YA Book Reviews by Amy
YA Book Reviews by Amy: Laugh Out Loud & Fun Reads
Last week I wrote about the books that made me cry, but I wanted to also talk about the books that made me laugh. This was a tougher list to write about; like sad books, I don’t actively look for humorous books either.
Much of Young Adult literature has hilarious moments mixed with seriousness. There are some good-natured, light hearted reads that can just be a fun read. Can you think of any?
Be warned that some of these books may cause you to laugh out loud in public or at home, tears may come out of your eyes, a contagious smile may be on your lips while reading, and you may blush from second-hand embarrassment. Read at your own risk!
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
It is the last day of work for Josiah and Deja; they will not be returning next year since they will both be in college. They work in an autumn themed pumpkin patch. Josiah is a starred employee that loves his job, while Deja wants to enjoy their last day together. Deja is on a quest of eating the best food and helping Josiah find his crush for him to finally ask her out. Throughout the night they neglect their work and go on a journey together.
Rainbow Rowell is a fantastic writer that can capture the magic of the teenage years. Faith Erin Hick’s art is charming and beautiful and matches the style of Rowell’s writing. Both the writing (oh! The puns!) and the art is hilarious that will sure bring a smile to the readers face like it did for me.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Based in 1889 Paris, a group of misfit characters seek out the inheritance of Séverin who has been excluded from the four most powerful families. An heir of one of the four families offers to restore the inheritance in exchange for the group using their skills to retrieve a magical object. Clues of the old artifact lead the team to a treasure hunt with a mysterious and deadly secret society on their heels. Supernatural events and magic occur the further they delve into the unground city of Paris and infiltrate the city’s elite.
In my opinion, this is the YA equivalent of the movie National Treasure; a fun heist read that involves treasure hunting. The characters are diverse, relatable, and likable; I found myself laughing at many of the interactions between the characters. The dialogue is so funny!
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
For Jack, life begins with meeting Kate— a smart, kind-hearted girl that will die within the next four months—every time. How does Jack know this? Because Jack is stuck in a time loop, one that begins with his meet-cute with Kate and ends with her death. Each attempt to save her life Jack risks his friendships with Jill and Franny, the two best friends a guy could need, his relationships with his supportive parents, and even his heart.
No one writes humor in sad situations like Justin A. Reynolds; at times I read it and laughed out loud moments and at other moments it would be heartbreaking. Jack’s easy humor with his friends and Kate’s connection with Jack feels authentically fun make this a good read.
Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney
Lizzie Lavenza is enrolled as the first female medical student in the 1800’s. When she isn’t busy trying to prove her worth, Lizzie finds a Bio-mechanical creation that has thoughts and emotions. This Bio-mechanical used to be prized student Victor Frankenstein. Lizzie must figure out how Victor ended up losing his humanity and if this shady plot extends to her position at school. This is a historical retelling of Frankenstein with a science fiction twist and a bit of romance.
While not categorized as humor, there were scenes that I recall making me laugh and making me feel some second-hand embarrassment. I really enjoyed the romance between the characters and loved the passion and determination of Lizzie. If you like historical fiction (plus it is a retelling of Frankenstein) you will enjoy this fun reimagination. Corpse & Crown (a companion book) is also very satisfying!
My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
Jane is a sharpshooter that has been starring in Wild Bill’s Traveling Show along with Bill and Frank Butler. Secretly they use their show to find and hunt down garou, werewolf-like creatures. When young Annie Oakley wants to join their crew, they must not let her know of the supernatural creatures they discover, but her skill and showmanship is appealing to both them and the crowds. Will Annie find out the truth? Will Frank profess his love to Annie? And will Jane get her happily-ever-after?
This is the best of all worlds for me: Historical Fiction-Check, Western- Check, Hilarious Writing-Check! These ladies write funny characters and the circumstances surrounding them that cause me to laugh out loud. One of the funniest YA book series I have ever read. I recommend to anyone that loves historical fiction and a good laugh.
The Invention of Sophie Carter by Samantha Hastings
In 1851, inventor Sophie would like to leave her past behind her and get an apprenticeship and visiting the Great Exhibition in London would be the first step. Her identical twin sister, Mariah, does not know what she wants, but is sure that marriage would be the most likely path. When their aunt sends for only one of them to visit London to court and find a husband, the girls come up with a plan for both sisters to stay together—they will both pretend to be the same twin. What could possibly go wrong?
This book was just so much fun! The concept was so goofy (very Parent Trap-esk), but it was a nice light read with some amazingly touching quotes. At times I rolled by eyes at the girls’ antics and laughed at the ridiculousness of their love-life. At other times, there was a direness of their situation or their past that was heartbreaking; a good balance of humor and love.
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Desi Lee wants to live her life like a Korean Drama because the heroine tends get the guy and Desi is currently a flirting disaster. She decides to write down all the tropes and a step-by-step guide to get the boy of her dreams. Following this strict list will cause Desi to lose herself in trying to be a leading lady and there is always drama in a K Drama.
This book was so funny, but it definitely caused me to have some second-hand embarrassment when Desi would do something very cringe-worthy. Desi is so over the top and has this big, but kind personality, I could not help but laugh at her and root for her in the same breath. This is a fun contemporary YA to read.
Available at the library* for checkout.
*check the link for available copies or to place on hold