To celebrate the release of Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott on October 1st, blogs across the web are featuring original content from Rebecca, as well as 5 chances to win the hardcover!
Pretty Funny…for a Girl
by Rebecca Elliott
Girls are pretty. Girls are meek. Girls are innocent and sweet or slutty and objectified. Girls are passive and not yet a fully formed thing and when they are, they’re past their best.
WHAT A LOAD OF BALL-BAGS.
This narrow description, consistently spoon fed to us by media and society, literally fits NO teenage girl I have ever met EVER. Girls are exciting and passionate and strong and ambitious and fierce and wonderfully weird and a hundred different things in any different moment. And girls are funny. So frickin’ funny.
Often the girls who know they’re funny, know they’re clever, know their personality is brighter and bigger than any room could possibly hold still feel like a no one. Why? Because the crappy societal pressures, ever more present in today’s Instagrammy world, tell them they don’t live up to the impossible and often downright dull expectations we put on girldom.
So this is why I wrote Pretty Funny for a Girl. Because we don’t see enough of my favourite kind of girl represented in YA fiction: the gobby, sarcastic, larger than life girl who makes you laugh until you pee your pants. And that’s also who I wrote this book for—all the opinionated, wildly inappropriate, funny girls who need to stop feeling like they’re not matching up to society’s expectations of them and instead jump under the spotlight and crack on with joyously wobbling their funny bits in the face of life.
So for proper inspiration for you all, I thought I’d provide a list of some of my favourite funny women, who were probably funny girls at some point in their lives.
As a teenager (when I harboured secret dreams of becoming a comedy sketch writer and actor) the UK comedians French and Saunders, and Victoria Wood were my absolute idols.
I *love* watching live stand-up, it’s so different to seeing it on a screen and I’ve recently been lucky enough to see awesome stand-ups Sindhu Vee, Susan Calman and Hannah Gadsby.
Hannah Gadsby in particular I think has changed the landscape of stand-up – she manages to deal with huge issues like sexism, homophobia and disability in a warm yet cutting, and utterly hilarious way. I urge everyone to go watch her shows “Nanette” and “Douglas” on Netflix NOW!
I also, of course love the big-hitters who aren’t afraid to honestly, and often down-right disgustingly make comedy about real life from a women’s perspective – people like Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy, Margaret Cho, Sarah Silverman, Ali Wong, Rebel Wilson, Wanda Sykes.
Sophie Hagen and Sophie Duker are also exciting me right now (although maybe I just have a thing for the name ‘Sophie’?).
Oh and I *have* to mention my best friend, stand-up comedian Kirsty Hudson with whom I do a weekly podcast (‘Don’t Laugh But’). I have to mention her because otherwise she’ll kill me. Or at least take the p**** out of me in one of her next routines. Also, tbh, the woman makes me pee myself laughing on most days.
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“A feel-good story featuring a narrator who’s likable and genuinely funny, even at her most self-deprecating. Dreams, being true to oneself, body-image issues, single parenting, family dynamics, self-confidence, and a realistic depiction of friendship make this a refreshing coming-of-age read full of optimism, dreams, and plenty of stereotype-smashing laughs. A natural pick for Dumplin’ (2015) fans.”
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’s learning to embrace all of her curvy parts and, besides, she has a secret: one day, she’ll be a stand-up comedian star.
So when impossibly cool and thirstalicious Leo reveals he’s also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the chance to ghost-write his sets. But is Leo as interested in returning the favor? Even though her friends warn her of Leo’s intentions, Haylah’s not ready to listen—and she might just be digging herself deeper toward heartbreak. If Haylah’s ever going to step into the spotlight, first she’ll need to find the confidence to put herself out there and strut like the boss she really is.
Rebecca Elliott’s hilarious and authentic narrative voice is sure to capture readers’ hearts as her plus-sized, teenage heroine navigates learning to love the body she’s in while dealing with friends, family, and boys.
About the Author: Rebecca Elliott is an author and illustrator. She earned a degree in philosophy and once did a brief stint in a dull office. Now, she enjoys eating angel delight, loudly venting on a drum kit, and spending time in her sunny garden. She lives in England with her family, some chickens, and a cat named Bernard.