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Pretty Funny for a Girl

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  75 reviews
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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2020 by Peachtree Publishing Company
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Mary ツ⋆
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, read-2020
This was a quick read that certainly made me laugh loads of time. The concept of the story was intriguing it involves comedy.

The story follows our main character, Haylah Swinston who always dreamed of being a stand-up comedian. Growing up, she knows how to make her friends, family, and the people around her laugh. As she found out that there was a senior in her school who also love comedy as much as her, she took the chance to ghostwrite some funny jokes for him.

What I love about Haylah is that
Samantha (WLABB)
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Haylah was a self described "comedy nerd". She watched every clip she could find, listened to any podcast available, and read all the books on the shelves in an effort to hone her craft. Yet, she kept her stand up comic aspirations a secret until an opportunity to help cool and popular Leo write his set for a competition arose, and that had her contemplating if she had what it took to step up to the mic herself.

I am going to start with my takeaway from this book, which was learning to believe i
I have received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Pretty Funny for a Girl was an okay kind of book. It definitely felt like it was dragging throughout it and I was just bored as well. I mean, the characters were a smidge interesting but the whole story just wasn't.

In it, you will meet Hay. Now she's a pretty funny girl but she just kind of focuses on her being fat. When she really wasn't. So yeah it was frustrating and annoying for most of this book. Then there was some hope of a potenti
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Quirky, fast read.
Haylah Swinton has always wanted to be a comedian when she grows up, she knows how to make her friends laugh and can turn being the butt of a joke into an identity that she proudly claims. When she has a chance to work with fellow comedian and senior hottie, Leo, she jumps at the chance, even if it costs her her friends.

I like that Haylah was pretty outwardly confident, even if she didn't always feel like it inside. She owned the name Pig and is a pretty likable girl. I could
Shruti Ramanujam
Oct 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

TW: Fatphobia

A fat teenager who’s funny, loves funny people, and wants to become a standup comedian? OF COURSE I jumped at the opportunity to read this book.

My own experience with fat liberation has been long and changing. Haylah reminded me of my teenage self, back when these two words weren’t even a part of my general vocabulary. Reading this book legit made me take a trip down memory lane and also realise just how far I’ve come
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing


This is just a wonderful, feel good, humorous YA novel that I loved.

The main highlight of the story is the theme. The author writes the story in such a charming manner where you smile throughout the tale. The concept is unique and fun and emphasizes on self-empowerment. It does not matter how you look as long as you love yourself and are confident.

I loved Haylah as the lead and thought she was hilarious. She is not perfect in any
Oct 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC via netgalley in exchange for an honest review
DNFed @29% -- 1.5/5 stars
Unfortunately, I failed to connect with Haylah, our main character, in this one and that ultimately made it hard for me to enjoy the story. I struggled with get into the book because of my dislike for Haylah. I found her immature, rude, and judgement. I also thought she was quite annoying. One thing that I found to be really annoying about Haylah was how she tells readers that
Meg Chia (bibliophilogy)
update :

full review click here

My thoughts

Thank you so much to Times Reads for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review! This book will be available in all good bookstores soon!

Three-word description : comedian, friendship, faith
My rating : 4 / 5 stars

This book is such a refreshing voice in YA. This story follows Haylah, Pig to her friends as she navigates daily family feuds, friendship and chasing her dream to hopefully become a stand up comedian one day. I adore Haylah so much,
I found this a little mediocre and unsurprising to be honest.

Hay really plays into the “girl thinks she’s fat despite everyone saying she’s not” trope, which is a little frustrating when I was hoping for a bit more body positivity. For all her protests, she comes across as someone who wants to be thinner and isn’t happy with her size, and who lets other people’s views affect. Also the pig nickname and her adopting it never felt quite right to me, it made me quite uncomfortable.

I did enjoy the
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out Haylah is pretty funny for a girl...

In this novel, we follow Haylah better known as Pig. She's a plus size teen (as if that alone wasn't hard) taking care of her little brother along with her single mom and has a big crush on a kid at school so when he ask her to help him write jokes for a competition, she can't help but agree.

Now, this plot might sound a bit familiar knowing all the YA books out there, but this book has something that none of the others have: Haylah.

