- Author: Joya Goffney
- Genre: YA Contemporary
- IGfirstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter-@joya_goffney; www.joyagoffney.com
- Release Date: 5/4/2021 (out NAOW!)
- Publisher: HarperTeen (Imprint of HarperCollins)/EpicReads
- Favorite Character-Olivia! Hands Down! She’s a part of the little and feisty tribe…she’s a bad chick and she knows it… Olivia’s like my literary alter-ego and I need a book from her perspective like yesterday! If Olivia were a song, I feel like she is Bo$$ by Fifth Harmony, it’s very her energy (go listen then tell me where my lie is). Carter’s my second favorite…he’s cool but he’s not Olivia level cool *shrug*!
- Favorite Quote(s)-First one: “Yoooo, I didn’t know you lived like this. Over here living like Hilary Banks and shit.”-Carter. When I tell you I hollered as loudly as I could, I did…I was NOT ready for not only a Fresh Prince reference in a YA book but the mention of Hilary & I lived for it! I love how she mentioned Ashley RIGHT after, who was my favorite character but I digress! Second is courtesy of Queen Olivia: “I’ve been waiting to beat his ass,” Olivia says. “He hasn’t been dumb enough to say racist shit around me, but I’ve heard so much about him.” Olivia shakes her head, rubbing her right hand over her left fist. “I’m ready for his ass.” It’s THAT.ENERGY.RIGHT.THERE that is what makes her my fav! Take no shit, ready to throw down at any moment, small stature but big bite is what I live for (literary me, I’m tellin’ y’all…ask anyone who knows me). I bet if you opened her book bag, you’ll find vaseline and a straight-razor hidden in there (If you know, you know *shrug*).
You know when you see a book, you just have a sixth sense about it? Like you just KNOW this book is going to be a bop, a vibe, a word? Well, that was what I felt when I read the title Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry and then saw the cover…all my bookish spidey senses started tingling and I KNEW this book would be everything! Yet again, my bookish intuition DID NOT fail me! This book was everything I could’ve possibly wanted and MORE! I laughed, I teared up, I wanted to fight, my jaw dropped…I was on this amazing roller coaster ride of emotions that I didn’t want to get off of. When I tell you I didn’t want this book to end, I really didn’t and was SO SAD when I finished it…I just wanted more and an extra 100 pages wouldn’t have bothered me AT.ALL! It’s for this reason that I truly feel that I need a book from Carter’s perspective and one from Olivia’s (her book can be a prequel because I bet her life before meeting Quinn was hella interesting).
When I got this ARC, I really wasn’t expecting it. I knew about this book and I WANTED it…I also knew that I was going to read it regardless of if it was early or not. The bookish Gods smiled upon me though and this golden nugget in the form of an ARC was in this massive box of Advanced Reader Copies I received from HarperCollins (thanks y’all). I’m pretty sure I squealed when I saw it…there is a unboxing vidjeo (that’s on purpose) on IG that you can watch here to serve as evidence. I will quickly say that I was not asked to do any sort of review, I just felt it in my Spirit to write about this book and I’ve been verbally obsessing over it every chance I’ve gotten. It took SO MUCH restraint not to just crack this book open right then and there on live…but this book was SOOOOO worth waiting for. I finished it in less than 2 days, I didn’t want to put it down and I finished in the evening time (which isn’t a usual finishing time for me) because I would only stop reading when I had to. EMWIUC was seriously that good!
I also have another selling point for you, In case what I’ve said thus far wasn’t enough (of course, I’m going to say more but just sayin). So pretty much every book I’m reading during the times I visit my Grandma, I will show her the cover. It’s just something I’ve started to do as she loved reading and really is not able to anymore because of her eyes. Well, she read the cover and she goes “Ugly cry? What’s ugly cry?” so I proceed to explain to my 80+ year old Haitian Grandma what ugly crying is and then she laughs…she LAUGHS y’all! Do you know how difficult it is to make a Haitian person, let alone a GRANMOUN laugh?! Haitians, especially older Haitians, are a TOUGH CROWD so if the title of this book could get a Haitian Grandma to laugh, then you KNOW it’s worth it’s page length in gold!
Not only is the writing phenomenal and incredibly hilarious, but the character development is just A1…give Joya all of the awards, kudos and her favorite treats because it’s just really that good! She had this way of endearing you to a character at the same time as making you want to fight another. I can’t tell you how many times I was like “YESSSSSSSSSS” to one character then like “OH NO THIS BISH DIDN’T” the very next moment! With a premise like having your personal property filled with your deepest thoughts in it stolen then being blackmailed with it (that’s not a spoiler, btw), how could you not go from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other with characters?! ER-BODY getting the side-eye and 3rd degree the moment the opportunity presents itself in my opinion!
