• Booktastically Amazing

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry

by Joya Goffney

Spoiler-Free Synopsis:

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by debut author Joya Goffney is the story of an overly enthusiastic list maker who is blackmailed into completing a to-do list of all her worst fears. It’s a heartfelt, tortured, contemporary YA high school romance with epistolary elements. Fans of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Kristina Forest’s debut I Wanna Be Where You Are will love the juicy secrets, leap-off-the-page sexual tension and the enemy-to-lover romantic arc.

Quinn keeps lists of everything—from the days she’s ugly cried, to “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud,” to all the boys she’d like to kiss. Her lists keep her sane. By writing her fears on paper, she never has to face them in real life. That is, until her journal goes missing…

An anonymous account posts one of her lists on Instagram for the whole school to see and blackmails her into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her entire journal will go public. Quinn doesn’t know who to trust. Desperate, she teams up with Carter Bennett—the last known person to have her journal—in a race against time to track down the blackmailer.

Together, they journey through everything Quinn’s been too afraid to face, and along the way, Quinn finds the courage to be honest, to live in the moment, and to fall in love.

Who gave you the right to attack me this way? Seriously, who?

I am a proud fictional dater.

Stop making me feel like that isn't by choice.

I've come to realize, that the more unrealistic, over the top, and basically all over the place a rom com is, the better chance there is of me loving it. See, when you first start a book such as this one you already know what's gonna happen. The plot is obvious, the romance is slightly predictable, you basically guess every twist. Overall you're not expecting much. However, you probably end up reading said book, and falling endlessly in love with it. Why? Well, because to be honest, we are all trash for romance. And that comes from a girl who abhors useless romance where it's not needed, or tolerable.

And this brings me to the first subject I shall fangirl over. Because yes, this is going to be one of those reviews where I fangirl excessively and scream more than most. Although, that's what I always do, so maybe I should just shut up and start this review. Yep, let's do that.

Starting with the things I liked and then bombarding everyone with unwanted opinions of things I didn't in fact appreciate.

I need to state that even though the plot was ultimately expected and foreseeable, I would be the filthiest liar if I said that I didn't sip the tea of drama more than once. Helloooo, my life doesn't have drama (thank the moon goddess), I need to leech it out of wherever I can get it. And that includes this book. The pacing was quick and kept me amused and squealing at 2 am, whilst inadvertently forgetting my parents snores in the other room... yeah, it was not nice, but I shall make some sacrifices for the sake of reading. Apart from the non-existent money I keep spending. On books. I even had the urge to buy this after finishing it, because I'm a girl that is scared to death of buying a book and hating it. Then I promised myself (after a thorough investigation of 5 minutes) to read a page and see if I liked it enough to donate some moolah to over powerful people who I wish would somehow send me an inheritance, and I was drooling after page one of this bootiful story so... I ended up reading it in one seating. And forgot to scream at Amazon for a while. Yeah, super smart, I know. There were some parts that frustrated the crap out of me, which I'll mention briefly. That being the fact that the author forgot a certain character for half of the story. A very important character. And yes, my loves, I'll rant about that in the following sections. (seriously? Forgetting the guy? Really?)

The writing was adorable, witty and just plain entertaining. Overall, this book was extremely fun to binge and if I had thought of being swallowed by blankets and with a cup of tea beforehand, it would've been the perfect setting to read this in and experience the sweet nothings of the romance and friendship included within it.

I'll still rant of course. It's a rom com, guys. It is not supposed to have that much substance. *snort* And no, I wasn't being sarcastic. That's literally the recipe for making a YA Rom-Com. (And I stan it so hard. There are many exceptions, but I'll just stick to the first things that came to mind)

~Make both love interests meet.

~Make the protagonist have a reason to not have anything with the love interest.

~Put a lot of obstacles that are semi destructive to their potential relationship.

~Create the MC with slight 'my heart was beating so quickly' problems. I would have them too, to be honest.

~Make YA love interest amazing and with just a tad of flaws.

~Happily ever after.

And not to be repetitive or anything... but I am so here for that. (please forget all those times I wished for one of them to die. It isn't included into this one.)

Did I talk about the characters? Let's talk about the characters. We shall talk about the characters now. Let me just finish trying to remember them.

They are totally not forgettable, my brain is just out for the weekends and I somehow thought writing this review would be a good idea.

Forget about the MC for now, I'll get to her later. I just need to push the love interest off of the metaphorical throne he has taken and shoved its spikes into my heart. Holy water on a pike, Carter. What is wrong with you? Why did you make me like you so incredibly much? Your way of speaking, the form of expression, your brain, sassy alter ego... ways of saying the word 'baby'. Hold up, I need a few therapy sessions to be able to cope.

