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“Funny Story” And Other Funny Stories: Emily Henry Is The Queen Of Romance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

From bookstore displays to #BookTok recommendation videos, contemporary romance author Emily Henry takes center stage. Since she began releasing adult novels in 2020, Henry has become a #1 New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author for Beach Read, People We Meet on Vacation, Book Lovers, and Happy Place. Her fifth adult romance novel, Funny Story, hits the shelves on April 23, 2024, and is undoubtedly one of the year’s most anticipated releases.

The reason for Henry’s success in her genre is easy to place: as a romance author, she writes characters with distinct emotional arcs, interests, and developments that aren’t sacrificed for romance plot lines. While we pick up her books for the main characters’ masterfully crafted chemistry and the giddy feeling of watching them fall in love, it’s the characters’ individuality and relatability that keep us turning the pages. Henry says in an interview with London Magazine for Beach Read that she wanted to challenge the notion that the romance genre is “a guilty pleasure… just candy for your brain, bad for you, and do not teach you anything like a more ‘serious’ book would… I wanted to show that the books I love — women’s fiction and romance — have a lot of depth to them and evaluate what it means to be a person in the world.” Whether it’s the fear of telling your best friends about your breakup (Happy Place) or the laughable moment of discovering an outer space-themed bathroom in your disastrous Airbnb (People We Meet On Vacation), Henry’s bibliography is full of heartfelt and hilarious moments that readers — especially women in their 20s — relate to.

Beach Read

Henry’s breakthrough novel, Beach Read, depicts polar opposite novelists January and Augustus dealing with an identical case of writer’s block. They challenge each other to swap genres for the next three months while living in neighboring lake houses to get out of their creative ruts. Beach Read is for the reader with baggage to unload from their past, who is open to bright future surprises. Beach Read is being adapted into a 20th Century film with director Yulin Kuang.

People We Meet On Vacation

People We Meet On Vacation stars Poppy and Alex, longtime best friends and travel buddies who reunite for one more vacation after a previous falling out. People We Meet On Vacation is for lovers of best friendship, inside jokes that will never die, and taking fearless risks. Its 3000 Pictures film adaptation will be directed by Brett Haley.

Book Lovers

Book Lovers depicts publishing industry nemeses Nora and Charlie who can’t stop bumping into each other, even in a town as small as Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a refreshing and unexpected take on the small-town romance genre, discusses grief and sisterhood, and is popular with lovers of headstrong female characters. Book Lovers will be adapted into a film produced by Tango and written by Sarah Heyward.

Happy Place

Happy Place describes the awkwardness of arriving at the beach for a friend group vacation and finding out your ex-fiance, who your friends don’t know is an ex, was also invited. Harriet and Wyn commit to faking their relationship, not wanting to ruin their friends’ trip. Happy Place explores second chances and the fact that people are more complex than they seem on the surface.

Funny Story

Funny Story, Henry’s 2024 release, will star Daphne and Miles, unlikely roommates whose histories are intertwined: Their ex-fiancés are marrying each other. Given Henry’s previous books, readers can likely expect a romance that will make them kick their feet, plot lines of grief, family, and friendship, and her signature hilarious banter.

Emily Henry is an unbeatable force in contemporary romance, and she’s not ashamed to be a leading face of a women-powered genre. Funny Story will undoubtedly be more than just a funny story; it will be every 20-something woman’s escapist solace, hilarious best friend, and shoulder to cry on — out on April 23, 2024.

Hanna is an English major at UCLA, from Los Angeles, California. She loves traveling, attending concerts, and writing about her favorite music.