cover image This Will Be Funny Someday

This Will Be Funny Someday

Katie Henry. HarperCollins/Tegen, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-295570-8

Sixteen-year-old Isabel Vance isn’t the wallflower everyone assumes her to be. While avoiding her overbearing boyfriend one afternoon, she unwittingly walks into a Chicago comedy club, where she ends up performing at an open mic. The challenge proves liberating: “I realize it then, with equal terror and boundless relief: they don’t know me.... So I can be anything I want.” Isabel’s improvised stand-up set doesn’t exactly kill, but the teen, who has an auditory processing disorder, earns her first laughs—plus a trio of new friends. The catch? Her comedy chums think “Izzy V.” is a 20-something college student just like them. Izzy gets a crash course in joke writing and learns to shut down heckling and harassment, onstage and off, but her lies eventually catch up with her. Henry’s (Let’s Call It a Doomsday) background as a playwright shines through the banter between Izzy and her fellow comics. It’s a credit to the novel’s realism that the teen’s internal monologue and off-the-cuff remarks are often funnier than her scripted material—showing how, as a budding performer, she’s still honing her stand-up persona. Though Izzy is at times painfully naive, readers will enjoy watching her undergo the process of self-transformation, one punch line at a time. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary. (Jan.) [/em]