While her self-de
the lady e
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.

This book was like discovering a new Louise Rennison. Haylah (who despite the name I believe is White) is obsessed with comedy and has been writing jokes forever. She is overjoyed when her longtime crush Leo (who is black) performs comedy for a school talent show, and then overhears him complaining about having a lack of jokes so she starts secretly writing for him. It was a fun, quick, feminist novel, and I loved googling the author later to discover she is the
✰ carly jayne ✰
Thank you to Peachtree Publishing for sending me an ARC!

I think I expected more from this book that it gave. I would have given it a 2.5, because I just really wasn't enjoying it, but I rounded it up because it is good to see girl comedian rep. This might just be a me thing but I feel like the pacing of this book was off. Some of the times that seemed more important went by fast and other times things that didn't seem too important were focused in on too much. To me, this book just kept draggin
megan ♡
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this! There was so much body positivity and I loved that Pig didn't feel like she needed to change in order to be seen as desirable! Because that isn't true!

I received a free arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Gill Lee
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a seriously funny, entertaining, at times poignant and always captivating journey into a particularly beguiling teenage psyche. The central character is loveable whilst endearingly flawed, thoroughly believable, always amusing and utterly believable. All other characters are well drawn and the dialogue is superbly authentic. The plot is satisfyingly page-turning and the humour is fresh, sharp and genuinely laugh out loud, whilst never losing the powerful underlying theme that being happy ...more
Mrs KI
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Rebecca Elliott’s work, she is fantastic at getting young readers excited about books.. I cannot wait to read this and share with all the teenagers and adults in my life, who have a passion for reading a book which will no doubt be a funny, intelligent, life affirming read... This can’t come out soon enough.
Jelke Lenaerts
Sep 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
I received a galley of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever hated a main character so much that you wanted to throw your book out of the window? Because that's the way I felt about this book. In fact the only reason I didn't is because I read this on my iPad and I still need it for futher reading. But oh my god, this main character is probably the worst one I've ever read about and the book just doesn't recognize it. I don't have an issue with unlikeab
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Sophomore Haylah Swinton wants to be a comedian. She eats, sleeps, dreams, and breathes comedy. She uses comedy to cheer up her friends when they’re down. She uses it to deflect bullies. She uses it when she’s taking care of her 4-year-old brother when her mom is working the overnight shift as a nurse. It’s her singular obsession.

While her two best friends are getting into makeup and clothes and boys, Haylah is making notes about things she thinks is funny. But when they get stuck in a school a
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
**I read an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review**

To be honest, this one didn't really do it for me. I mean, I liked Haylah. I didn't think she was *that* funny, but that's personal preference, so I'm not faulting Elliott on that. Mostly it just felt like the characters were poorly constructed, 2D cutouts. I felt this way particularly about Noah, who mainly seemed to be there for quick humor, as if Haylah couldn't carry the funny well enough on her own. He seemed to fluctuate too
Amy Rush Da Silva
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books, arcs
*I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Pretty Funny was a cracking read that had me laughing almost all the way through. It was entertaining and really had me wanting to read on, so much so that I read it all in one sitting. The writing style was so relaxed and casual and it did feel like you were actually one of Haylah’s friends at times. The author managed to pull of the comedic tone so incredibly well and I commend them for it! It can be very hard to write
Allison Renner
Thanks to @kidlitexchange and @peachtreepublishing for a review copy of Pretty Funny for a Girl by @rebecca_elliot_author, which is out TODAY! Grab a copy if you’re ready to kick back with a hilarious YA novel.

Haylah has always been a huge comedy nerd. She watches stand-up every night before bed, and writes down anything funny she can think of. She’s a pro at laughing off anyone who tries to put her down, which happens a LOT because Haylah is fat. So fat, everyone (even her friends) calls her Pi
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Haylah Swinton is an English teen who's not like the other girls. She's a curvy girl and she knows it - she adopted the nickname "Pig" so the bullies would have nothing to hold against her - and she loves comedy. From Tina Fey to Caitlin Moran and beyond, she's watched them all and would love nothing more than to have her name among theirs one day. For now, though, she's helping her single mom raise her four-year-old brother, Noah, hanging out with her besties, Chloe and Kas, until Leo Jackson e ...more
Inkpot Blogger
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
“Pretty Funny for a Girl” is a light, entertaining read. The story follows Haylah, an aspiring comedian and high school student who falls hopelessly in love with Leo. The problem with this is that Haylah, whose nickname is "Pig", considers herself to be fat and thinks she doesn't stand a chance with a popular senior like Leo. They bond over writing his comedy set for an upcoming competition and she begins to hope that they might have a romantic relationship. But nothing is ever that simple.

