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Funny Story
(Review, Book Summary & Spoilers)

By Emily Henry

Book review, full book summary and synopsis for Funny Story by Emily Henry, a warm-hearted and gentle rom-com about picking up the pieces after a breakup .


Funny Story, Emily Henry newest summer romance, is about two people -- Daphne and Miles -- who move in together after their childhood-best-friend exes, Peter and Petra, decide to dump them and marry each other instead.

Daphne is a children's librarian who moved to Waning Bay, Michigan a little over a year ago to be with her now-ex fiancé Peter because he wanted to buy a house in his hometown. Daphne is reserved in nature and has spent the past year pulled into Peter's orbit. Now, she's now stuck in a place that she's not familiar with and where she has no close friends around.

Miles is a guy that Peter never though was good enough for Petra. But he's positive and outgoing and welcomes Daphne into his home and his world when she is soon-to-be homeless following the end of her engagement.

The two jilted parties cook up a plan to make their exes jealous by pretending to be a couple, but as Miles shows Daphne around town, it seems like there may be more to it than just a silly scheme to irritate their exes...

(The Full Plot Summary is also available, below)

Full Plot Summary

Chapter-by-Chapter Summary
See the Chapter-by-Chapter Summary of Funny Story
Quick Plot Summary

The two-paragraph version: Daphne and Miles end up living together after their childhood-best-friend exes dump them and decide to marry one another. Daphne and Miles then agree to pretend to be in a fake relationship to make their exes jealous. Miles offers to show Daphne around since she moved to this town for her ex and doesn't know many places or people. They fall for each other, and they have sex, but then their exes, Peter and Petra, break up and Miles disappears on Daphne.

Peter shows up trying to get back together with Daphne, but she realizes she doesn't want him anymore regardless of whether things will work out with Miles. Miles returns professing his love for Daphne, but she turns him down saying that she doesn't want a grand gesture, just someone to show up for the little things. However, Daphne eventually learns that Miles disappeared because he was trying to convince Daphne's flakey father not to leave town without saying goodbye to Daphne. Miles and Daphne get back together, and the book ends with them telling the "funny story" of how they met.


The book opens with Daphne having recently been dumped by her fiancé, Peter. Peter realized during his bachelor party that he was in love with his "platonic" childhood best friend Petra, and they're in love. He dumps Daphne the next morning, letting her know Petra will be moving in. Petra is also dumping her boyfriend, Miles. After dropping the news on them, Peter and Petra then leave for an impromptu week-long trip to the Amalfi coast together.

When Miles shows up looking for Petra, Daphne and Miles end up talking. Heartbroken and soon-to-be homeless, Daphne accepts Miles's offer to move in as his roommate. She's now been living with Miles for the past three weeks. Daphne uprooted her life and moved here, to Peter's hometown, a little over a year ago because he wanted to buy a house here in Waning Bay, Michigan. Now, Daphne is stuck in a city where the only people she knows are her co-workers and Peter's friends. She considers leaving, but she's running the Read-a-Thon at the library she works at as a children's librarian for the rest of the summer, so she's stuck staying for at least the next three months.

Daphne and Miles soon receive invites to Peter and Petra's wedding, devastating them both. They drunkenly RSVP, and Peter calls Daphne. It's clear he never really meant for her to actually attend, and he tries to dissuade her by telling her how sad she'll be to show up alone. Humiliated and indignant, Daphne ends up claiming that she has a boyfriend already. When Peter points out that she RSVP'd without a plus one, Daphne lies again and says that she and Miles are an item and that they'll be attending together.

As Miles and Daphne room together, they get to know one another. Miles is a buyer at a winery who is a very positive person who has an easy time meeting and getting to know people. Daphne meanwhile is reserved and a little closed off. Miles offers to show Daphne around since there's a lot Peter never showed her, and Miles hopes Daphne will end up deciding to stay. They also have movie nights together watching movies their exes were never willing to watch with them.


Daphne realizes she has spent her whole life being partnered up. When she was young, it was her mother. In college, it was her best friend Sadie. Then, when she met Peter, her life revolved around him and his interests and schedule. Now, she's having to figure out being un-partnered.

Daphne starts making a new friend at work, Ashleigh, who starts inviting her to a monthly poker night with other people around town. One day, Miles's younger sister Julia shows up in town, and she ends up staying with and hanging out with them too.

Meanwhile, Miles is processing his own breakup as well. Petra had told him while they were dating that she never wanted to get married, only to turn around and immediately plan a wedding to Peter. Growing up, his mother's emotions eclipsed everyone else's in the family, and Miles learned to hide his own emotions and pretend everything was fine in order to prevent his mother from being upset. Now, Miles struggles with a lot of self-doubt and distrust over his own emotions.


In August, Daphne's father unexpectedly shows up with a woman, who he introduces as his wife. They're road-tripping from California to Vermont and want to stop here to spend some time with her. Daphne is surprised to see her father married to someone who is age-appropriate and he seems earnest about wanting to spend time with Daphne. Daphne lets herself believe that her father could have really changed. However, shortly after, he and his wife leave without a goodbye after getting an invitation to stay with some other friends, and Daphne's reminded how she's never felt like a priority to him.

