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Funny Story

by Emily Henry

Publishers Weekly Bestseller Henry (Happy Place) takes on fake-dating in this equally poignant and charming tale of love after loss. When Daphne Vincent’s fiancé, Peter, leaves her for his best friend, Petra, she’s both devastated and unmoored. Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak, seems to be handling the catastrophe better, but when each receives an invitation to Peter and Petra’s wedding, they’re both knocked off kilter. Together they drunkenly RSVP yes, and Daphne impulsively tells Peter that she and Miles are dating. That lie leads to Daphne and Miles building a real friendship (and developing real chemistry), but Daphne is determined to leave their small Michigan town—and its associations with Peter—behind, even if that also means forfeiting what she might have with Miles. Despite the tropey conceit, it’s the believable conflict rooted in the characters’ backgrounds and an alluring small-town setting on the shore of Lake Michigan that will suck readers in. Henry perfectly balances sorrow and discord with love and humor, and romance fans will appreciate watching the growth of the characters’ relationships and of Daphne as a person. This is a heartwarming take on summer love. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Apr.)

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Kirkus A recently dumped librarian finds herself fake dating her polar opposite. When Daphne Vincent’s fiance, Peter, dumps her, she’s shocked—but the worst part is that he’s leaving her for his gorgeous best friend, Petra Comer, the woman he’d always told Daphne not to worry about. Now Daphne has to move out of Peter’s home and restart her life in the small Michigan town where she’d moved to be with him. Salvation comes in the form of Miles Nowak, Petra’s ex—he has a tiny spare room in his apartment, and he understands what it’s like to wallow in heartbreak. Daphne feels lucky to have her dream job as a children’s librarian, but other than that, she feels adrift and friendless in Waning Bay—and then she and Miles get invitations to Peter and Petra’s wedding. In a momentary lapse of judgment, Daphne not only says she’ll attend the wedding, but tells Peter she’s dating Miles. It would be the perfect way to show Peter and Petra that they’ve moved on…if only it were true. In the grand tradition of fake-dating romances, Daphne and Miles pretend to be in love, getting to know each other while having various adventures and misadventures. Daphne quickly learns that although she’d dismissed Miles as a pothead with a lack of direction, he’s actually a good time—and a loyal friend. But Daphne knows she needs to get out of Waning Bay, so this fake relationship can’t lead anywhere…can it? Reliable bestseller Henry has written another surefire hit that manages to be dramatic, sexy, and fun. Miles and Daphne have chemistry that leaps off the page, and their will-they-or-won’t-they energy propels the story to its satisfying conclusion. Daphne is an immensely likable character, one whose past realistically informs her current relationships. The world of Waning Bay is charmingly quirky, and Daphne’s co-workers at the library are endearing. As always, Henry’s biggest strength is the sharp, often hilarious dialogue that makes the story a joy to read. Henry fans, rejoice: This is her best yet. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list It is bad enough when Peter, Daphne’s fiancé of six years, dumps her for his best friend, Petra, but then Peter gives Daphne a week to move out. So when Daphne, who ends up residing with Miles, who happened to be previously engaged to Petra, receives an invitation to Peter and Petra’s wedding, she snaps. Daphne replies back to Peter that she will be attending with her new boyfriend, Miles. There is just one, teeny problem with Daphne’s revenge fantasy: she and Miles are not currently dating and can barely tolerate each other as roommates. With her latest impeccably written rom-com, literary supernova Henry (Happy Place, 2023) continues to gracefully dispense wit, whimsy, and wisdom in equal amounts. Fans of opposites-attract love stories will revel in the buoyant banter and swoonworthy romantic moments, not to mention Henry’s delightful pairing of a precision-driven children’s librarian and a jack-of-all-trades winery employee who could give Matthew McConaughey lessons in chill.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With screenplays of two of her rom-coms in production and an ever-expanding readership, Henry’s latest is sure to be gracing millions of beach blankets this summer.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Just weeks before Daphne's dream wedding to her picture-perfect fiancé Peter, he abruptly leaves her for his childhood best friend Petra. Adding insult to injury, he gives Daphne one week to move out. Her job as a children's librarian doesn't pay much, and she doesn't have any friends or family nearby after recently moving to be closer to Peter's family. Blindsided and desperate, she moves in with the equally jilted Miles, Petra's ex-boyfriend, who now has extra space in his apartment. Living with Peter's new fiancée's ex-boyfriend is not something Daphne ever expected. Virtual strangers, buttoned up Daphne and laidback Miles, have nothing in common, except their mutual broken hearts. When Daphne and Miles get invited to their exes' wedding, they decide to attend together, as a pretend couple. As the summer progresses, they become close and start to realize that their flourishing love is anything but fake. VERDICT This opposites-attract meets fake-dating plot has vividly drawn characters, emotionally charged storylines, and a beautiful small-town Michigan setting that will captivate devoted followers of Henry's (Happy Place) work and convert new readers into ardent fans.—Migdalia Jimenez

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