Etta

Audiobook Review: Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry

Published May 4th 2021

Author: Joya Goffney

Narrator: Jordan Cobb

Audiobook Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud” and 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 . . .

Then 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 sweet debut young adult novel that follows Quinn Jackson who realizes that her journal, where she jots down her inner most secrets, is missing. She has Carter Bennet’s notebook by accident, so he must have hers. Unfortunately, Carter misplaces her notebook before the swap, so now Quinn’s journal is truly missing. To prevent her true thoughts and feelings from being exposed, she must try and find out who has her journal before it is too later. Unfortunately, Quinn’s lists from her journal begin being published on social media, which means time is running out before all her secrets are revealed.

As Carter was the one to have Quinn’s notebook last, she is weary of him being the culprit behind the posts. Carter tries to convince Quinn that he is innocent and teams up to help her find the real culprit. The two of them join with two other students, Oliva, and Auden, to try and solve the mystery. Quinn is initially weary of Olivia, who is Carter’s friend, but the two of them become closer. While Quinn tries to unlock the mystery of the person who has her journal, she is forced to confront many issues that she would normally keep hidden in its pages. Thus, a nice journey of self-discovery is set-forth, which was a fun way for the reader to explore Quinn’s character.

Quinn goes through a lot in this story, and I love the way the writing handles more complex issues and delivers them in a relatable way. The story delivers not only a very sweet story, but also an exploration of important topics like racism, prejudices, and cyberbullying. I loved that the author chose to not only delve into the backstories of the main characters, but also the secondary/background ones, as well. The journey to recover Quinn’s notebook is not simple as there are many complications along the way. Overall, this was a very sweet coming of age story that not only would read well for younger audiences, but adult ones as well. There is a romance element to the story, but it never overshadowed Quinn’s self-journey. It was a great novel and I cannot wait to read more from the author in the future.

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