Afterwards, Daphne is upset and Miles tells her that her father is someone who can't face her because sees him as he really is. Her father wants to be around people who don't really know him and don't know his imperfections. Miles also says that Peter is just someone who is boring and thinks that being with Petra will make him less boring. Afterwards, Daphne and Miles kiss and have sex, and they spend a blissful day together.

Then, Miles flakes the next day. Peter shows up instead the day after and says that the Petra thing was a mistake and that he wants to get back together. Daphne realizes that even if the Miles thing didn't work out, she still no longer wants the life she had with Peter that revolved entirely around him. Miles eventually shows back up and apologies for disappearing on her. He says he panicked and he's sorry, but he loves her and wants to be together, but Daphne turns him down. Around this time, Daphne finds a job posting for a children's librarian position near where her mother lives.

Soon, the Read-a-thon, a library event Julia has been planning for all summer, arrives. The event goes smoothly and Julia and Miles show up along with a lot of other friends to volunteer. Daphne's father calls and she finds out that the reason Miles flaked out on her is because he drove up to where her father had gone to try to convince him to come back instead of leaving without saying goodbye. Daphne realizes that Miles never told her because he knew how much it would hurt her to know her that he'd tried but her father had refused.

Julia tells Daphne that even though Miles constantly doubts whether he is able to be the man or the person that other people need him to be (because of how his mother was), Julia knows from how he's taken care of her that he's more than capable of being there for someone and being enough.

Daphne lets Miles know that she knows that he went to see her father. Daphne tells Miles she wants them to be together, but she needs to move out because she needs to learn to create her own life that's separate from him.


A year later, Daphne and Miles are moving in together again. They have a housewarming party with all their friends, and Daphne's mother comes to visit as well. The book ends with Daphne telling the "funny story" about how they met...

For more detail, see the full Chapter-by-Chapter Summary.

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Book Review

Funny Story is Emily Henry’s newest summer romance, and it’s set to hit shelves on April 23rd. Emily Henry has become a bit of a staple in recent years when it comes to summer romances, and with the sun finally peeking out this weekend, I was eager to get into this opposites-attract, fake relationship rom-com.

The basic setup is that our protagonist, Daphne, has been dumped by her fiancé, Peter. The day after his bachelor party, Peter tells Daphne that he’s finally admitted to himself that he’s in love with his childhood best friend, Petra. Petra is also leaving her boyfriend, Miles, and she’s moving in with Peter instead. Heartbroken and soon-to-be homeless, Daphne eagerly accepts Miles’s offer to move in to his place, and for various reasons they end up pretending to be a couple in order to make Petra and Peter jealous.

Despite the somewhat gimmicky premise, the actual story is quite sincere and written with a lot of heart, humor and charm. Funny Story is essentially a book about picking yourself back up and reclaiming your identity after a serious breakup … and maybe also meeting someone new in the process.

The gimmicky parts of the premise actually don’t play a huge role in the story. Daphne and Miles are initially presented as being opposites, but they’re actually not really. And the fake relationship is a very minor part of the plot, since for most of the book they’re hanging out with people who know they’re not a couple.

The narrative is a little directionless at times, just because it mostly involves two people hanging out and getting over their respective exes. Daphne moved to her ex’s hometown less than a year ago and spent that year in a very regimented relationship bubble, so when the relationship ends, she finds herself stuck in a place she’s not familiar with and where doesn’t have any close friends. Instead, Miles offers to show her around in hopes of convincing her to stay.

It’s a gentle, warm-hearted book, set in a small town. The characters are fun to get to know, and Emily Henry does a great job of imbuing them with life, which makes it nice to spend some time with them as they get to know one another. Meanwhile, Daphne and Miles also grapple with their relationships with their parents and how that in turn has shaped their views and romantic relationships.

I’ve been following Emily Henry’s rom-coms for a while now, and it’s easy to see why she’s come to dominate the summer beach read category. Henry manages to take silly but fun rom-com setups and translate them into meaningful, heartfelt and entertaining romances. Her novels take love and relationships seriously, exploring with insight and authenticity the very real and complex emotions involved, while also holding on to the delight and natural comedy that comes with two people falling for one another.

As soon as I got my hands on an early copy of this book, it immediately jumped to the top of my reading list. It was a beautiful weekend out here, and sitting outside in the sun reading this was kind of lovely, so maybe that’s creating a bias towards this book, but I had a good time reading Funny Story.

funny story alternate cover

The UK Cover of Funny Story

Read it or Skip it?

Funny Story is pretty good as a romance, but really shines as a post-breakup book and a book about relationships in general. I think there’s probably swoonier romances out there, but this one is great at really examining the emotions that people go through after a serious relationship ends and the process of putting yourself back together and reclaiming your identity. It’s thoughtful, but entertaining.

I think if that interests you, then this is a really heartfelt and sweet way to tell that story with some fun and hopeful romance in between.

See Funny Story on Amazon.

Book Excerpt

Read the first pages of Funny Story

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