October 06, 2020

Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Welcome to the Pretty Funny for a Girl Blog Tour!

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!

Excerpt from Pretty Funny for a Girl
by Rebecca Elliott


The next day at school, Kas and Chloe are all hyper about our pub plans next Friday. They’re already talking about what they’re going to wear and which shoes would look best with Chloe’s new lipstick, but I’m just concentrating on trying not to sound too excited so as not to start up the whole “Pig luurves Leo” thing again.
“You do want to go, don’t you, Pig?” says Kas. “You don’t seem that up for it.”
“Yeah, sure. I’ve just gotta lot of other stuff on at the moment and it’s, well, it’s still a week away. I mean, I’m sure I’ll be excited nearer the time.”
“What stuff?” Chloe scoffs at me with a grin.
“Like…hobbies and stuff. I have a very busy life. It’s not all about you guys!”
“Since when do have you have a hobby?” says Kas.
“I have hobbies…erm…sleeping…eating…toileting…”
Kas laughs. “They’re not hobbies!”
“They’re leisure activities that give me pleasure, so I don’t see why not,” I say grandly, hoping to dismantle the conversation with another laugh.
“I think I know the real hobby you’re into,” says Chloe with a grin that could rival the Joker’s for evilness. “Luurving Mr. Leo Jackson.”
Oh, for frick’s sake.
As the two of them giggle, Mrs. Perkins blasts over the class, “Right, who wants to take the roll back?”
I grab the opportunity for an escape route and shoot my hand into the air.
“Ms. Swinton, I’m impressed! You’re not known for your volunteering,” says Mrs. Perkins.
“It’s one of her new hobbies, miss,” sniggers Kas.
“Is it okay that I hate you both a little bit right now?” I whisper to them as I grab my bag and get up.
“Aww, Pig, we’re only messing about. C’mon, you know that,” says Chloe.
“Yeah, whatever, you evil old hags.” But I say it with a smile.
Then, as I walk between the desks to the front of the class, Dylan puts on a loud camp voice and says, “And coming down the catwalk now we have a glorious outfit from the latest collection by Jean-Paul Porkier…”
I grit my teeth, but I go along with the joke. What else can I do? So I strut down the classroom, my chin raised high, shoulders back, lips pouting, swaying my hips with each step and snapping my body then my head back to the room as I reach Mrs. Perkins. The class falls about in fits of giggles.
Mrs. Perkins is less impressed. “Yes, thank you, Haylah, most amusing, but if you mess around like that again in my classroom it’ll be detention, okay?”
“Sorry, miss,” I say, taking the roll from her.
Dylan’s such a cack-nugget.
I head to the school office, the flush leaving my cheeks with each step. Thinking back to the conversation with Chloe and Kas, I know I should just stop denying it and tell them that yes, I have a little thing for Leo, and yes, I know it’s going nowhere. Try to make a joke out of it. But this feels different. This time the joke is very much on me. I know there’s no hope for this crush. And they know it too. So if I own up to it I go from being the funny, strong one in the group to being the pathetic, heartbroken loser.
I drop the roll off at the office and walk toward the history rooms for my first class of the day. But, as I go past the lockers, I hear a familiar voice booming its big warm laugh.
Leo. He’s leaning up against his locker, talking to a bunch of his friends (mostly girls) all hanging on his every word. My heart begins to pound so loudly I start to think everyone can hear it.
Stupid heart.
I could keep walking. I should keep walking. Look at the ground, attract no attention. Instead, with what seems like no instruction from me, my feet walk into the rows of lockers behind where Leo’s is. My locker isn’t here, I have no reason to be here. So I fiddle with someone else’s locker as I listen to Leo.
For the second day in a row, I’ve turned into creepy stalker girl. Maybe that’s my new hobby.
“So your dad doesn’t mind if we all come down the pub next Friday?” says one of the girls.
“Nah, he’s cool with that, as long as you don’t try to buy any drinks—Jax, I’m looking at you!” says Leo. “And no heckling!”
“I’ll only heckle you if you’re not funny, dude,” says Jax as I continue to fiddle with the lock on my pretend locker.
Oh God, I’m an actual nutter.
Then I look around and realize there’s no one down this aisle to see me anyway, so I stop and just lean up against the locker backing on to Leo’s, willing my heart to stop clanging against my chest so loudly.
“Oh, no pressure then!” says Leo. “Actually, I haven’t got anything new written, and if I can’t bang anything out by next Friday I won’t be getting up at all.”
And now my traitorous heart skips a beat.
What? But he’s got to get up and do his thing! So that I can be there in the audience. Adoring him.
As I flip out at the thought of Leo not performing, his friends give him a hard time, asking, “How difficult can it be to write a few knock-knock jokes!” But what do they know. Bunch of comedic simpletons.
I understand, Leo—I totally get how hard it is to write the funny.
Then they leave, apparently for art class, and as they go Leo puts on a ridiculous high-pitched voice and does an uncanny impression of Mrs. O’Farrell, the art teacher. “Use your inner eye, students. Don’t draw what’s in front of you, draw the spaces between. Don’t draw what you think you can see, draw what you feel in your hearts. UNLEASH the artist within!”
They laugh. I laugh (quietly). He leaves. Then I do something stupid.
I don’t know whether it’s the thought of Leo not performing at the pub, the adrenaline from hiding making me go slightly insane, or the high of being so close to him that makes me do it. But whatever it is, with my blood pumping around my body at lightning speed, I get out a pen and paper from my bag and write down one of the jokes I’d written in my comedy diary last night.
One I could imagine Leo laughing at, but now I can also imagine him telling.

Man, it was hot the other day. So hot. I threw open the freezer, took great handfuls of whatever I could find: frozen peas, Ben & Jerry’s, you name it, and just shoved it all down my shirt. And pants.
Lay face down on the floor just enjoying the cold on my skin. 
I mean, I know it’s probably not great for the food or anything, but man, it felt good.
You understand, right? ’Cause the Aldi’s manager sure didn’t.

I sneak around the corner, check no one’s looking, and then post it through the gap at the side of his locker.
And I stride away triumphantly down the hallway.
And with this one truly heroic act she saved humanity from the impending disaster of a Leo-less comedy stage!
Then the full force of my utter dumb-nuttery begins to hit me.
And I walk to my class on shaky legs, the harsh sting of regret hitting me a little more with each step.
What oh what the hell was I thinking?


Blog Tour Schedule:

“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.
Follow Rebecca: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

  • 1 winner will receive a finished copy of Pretty Funny for a Girl
  • Check out the other tour stops for more chances to win.
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 11:59pm ET on 10/18

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