Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud,” to all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing…
An anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust. Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett—the last known person to have her journal—in a race against time to track down the blackmailer.
Together, they journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love.
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is a young adult contemporary with so much heart that I had to read this in one sitting. It deals with issues such as racism, bullying, dementia, and difficult family dynamics. It packed more of a punch than I was expected and I loved it.
Our main character Quinn is someone that loves to make lists for everything in her life, which she keeps in her notebook. The book acts as her diary and contains some of her most secret and personal lists. When she loses it and starts to be blackmailed by an anonymous account to do everything on her list of "Things that I would never admit out loud", Quinn doesn't even know where to start.
Goffney handled the task of educating us about race in a way that was realistic and gave me things to think about along the way. I stepped away from this book feeling so empowered and in awe of how Quinn handles all the hurdles and struggles in her life. Not only handling cyberbullying but also navigating other aspects such as someone close in her life having dementia, her parents who are struggling internally with their marriage, and making big college decisions.
In the midst of the fantasy hype at the moment, this contemporary story was such a breath of fresh air. There is a really sweet romance storyline, which I loved from beginning to end. Quinn and Carter made me laugh and smile so much. If you want an impactful story with fun and fully realised characters, I would recommend Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry endlessly! I am looking forward to more books by Joya Goffney.
4.5 Falling Books
Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an Edelweiss ARC!