Welcome to the Pretty Funny for a Girl Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott on October 1st, blogs across the web are featuring original content from Rebecca, as well as 5 chances to win the hardcover!
My Favorite Funny and Body Positive YA Books
by Rebecca Elliott
“When you find the funny in this serious world that is so often full of pain and cruelty it’s like discovering a diamond in a pile of crap. It’s precious.”
So says my character Haylah in my YA book Pretty Funny for a Girl, which, I *hope* is as its title suggests, or maybe even at times *very* funny, but that’s for you readers to decide!
Haylah is a wannabe stand-up comedian and like me, she’s had a life-long obsession with comedy and sees laughter and humour as one of the most important of human endeavours, connections and emotions. Laughter and jokes aren’t the frivolous froth surrounding the more “serious” lives we lead, to me they are what makes us human, what unites us and makes us able to carry on even when things are a little dark. The bonds that are formed through laughing with our friends and family are arguably just as strong as those created through ‘serious’ conversations and experiences.
So above all else I wanted to make my book funny, which then enables the story to touch on deeper themes like body-confidence, romance, friendship, parental rejection, self-worth and so on in , I hope, a very “real” way. If a book makes me laugh, I can’t help but like it. If a book has a kick ass female character or touches on issues close to my heart like body confidence, again, I can’t help but like it. So, based on that, here’s a list of books I thoroughly recommend. But obviously start by reading PFFAG first causes, obviously, it’s the best book *ever* written. Ever. Fact.
(Ok, so I only wrote that for a laugh but as Haylah says: “I’ve heard that snogging’s pretty good but nothing beats getting a laugh. Plus, when you make someone laugh, you don’t have to swallow their spit. Unless you tell a joke to my fat-tongued Auntie Pam.”)
I LOVE Becky Albertali’s work—Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is my fav but this is an uplifting and funny spin-off with a beautiful, loveable and unapologetically plus-size central character. This one follows Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
Several things about 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson’s life are very wrong. Her bedroom smells like her little sister probably peed somewhere, but she can’t find where. Angus, her enormous cat, keeps terrorizing Mrs. Next Door’s poodle. Dad’s gone off to look for work in New Zealand. And one of her friends has rated Georgia’s nose a zero on a scale from 1-10. But what’s really driving her crazy is that Sex God Robbie doesn’t give her the time of day. In fact, he’s dating total idiot Lindsay, who Georgia happens to know wears thong knickers, which have no purpose except to climb up your bum. Is it too much for Georgia to hope for some full-frontal snogging with a Sex God, if he ever notices her? This is a proper hilarious book with a realistically flawed yet adorable main character and lots of cringey moments balanced well with feel-good ones!
Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats. Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.
Fifteen-year-old Virginia feels like a plus-sized black sheep in her family, especially next to her perfect big brother Byron. Not to mention her best friend has moved, leaving Virginia to navigate an awkward relationship with a boy alone. He might like her now . . . but she has her doubts about how he’ll react if he ever looks under all her layers of clothes. In order to survive, Virginia decides to follow a “Fat Girl Code of Conduct,” which works, until the unthinkable causes her family’s façade to crumble. As her world spins out of orbit, she realizes that being true to herself might be the only way back. GREAT title and ultimately empowering read.
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
Blog Tour Schedule:
10/5 – BookhoundsYA
10/6 – Good Choice Reading
10/7 – Word Spelunking
10/8 – I’m All Booked Up
10/9 – The Fandom
“A feel-good story featuring a narrator who’s likable and genuinely funny, even at her most self-deprecating. Dreams, being true to oneself, body-image issues, single parenting, family dynamics, self-confidence, and a realistic depiction of friendship make this a refreshing coming-of-age read full of optimism, dreams, and plenty of stereotype-smashing laughs. A natural pick for Dumplin’ (2015) fans.”
A candid and laugh-out-loud journey of family, friends, and fierce mistakes.
Haylah Swinton is an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an incredibly patient sister to a four-year-old nutcase of a brother. Best of all, she’s pretty confident she’s mastered making light of every situation—from her mom’s new boyfriend to unsolicited remarks on her plus-sized figure. Haylah’s learning to embrace all of her curvy parts and, besides, she has a secret: one day, she’ll be a stand-up comedian star.
So when impossibly cool and thirstalicious Leo reveals he’s also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the chance to ghost-write his sets. But is Leo as interested in returning the favor? Even though her friends warn her of Leo’s intentions, Haylah’s not ready to listen—and she might just be digging herself deeper toward heartbreak. If Haylah’s ever going to step into the spotlight, first she’ll need to find the confidence to put herself out there and strut like the boss she really is.
Rebecca Elliott’s hilarious and authentic narrative voice is sure to capture readers’ hearts as her plus-sized, teenage heroine navigates learning to love the body she’s in while dealing with friends, family, and boys.
About the Author: Rebecca Elliott is an author and illustrator. She earned a degree in philosophy and once did a brief stint in a dull office. Now, she enjoys eating angel delight, loudly venting on a drum kit, and spending time in her sunny garden. She lives in England with her family, some chickens, and a cat named Bernard.
- 1 winner will receive a finished copy of Pretty Funny for a Girl
- Check out the other tour stops for more chances to win.
- US/Canada only
- Ends 11:59pm ET on 10/18