I like how finding her voice as a standup comedian allowed her to see her boyfriend in a new way and question what love should look like.
With plenty of laughs, I especially liked the scenes with her sister, and the idea that, at 16, she could impersonate a college student—what could possibly go wrong??
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel comes to high school in acclaimed author Katie Henry’s coming-of-age YA contemporary about a girl who accidentally falls into the world of stand-up comedy.Perfect for fans of John Green and Becky Albertalli!
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 mistakenly 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. 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.
About the Author
Katie Henry, author of Heretics Anonymous, Let’s Call It a Doomsday, and This Will Be Funny Someday, is a writer living and working in New York City. She received her BFA in dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a published playwright, specializing in theater for young audiences. Her plays have been performed by high schools and community organizations in over thirty states. You can find her online at www.katiehenrywrites.com.
"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
Praise for Let's Call It a Doomsday: “Henry writes witty dialogue, creates complicated characters, and treats different religious beliefs with sincerity and respect... This one’s a gem.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A rare YA novel in its approach to religious faith as a life-giving, if complicated, aspect of a young adult’s life... Ellis is a protagonist to root for.” — Publishers Weekly(starred review)
“A whip-smart and compelling protagonist who grapples with deep questions about the nature of belief, identity, and control... One of the few YA titles with a Mormon protagonist... Humorous dialogue and richly developed supporting characters add to the appeal.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“As Ellis learns to consider the hopeful alongside the negative scenarios, the story rushes toward its intriguing, suspenseful conclusion... A too-rare, well-rounded portrayal of a religious adolescent, from the author of Heretics Anonymous.” — The Horn Book
“Henry treats Ellis’ faith with respect and sensitivity while still realistically depicting her struggles to find love and acceptance of herself in a community that is not always supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals... the final few chapters send the reader on a satisfying rollercoaster.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for Heretics Anonymous: “With a page-ripping plot and realistic character development, Henry’s funny, heartwarming tale of unlikely rebels soars: an auspicious debut.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Most impressive here is Henry’s multifaceted take on religion. Come for the arch first-person narrative and puppy love, stay for the examination into belief.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)
“In addition to being a frequently hilarious comedy with its share of complicated romance, the story presents a thought-provoking look at faith, questioning but ultimately respectful of Catholicism and other beliefs.” — Horn Book Magazine
“The story adeptly asks readers to question what they believe and why, without being preachy, judgmental, or dismissive. Humor interlaced with more serious ideas make for an interesting and enjoyable read. Highly recommended, especially for teens who are passionate about a cause.” — School Library Journal
“In this entertaining coming-of-age story, five free-thinking students launch a clandestine campaign against their school’s rigid policies and practices, with unanticipated consequences. Snappy dialogue sparkles throughout this skillfully crafted debut.” — Publishers Weekly
“Genuine and heartfelt doctrinal questions arise in between the pranks and the conversations Michael has with his new friends, allowing both believing and nonbelieving readers to find their way into this exploration of the way feelings about family and faith intersect. A balanced perspective of possibilities of faith and skepticism.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books