Book thoughts

Book Review: Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry

Happy Pub Day!

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is a story of a girl, Quinn, who writes down all her thoughts in list form when times get so overwhelming and she feels like she’s going to explode. After a mix-up resulting in her losing her journal, Quinn finds herself being blackmailed into doing the things that scare her the most. With the help of her new friends, Quinn tries to catch the blackmailer and get her journal back. But are her friends really her friends?

My first impression of this book was that it was painfully juvenile, then I thought to myself that I am not the intended audience for this story. I guess I’m so used to reading about teens, especially Black girls, experiencing some form of trauma. But it has been a refreshing experience to read a story about a Black girl not experiencing trauma and her worse experience of racism is being called an Oreo.

I wish I had this book as a teen. So much of that subtle racism permeated my high school life. There has to be so many Black kids growing up as the only one in White environments, who are considered “basically White.” This seemingly benign sentiment is so harmful to the identity formation of this age group, and we need more stories like this that talk about how statements like these are not ok.

And while I listened to the audiobook version, i really liked the bulleted list aspect, and I usually hate quirks like this authors add to mimic the behavior of teens. This format works much better in audiobooks than things like text echanges.

One thing I didn’t enjoy was the mystery/pseudo-thriller aspect. I enjoy trying to figure out who did something, but this attempt came across as insincere and trying to do something the tone of the story was ill-equipped to do. Plus, it was too predictable from the beginning.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and I loved watching the characters develop over the course of the book. It’s a sweet read, with a subtly powerful message. I would recommend to any teen that is the only one, and for folks who restrict their emotions for the assumed benefit of others.

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