Crying Laughing – Published 2020
“Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she’s hilarious.
It might be a long wait, though. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself and her dad, a former comedian and her inspiration.
Then, on the second day of tenth grade, the funniest guy in school actually laughs at a comment she makes in the lunch line and asks her to join the improv troupe. Maybe he’s even . . . flirting?
Just when Winnie’s ready to say yes to comedy again, her father reveals that he’s been diagnosed with ALS. That is . . . not funny. Her dad’s still making jokes, though, which feels like a good thing. And Winnie’s prepared to be his straight man if that’s what he wants. But is it what he needs?
Caught up in a spiral of epically bad dates, bad news, and bad performances, Winnie’s struggling to see the humor in it all. But finding a way to laugh is exactly what will see her through.” – Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
First of all, let me just say that I abandoned my other reading for this book once I realized it was out because I ADORED Denton Little’s Deathdate and was so excited for more from this author. This one did not disappoint! He’s so funny in an actual laugh out loud kind of way.
Winnie and her parents are absolutely hilarious. She’s quick-witted, sarcastic, and smart. Her mom has a dry humor that I can totally relate to, and her dad’s silly and self-deprecating, and it is just honestly so awesome. Their family dynamic is the meat and potatoes of this book, and the father-daughter relationship in this one is so special. I have a real soft spot for a good YA dad!
Some tough concepts were addressed in this book, and it was done well. There were some diverse characters, but their personalities were their defining characteristics, not their ethnicity. Divorce, relationships, self-confidence, and something as serious as ALS could be tackled in a comedy and handled well. The title is not misleading. I did, in fact, laugh AND cry. I did not cry from laughing, but I did laugh out loud many, many times and get teared up in others.
I actually learned something about improv.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
For the first chapter or two I felt the humor was a bit forced, and Winnie kept mentioning how funny she is, which made me think she was less funny for a bit. But once things got rolling with the plot I felt differently and started to connect with her more.