We’re already halfway through 2022, so I’m taking the time to reflect back on my 15 favorite books of the year so far. That list includes Funny Feelings, a humorous and heartfelt friends to lovers romance by new-to-me author Tarah DeWitt. I knew very little about the plot when I decided to sample Funny Feelings, and it took only a few minutes for me to become completely hooked. It’s got such a unique feel, and I loved the layered storyline. There are funny moments paired with shots of angst, and the strong bond between the characters was a major win. You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!
I love it when I try a new-to-me author and I know immediately that I’m in for an excellent read. My love for this heartfelt, swoony read began right away, and it just got stronger and stronger as the book progressed. I loved the pining, the completely unique feel, and I loved the cinnamon roll hero who is kind, compassionate, and understanding. Told in a combination of flashbacks and present day, we get a feel for this couple’s relationship as it evolves from strangers to friends to comedienne/manager to lovers – with all of the longing and missed opportunities along the way. It’s not a particularly long book, but I felt like I got to know these characters so well, and it was easy to feel the love and support in every scene. They truly do want what’s best for each other, so it made sense that they’ve never crossed the line. And for a book about comedy, it’s actually much more emotional and bittersweet than anticipated. The combination made for an authentic, memorable read.
The story follows Farley (25), a standup comedian on the rise. She’s just getting her big break, and Farley believes a lot of her success can be attributed to her manager, Meyer (35). Surely she’s too much of a hot mess to have made it this far by herself. A former comic, Meyer disappeared from the spotlight years ago and has been mastering the role of single father to an adorable, deaf daughter ever since. Farley and Meyer became friends a few years ago, and Meyer has now become Farley’s rock when her insecurities take over. Their relationship has evolved into something truly special, and neither one is willing to rock the boat by admitting that their feelings are not entirely platonic. But when Meyer and Farley agree to fake date in order to shine the spotlight on Farley, it becomes more difficult than ever to avoid the feelings they’ve tried to bury.
I expected this to feel more like a fake relationship romance, but it never really felt like one – and I’m completely okay with that. The focus is much more on Meyer and Farley’s relationship and how it has changed and strengthened over time. I loved that we got to see how Farley hides behind her humor, and there was a great focus on mental health and an openness about therapy. It could’ve maybe delved into that a bit deeper, but it probably would’ve changed the tone of the story and I sincerely enjoyed the vibe. Farley and Meyer are front and center, and I appreciated that they had such good reasons not to cross any lines – until now. It’s a slow burn romance with swoony feelings throughout, and these two characters complement each other perfectly. Where Farley is chaotic and loud, Meyer is solid and steady. He makes a fantastic book boyfriend, and their connection is the major win here. I loved it the whole way through.
When falling in love is the punchline…
Farley Jones is being forced to date Meyer Harrigan, the man she has come to love, in order to make all of her stand-up dreams come true.
It’s agony— a tragedy, even. In lieu of flowers, please send cash…
Meyer and his daughter Hazel have been everything to her since they came into her life three years ago. So, all joking aside, the stakes are especially high when it’s not only her career, but both of those relationships on the line.
A former stand-up star himself, Meyer has been vital to the trajectory of her career since he began managing her… Since he became her closest and most treasured friend, in the process.
This friendship is the only reason why, when the biggest opportunity of Farley’s career includes thrusting him back into the spotlight to stir up publicity, he agrees— in spite of his grumpiness, his protectiveness over Hazel, and his disdain for public attention.
It doesn’t take long for their act to bring all those other funny feelings out into the open, and, like most matters of the heart, it quickly begins to feel like anything but a joke.
Funny Feelings is a swoony story about friendship, love, and looking for the laugh in life. It touches on the creative spirit and all that comes with sharing that gift, and how oftentimes the comedians in our lives are the most sensitive, or struggling. It features two friends, one incredible little girl, and a kaleidoscope of feelings along the way.
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