By Naomi and Júlia

Emily Henry is one of the biggest names in contemporary romantic fiction right now. Her books are consistent bestsellers, and three of them are being adapted into film. Her latest novel, Funny Story,  released April 24. Júlia (the romance buyer in The Hague) and I (a romance reader) got advance copies from the publisher and we decided to write a joint review. Below are our thoughts on Funny Story. We loved it!

Naomi: I have read almost all of Emily Henry’s books, and it is safe to say I am a big fan. My favorite is definitely Book Lovers. It felt like an ode to romance lovers and made me fall in love with reading all over again.

Júlia: I read only one so far, Beach Read, and it was good. I liked the book, it was a good story that fit the genre, although I would’ve liked to have felt more involved with the story of the main characters. I’m planning to read Book Lovers next; it was highly recommended by another romance lover colleague Lília, and I heard it’s going to be made into a movie as well.

Naomi: I really like Henry’s writing, it makes me forget that I am reading a book. Her characters feel like real people with real lives. These are no billionaire romances, but stories grounded in reality.

Julia: Exactly. I enjoy her style, too, because she writes about regular people that feel more close by. It’s a perfect balance between romance and depth. Many characters are dealing with real life problems (family drama, job struggles, existential crises).

Naomi: Despite that, Funny Story is actually, well, a funny story. It’s very different in tone from her previous book, Happy Place. Henry herself has said that Funny Story is like a fresh breath of air.

Júlia: Hahaha, really? I had exactly that breezy cozy feeling when I read it. I had moments when I just smiled through pages or giggled over Daphne and Miles’ talks. They have a real chemistry that pours through the pages. I was surprised many times: Why did the ex, Peter, let Daphne go? This girl is a keeper!

I love Daphne’s story. At the beginning, she is heartbroken, confused and lost. Her fiancé left her and she found herself in his town, (almost) homeless, without friends or family. All she has is a day job in a local library. During the course of the story, she finds new friends, explores the town she now lives in and creates a special bond with her roommate. It’s a perfect book for the upcoming sunny season when you are getting out again, reading in a park or at the beach.

Naomi: The main focus of the story is the messy, messy relationship between Daphne, Peter, Miles and Petra, but somehow it never becomes ridiculous. The characters feel like real people, which is where this book shines. Daphne and Miles are just ordinary individuals with ordinary jobs and lives and issues, but their relationship, from friends to lovers, is anything but ordinary. All the characters, main and secondary, are well-rounded and wonderful additions to the story. I especially loved Daphne’s relationship with her mother and coworkers/friends. It was great to see how Daphne learned to stand up for herself to her dad and her ex and realize that she has so much to offer and deserves much more than she’s gotten so far.

Júlia: And the setting of the story in a small town by Michigan’s lakes is such a plus. Friday evenings spent in the chic wine bars and Sundays on local farms eating fresh cherries. That’s a perfect combination for summer romance.

Naomi: I quite literally devoured this book; I read it in one sitting. Funny Story is incredibly heart-warming, fun and has plenty of emotional depth. As Julia said, it’s very atmospheric and I really wanted to remain by Daphne and Miles’ side for as long as I could.

Júlia: It’s definitely a page turner! I kind of made an evening ritual of Funny Story readings. No hurry, just cup of tea and Funny Story in my favorite cozy armchair. I enjoyed the slower reading pace, mainly because of Daphne and her character development. She grew throughout the book so much. It was nice to see.

Naomi: That’s actually the perfect way to read this book, since its romance lies in the everyday moments that make up a lifetime. Funny Story is another incredible novel by Emily Henry – Júlia and I highly recommend it!