"What's up, baby?"

I- no. You have no right to do this to me. No right at all.

I liked how he had these flaws that almost broke the romance, especially making him realistic (not, I have never met someone like him. But to be honest, I go out once every two months) I wanted to shake him so badly because some things he did were close to unforgivable, and THEN he would proceed to insert his gorgeous face into the argument and say a few words and bam, Booksy forgives. I'm seriously not this forgivable in real life. He is making me soft, and I hate it. The rough yet gentle tone of his voice, combined with descriptions of his ethereal being- okay, I'll stop. Too many compliments, he already has a big enough head without my wonderful input.


In short, he was outrageously charismatic, indecently smexy and dosed with 'I wish I could have you, you moronic donut'. And yes, I meant that with affection. He needed a certain slap, is all.

The dynamic and conversation between the friend group were at both insightful and dramatic. I felt that.

(as of now I'm working through people's reviews of this book to see if they mention the names of the squad and I am finding none. Darn it. I'll create new names, fine)

Olivia (I remember her)~ Sarcastic extraordinaire. incredible friend, amazing human. I loved her and I loved how she interacted with the MC. Her friendship with Carter. The budding romance of her own... this is what I live for, guys. Background characters who have lives, inspirations, motivations, families of their own, and problems! People have problems, I like seeing that represented.

~ He was the epitome of sweet and caring. Again, his mother and home life were mentioned and even slightly dived into. Brief moments in which his personality had a shine, and I liked that a lot. It's great having an inside scoop into different society issues and knowing, in fact, that the secondary cast are human. Or even living and not rocks.

The MC, oh girl, ahahahahaha, you ain't getting away from me. Firstly, yes, it is really smart to write your personal fantasies about your best friend in a notebook that has no lock in the front, whatsoever, isn't buried beneath 98 feet of soil and that doesn't have a password containing one thousand and five hundred numbers which will be then be coded and made as an input for previously said lock.

No yeah, go ahead. What could go wrong?

Said no sane human eveeerrrrrr.

Seriously, how could you not see a scenario where your notebook would get stolen and thrust into the world's womb without knowing? Alas, burning its fragile self with the lava of the pits of hell. I honestly *slides out machine gun* want to have a small talk with you. You were resilient, a tad bit idiotic and just a small pinch of stupidity was added to your whole persona. Yeah, I liked your existence. One thing that I liked was her strength and compassion, obviously hated the latter in most instances, but I could see the potential. All in all, if you were on a cliff and I had the option to save you, I would throw you a shoelace and if it snapped, oh well. Not that big of a loss.

Hattie, dear Hattie, you made me cry. That's all, I felt everything you said, even though you were only mentioned two or three times. Me? I love you.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun, onto THE thing I despised with every single ounce of life source swimming within me.


No, not him, the ABSENCE of him. So, he was the MC's best friend, right? And he literally was one of the best characters in this book. If he had been mentioned more than five times. And then the author forgot about him from page 5 till the end. Yes, that happened. I'm still confusion.

Excuse me, what?? Did he suddenly disappear into the void? Got eaten and regenerated by carnivorous butterflies?? What. Happened. To. Him. My skin tingled on his appearances. The guy was totes cute, smart, understanding, did I mention cute? And simply deserved better. So yes, I will diminish my rating because of that.

He deserved better, gosh darn it. And his role was literally really important! HE WAS THERE. Oh wait, was he? Or was he a ghost? Hmm?

I won't continue on with him because 1.) it's a spoiler and 2.) I'm still writing fanfiction about his life in my head. Because I'm the only one in this book who actually cared even a smidgen for him.

Uh huh, I'm still going to act like this.

On a closing note, since I want to do something other than stay in bed (nope, I tried, didn't work. Positive thinking is not for me) I shall say that this read tackled a lot of deep topics like racism and such, which surprised me to a degree but was an entertaining addition and invigorating to see them handled as they were. I laughed, cried, swooned and felt myself falling more than once. This story gave me 'binging' vibes and frankly, I felt as if I was on a pillow fort for most of it.

Comfortable and just where I was meant to be.

Oh. my. Goodness. I sounded like the end for a every basic YA book.

Someone throw a piano at my head or something, I cannot go down history like this.


  • The way I breezed through is a testament to its goodness.

  • How amazing and awesome the love interest was.

  • I loved not wishing 5678 people dead during the course of a novel.

  • My marriage with Carter.

Now, unto the next 6 rom com books. Because I can't just read one.