I am picky with the romcoms. The story has to have some elements that I can relate to in order for me to keep turning the pages. 


Funny Story definitely did.


I will give a brief overarching synopsis, similar to the one on the back cover as to not reveal too much. The novel spans a single summer, one where the protagonist, Daphne, has just been broken up with a few weeks before her wedding. Her Fiance, Peter, has left her for his childhood best friend, Petra, and in turn Daphne must move out of the house they share as Peter was the one to purchase it. Daphne ends up moving in with Petra’s now ex-boyfriend, Miles. 


Henry wastes no time launching readers into the story as this all unfolds within the first chapter. As I said earlier, a rom-com has to have some relatable element for me to be invested in the story, and I am not going to lie, I had a bit of trouble swallowing this situation. While I was reading this, like “Why would she move in with a random guy she doesn't know?” and “Isn’t she infuriated living in Petra’s old apartment as Petra now lives in the house she shared with Peter?” kept swirling in my head.


What absolutely hooked me with Funny Story, howeverm was the way Daphne expressed her complete immersion into her relationship with Peter, losing her entire identity in the process. I think this is something that everyone has experienced in one way or another. Daphne moved to Peter’s small town, made friends with only his friends, and lived in a house that he owned and paid for. When the relationship crumbled she realized she hadn’t been living her own life since they’d started dating and now she was forced to. 


This feeling resonated with me, and was one of the main themes throughout the entire book. Daphne’s drive to take control of her life is invigorating to read, and also made me think a lot about my own community and relationship. The beautiful town on the Great Lakes of Michigan and the cute library Daphne works at was a wonderful backdrop to the metamorphosis story. 



I experienced such a visceral reaction to the thought of canceling a wedding only a few weeks before and watching my partner run off with someone else. It isn’t because I could relate to the situation, but because the writer described it so beautifully. Henry was able to balance the anger and sad emotions I had for Daphne’s breakup while also creating a whole new love affair that I was rooting for from page one which is no small feat. 


Another element of this book that I have to mention is the steamy romance scenes. Henry meets the mark in describing the tension between the two lead characters, and when they finally get together, it's fulfilling and exciting - fireworks! Excellent writing, and the pace of the romantic progression was well-plotted. 


Throughout the book, I was continuously gripped by the plot, and I never wanted too rush through any section. This is hard to achieve when writing a 400-page book. In that sense, Henry did a great job creating a balance between the different storylines, never veering too far off the path of the romance plot.


I highly recommend picking up Funny Story by Emily Henry, even if you aren’t typically drawn to romcoms. This one might surprise you.


Funny Story is out April 23rd, 2024.


Read other book reviews from Erato Magazine in the Essay & Review Section.

 

About the Writer:

Rosemary Twomey is a writer based out of Montreal, Canada. She fell in love with character writing and development during her time studying professional writing at the University of Toronto. She can often be found reading with a cup of tea in front of a sunny window.

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