Released January 19, 2021 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
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A girl walks into a bar . . . then onto a stage, and up to the mic.
Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself—in school, where her boyfriend does the talking for her, and at home, where it’s impossible to compete with her older siblings and high-powered parents. When she accidentally walks into a stand-up comedy club and performs, the experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an aspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident, comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her group of friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene.
The only problem? Her new friends are college students—and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. Now Izzy, the dutiful daughter and model student, is sneaking out to perform stand-up with her comedy friends, and she can hardly remember all the lies she’s telling to keep her two lives separate.
Her controlling boyfriend is getting suspicious, and her former best friend knows there’s something going on. But Izzy loves comedy and this newfound freedom. As her two parallel lives collide—in the most hilarious of ways—Izzy must choose to either hide what she really wants and who she really is, or finally, truly stand up for herself.
Acclaimed author Katie Henry delivers a poignant and laugh-out-loud coming-of-age story about a girl trying to find her voice in a world constantly trying to quiet it.
NICE THINGS PEOPLE SAID
“Like any good comedy, this novel deals in truth. Like any great comedy, it also nails the difficult job of infusing nuance.” — Booklist (starred review)
“Isabel is achingly and sympathetically flawed and her growth, realistic; readers will undoubtedly connect with her journey. Honest truths delivered with humor and heart.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Henry’s background as a playwright shines. Readers will enjoy watching [Isabel] undergo the process of self-transformation, one punch line at a time.” — Publishers Weekly
“There are some bracing truths here, and Henry puts into words what her readers perhaps cannot, offering understanding and compassion in a world often too demanding of their growing up.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books