Since I’m talking about characters, I have to start off with my favsie Olivia…the mighty mouse-esque character of my heart! Olivia is the scrappy and sassy secondary (that was not on purpose with the alliteration but it fits) character that we all deserve! From the moment she sashayed onto the page (that’s how it felt to me), I just knew she was the one… I knew she would be my favorite and I could not be budged from feeling that way. It was like she knew just what to say in every moment…her hype ups were the best like when she said “Look at that ass! Girl, you have to model for me someday.”…what is a better gas up than THAT from a photographer?! I also adored how she stayed ready to fight, let someone say something slightly out of pocket and you might as well cue up Trick Daddy’s Let’s Go because she’s already motioning to take off her earrings (google the song and again, tell me where my lie is, once you read the book). Seeing as this is the second song I’ve said described her, I may have to come up with a playlist just for Olivia, lol (next song choice would be Pretty Savage by BlackPink because it’s also accuracte)! Also, I have to say that since she makes a movie reference in this book that I don’t want to give way, she soared to the top of my favorite characters of all time list! I seriously love her and I am deadass about her needing her own book (Joya, hear my prayer)!
You know how I said Carter is my second favorite…I have thought about it and I say scrap that because his little sister, Imani, is my second favorite! She isn’t a big time character but when she is on the page, she steals the scene! This little one is a tea spiller in the making (you have to read to understand that reference) and is very much so a mini-comedian! As Quinn conveyed what Imani would say, I simultaneously turned into the heart eyes and crying laughing emojis..I would be a puddle of goo in her little hands (much like Carter). Her cuteness factor was so off the charts that I couldn’t help but want to hug her, give her all the toys she wants and then hand her off to Carter. I need her book too…like a middle grade book about her as a preteen and her relationship with Carter cause if she is this Spirited so little, imagine her has a pre-teen!!!! I bet it would be the sweetest, most hilarious MG book, seriously. Look at me giving all these book ideas Joya, it could be a whole EMWIUC universe in this bit *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*!
Since I talked about his sister, I’ve GOT to talk about Carter! When I think of him I think of that kid in school that you think is too cool to ever approach and just love to admire from down the hall…especially because you are afraid that the moment the barrier is broken they will either destroy the illusion/expectation you’ve built up in your mind or exceed it. I think Quinn would agree with me when I say that he exceeds the expectations. Not only is he good-looking but he’s intelligent, kind and an absolute teddy bear with Imani. I don’t know about you but seeing boys/men, especially Black boys/men, be soft & kind to younger children turns me into mush! The way that the scenes with him and Imani are written just had me all in my feels! Not only was he gentle with his little sister but he was gentle with Quinn & Olivia when the time called for it. This trait of his really made me love him (but not enough to dethrone Olivia, #NotSorryAboutIt). I also really loved his comedic timing because he really had me cracking up at times. Carter is the type of person you should always keep around since he’s a problem-solver, a mood-picker upper and eye-candy. He also comes with an adorable little sister so anyone he hangs out with (in this case, Quinn & Olivia) is getting a really good deal!
Last, but certainly not least, I gotta talk about our MC Quinn. This chick is re-donk-u-lously funny and I was 1000% here for her anecdotes & all shenanigans that ensued throughout this book. Homegirl had me cracking up with her lists and one-liners. While reading this book, I realized that I think a lot in lists but Quinn is actually brave (albeit reckless) enough to actually write them down. It’s one thing to have a thought but is a whole different thing to put them down where they could potentially be seen & open up a can of worms no one would be ready to experience…which is exactly what happened. For what it’s worth, Quinn handles all her situations with as much grace and sanity as anyone in her position could possibly muster. She truly had me thinking she is better than me cause I would’ve been wrecking some ish, reputation be damned y’all! Quinn’s got a serious set of ovaries, IMO, even if she wouldn’t believe it about herself. Sis went through so much that made me want to hug her and shake her at the same time…It’s highly likely that I shouted at her in my mind a few times but all out of love. I absolutely love characters that I experience a push-pull with throughout a book and Quinn definitely fell in that category!
I know that I’ve written a lot here but I hope that I have convinced you enough that you need to pick up this book! I don’t know in how many more ways that I could say that I loved this book but I REALLY FLIPPING LOVED THIS BOOK! It is BEYYYYYYYYOND worth your time and I would go full auntie “look at your life” mode if I were to find out you passed up picking up this book (proceed with caution if this is you)! Clearly you have great taste in blogs because you are reading this one so please don’t make me doubt you now & side-eye you like my TBR does me until you get this book! Whether you get it via your local library or your favorite bookstore by way of e-book, audiobook or printed, it doesn’t matter as long as you get this book! It brought me so much joy and I know that it would do the same for you! I wouldn’t ever lead you astray *insert angel emoji here*!
OK y’all, I’mma end it here before I decide to rant more about this book! Of course, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wishing you happy reading! For more bookish banter, feel free to find and follow me on all of the social medias: Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can typically find me in book centered clubs/rooms. Until the next post…BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!