Funny Story, by Emily Henry

Funny Story by Emily Henry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A funny story, literally, was promised but what I actually got was a(nother) luke-warm novel by the Emily Henry of “Beach Read” or “Book Lovers” which were similarly uninspired.

After having read “Happy Place” and “People We Meet on Vacation” before, I approached this one with a sense of anticipation, although perhaps with a slight hint of trepidation, given the mixed experiences I’ve had with her writing.

Funny Story’s” plot is not without its merits; there are moments of genuine wit and insight that had me smiling in recognition. However, I found the overall experience to be somewhat lacking in substance.

The characters are a mixed bag: They’re not unlikable, by any means, but they lack the depth and complexity that would make them truly compelling. Their interactions are often predictable, and their motivations often feel muddled and unclear. This is particularly true of the main character (whose name I’ve already forgotten), whose internal struggles and conflicting emotions are a central focus of the story.

The plot itself is engaging enough, although it does suffer from some pacing issues. There are moments when the story drags, and others where it feels rushed and overwhelmed. This inconsistency made it difficult for me to fully immerse myself in the narrative.

Henry’s writing style is, as always, pleasant and easy to read. Her prose is clear and concise, and she has a knack for creating vivid, evocative images. However, her writing often feels surface-level, lacking subtlety and nuance.

In comparison to Henry’s previous works, “Funny Story” falls somewhere in the middle. It’s not as strong as “People We Meet on Vacation”, which I found to be a compelling exploration of home, love and friendship, but it’s not as disappointing as “Beach Read”, which felt like a missed opportunity. It’s a solid, if unremarkable, addition to her oeuvre.

In conclusion, “Funny Story” is a decent read, but not more. It’s a shame, actually, as there are moments of genuine brilliance in this novel, moments that hint at the potential that Henry has as a writer. It’s a perfectly fine way to pass the time, but it’s not a book that will linger in your memory long after you’ve turned the final page.

Three out of five stars.

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