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‘Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry’ Is A Page-Turning Rom-Com – Book Review

Many of us are no strangers to lists. We write them, manage them and maintain them, and ultimately, they usually help people to keep organized. One of these people is Quinn. Quinn keeps lists of everything – things she’s observed, people she likes and the many thoughts that run throughout her head. In her senior year of high school, many of these lists are things that Quinn wouldn’t say out loud. 

It’s great to have a private space for all of your thoughts, however, when Quinn’s journal goes missing and an anonymous account posts one of her personal lists out there for the world to see, Quinn is at a loss. Not only has part of her secret been revealed, but the person is blackmailing her into facing some of her fears or else they will reveal the entire contents of her journal online. Wary of who to trust, Quinn embarks on an adventure with Carter, one of the last people to see her journal and one of only a handful of Black students at her school to find the missing book before anything else can go awry. 

Cover art for Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
Cover art for Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry (Courtesy of HarperCollins)

Joya Goffney’s Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is a page-turning rom-com that will have you guessing and leave you full of excitement by the time the book comes to an end. The world that Goffney created is a relatable one, filled to the brim with characters you’ll love and ones that you hate – just like being back in high school (and really, anywhere to be honest). Goffney doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to these characters, particularly the protagonist, Quinn. Many readers will find in Quinn something that is similar to themselves and it’s that part of her that keeps you rooting for her throughout. While you may not always like Quinn’s choices or why she did what she does, readers will likely find themselves understanding the reason behind her decisions.

The hardships that Quinn experiences are very real and while there is heartbreak, there is also hope. As one delves further into the story, you are truly gifted to see Quinn’s journey. In the beginning, Quinn is on the shy side but as the book goes on, Quinn really comes into her own and shows her courageous side – even if that means standing up for herself and letting her voice be heard when not everyone wants to hear it.

Everything in this book is a testament to Goffney’s well-written dialogue, likeable and relatable characters, and a plethora of important topics (including, but not limited to racism, cyberbullying, dementia, marriage/divorce – among many others) that do not at all feel rushed. Goffney makes sure to touch on each topic with extreme care and it is this realism that readers will resonate with.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is a book for anyone who is looking for that extra push to trust in themselves, have courage, embrace love and above all, speak their truth.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble, Indigo and your local independent bookstores now!

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