Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Susanne’s Review:

What happens when a teenage girl’s journal that includes all of her most personal thoughts goes missing? 

Lots of heartbreak, a side of humor, and a whole lot of love.  

Quinn is a High School Senior, filled with a little hope and a whole lot of fear. All of which she pours into a journal filled with lists. Lists containing her hopes, her dreams, her fears, and even her deepest darkest secrets. Unfortunately, Quinn’s journal is a spiral bound notebook that looks just like any old notebook and it gets swiped (by mistake) during a study session, by Carter, one of her classmates. The next day at school, Carter inadvertently loses it and all hell breaks loose.  

Thereafter, one of Quinn’s lists gets posted to Insta and some of her secrets get out.  To make matters worse, whoever stole her journal starts blackmailing Quinn into facing her greatest fears or else. Not knowing where to turn, Quinn decides to trust the last person who had her journal in the first place: Carter.  

In doing so, Quinn finds herself, becomes more accepting of others, and owns up to her mistakes.

“Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry” is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and seriously sweet novel that deals with some very serious issues and was definitely more than I bargained for. The issues of blackmail, cyberbullying, dementia, gender, marriage, and racism (among others) are prevalent.  A character-driven, contemporary novel, that stole my heart and reminded me of days gone by.

“Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry” reminded me of my High School days as I did in fact write in a journal.  A “Five Star” Spiral Bound Notebook (preferably with a blue or teal cover). I carried it with me everywhere (in school and/or out of school) and I wrote in it all day long.  While my classmates noticed and commented on it, no one tried to steal it (thank goodness, lol).  I hadn’t thought of it in decades until reading this book and I no longer have them, but reading this brought back the memories and made me laugh.  For what it’s worth, I no longer write in journals, I book write reviews instead.  🙂

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Audio for the digital review copy.  As a note, this audio was a synthetic voice and was actually quite good!  After the first few minutes, for the most part, I forgot that I was listening to a synthetic voice altogether and was wholly impressed with the quality and would definitely recommend this digital review copy to those who are interested.    

Published on Goodreads on 1.25.21.

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