‘Funny Feelings’ by Tarah DeWitt Review

Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt book cover featuring Farley and Meyer kissing with an umbrella.

Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt is a profoundly special book. It’s meaningful and bright, with a gorgeous cover to match what’s on the inside. This was a story I had initially saved for a rainy day—a story I waited on, and then when I dove in—I had no words. It’s one I had to sit with, think about, care for and hold onto.

This is a romance novel for anyone who’s ever been told and, worse, made to feel like they’re “too much.” It’s a story for the girls who grew up masking their pain with humor, trying to find ways to cope without ever disrupting someone else’s serenity. DeWitt writes, “I was always going to have big feelings, and it was going to be up to me to make sure they were worth it. […] I was going to have to learn to wear those feelings proudly without doing damage to the things or people I love, that I’d only hurt myself in the process if I did.” Farley Jones is not only a relatable heroine, but she’s an honest one—she’s complicated, loud, messy, and flawed at times. She feels real, and she feels grounded. And to match her heart, Meyer Harrigan balances her fire brilliantly.

My sole issue with this book is a personal one—dual timelines, going back and forth generally mess with my thought process. It’s entirely understandable why DeWitt chooses this route, as the story needs to show us the past for the present to hit as effectively as it does, but it’s a detail I’ll happily bear with because the story is worth every beat. Subsequently, there’s much DeWitt gets right that’s so often tricky—single dads and age gaps can border to unhealthy territories in novels, but that’s not the case with Farley and Meyer.

Understandably, kids in novels aren’t everyone’s cup of tea in romance, but goodness gracious, sweet Hazel is the coolest kid I’ve ever read about in a romance novel and years from now, she deserves her own spin-off. I want to know where she ends up and what she does with her light because it’s so bright and beautiful throughout. (Tarah DeWitt, if you read this—please, someday, give us her story, too!)

From the very beginning, Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt encompasses a security that gorgeously threads throughout the story. Meyer isn’t just a safe space for Farley but for the readers as well. He’s kind and compassionate and empathetic—he’s supportive and wholesome with such a natural warmth that’s comforting throughout the novel. Like the title notes, this story is about feelings—big, small, and everything in between. Some of those feelings are indeed funny, crude perhaps, and some of them are deeply moving. There’s a stunning mosaic of emotions scattered throughout the book that makes it feel so real because the characters feel so natural.

Most importantly, Funny Feelings is a story about hope. It’s a story that reminds readers rainstorms aren’t the end. It’s about the little moments that turn into sharing umbrellas while we hold on for dear life when things don’t make sense. There’s something in it for everyone, whether contemporary romance or the tropes are preferred. Luckily for me, fake dating with friends-to-lovers is right up my alley, and this is a glorious read in that regard. There’s so much in this story that deserves immense praise—so much to hold onto and spend time with. The comedy clubs, the hotel rooms, out in the streets, every setting, every character interaction—it’s all beautifully wholesome and warm. If there was ever a book to capture the unbridled bliss and comfort of jumping in puddles as a kid (and an adult), this is it.

Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt is available wherever books are sold digitally, with physical copies releasing October 17th.
Featured Image Credit: ©Tarah DeWitt / Cover Design: Ink and Laurel


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