I fou
Abbi McMahon
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I think this book is middle of the road. It isn't bad but it also isn't the best thing I've ever read. I'm always really weary when reading books about a fat protagonist. Too often they become stories about how the protagonist has lost the weight and now everyone loves them. I am happy to see that this book does not have that happen. But at the same time Haylah talks about being fat every single page. She even has people call her pig. I get that she does it as a way of protecting herself (beat t ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 5-and-6
Thanks to Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC for providing a digital ARC of Pretty Funny For a Girl in exchange for an honest review.

I love flawed characters. I love watching them grow and change into or despite their flaws. But there is a difference between being flawed and being unlikable and if your MC falls into the latter and barely fixes any of her flaws and you expect me to root for her happy ending.

Haylah is kind of awful to everyone in her life. She's self obsessed and self interested and i
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Edelweiss for providing an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was really looking forward to this book - you don’t get a lot of YA fiction that’s about comedy. Add in a plus-size heroine and picture me intrigued.

However, the story fell a little through for me.
But let’s start with the good stuff: I liked the style of writing in this book and most of the dynamics between the characters. Haylah is a loving older sister who has a lot on her plate what with caring for
Jenny King
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, ya, comedy, british
So I can honestly say that I officially fell for this book on page 7, when Haylah (not quite used to the name though) is weighing herself and going through the motions; remove all clothes, remove scrunchie and hair if possible, go to toilet and remove all possible internal weight, remove 6lb from reading if you have already had breakfast, ignore reading entirely as had pasta previous night, exfoliate in shower as dead skin cells should count for at least a couple of extra pounds! As a current “f ...more
Alicen Ricard
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Peachtree Publishing for sending me an ARC of this book.

I love comedy and I love YA, so I figured if you put the two together I would love it even more... and I was correct. 

Haylah loves comedy and wants to be a stand-up comedian but she isn't ready to get up on stage herself yet, so she starts ghostwriting for a comedian she has a crush on. 

I knew with the premise that it would either be degrading to funny girls or that it would be empowering, and it was definitely the latter. At t
Brilliantly warm, strangely wise, and absolutely laugh-out-loud funny, prepare to meet Haylah Swinton - a girl you'll never forget!

This story is the very definition of a funny and uplifting quarantine read. Haylah a loud, brash yet sensitive girl who dreams of making it as a comedian. Her gift with quips allows her to mask some of her insecurities about her weight by changing her peers from laughing at her to laughing with her.

Her typical teenage trials and tribulations of boy problems and conf
Thank you to NetGalley, #BookJunkies, @BecElliott, Peachtree Publishing Company and Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC for the advance reader copy of Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott, in exchange for an honest review. I loved irrepressible, funny Haylah who yearns to be a stand up comic. In this time of Covid-19, Haylah, nicknamed Pig, made me laugh with her sardonic wit, laugh out loud jokes and humorous monologues. But Haylah does not recognize all the good things about herself. Since she ...more
Thanks to Netgalley and Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC for providing a digital ARC of Pretty Funny For a Girl in exchange for an honest review.

This book was definitely a quick read, and somewhat forgettable. Although, Haylah's inner dialogues and interaction with loved ones were immensely funny; I could not relate to any other characters, which made it hard to care much about the different scenarios. Her family dynamic was the closest one I found interesting, specially any conversation with his t
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Rebecca Elliott is the author and illustrator of the best-selling Owl Diaries series (Scholastic US) & over 20 picture books including Just Because, Sometimes, Naked Trevor and Zoo Girl, for which she was nominated for the 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal.
Her new series The Unicorn Diaries (Scholastic US) & her first YA novel 'Pretty Funny ' (Penguin Random House) are out now.

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