Young Adult Novels for a Good Laugh

When their life gets too crazy, teenagers turn to humor to help them navigate adolescence. we adults that enjoy young adult and children's books sometimes are search for some good laughs too.  Everyone loves a good joke or story, since humor is often the glue of friendships. Teens and adults alike usually feel comfortable enough with their good friends to be honest and silly. While humor in young adult books often focus on the life experience of teenagers, adults remember those times as embarrassing and challenging, sometimes more so than they actually were. The books I am listing here tend to include the expected funny or embarrassing situations as well as offbeat characters and sarcastic or witty dialogue.

Fat Vampire: A Never-Coming-of-Age Story by Adam Rex
15-year-old Doug Lee has been turned into vampire but he's nothing like the sexy Twilight type. Doug is anxious, overweight and dorky. He's more pathetic than powerful, barely understands his vampire powers, and struggles to find any blood to sustain himself.

Sparks: the Epic, Completely True Blue, (almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S. J. Adams. Debbie has kept her crush on best friend Lisa a secret for two years, even joining Lisa's Christian teen group in the hope that over time Lisa will reciprocate her feelings. But when Lisa gets a serious boyfriend, Debbie's life falls apart. Then she meets the Church of Blue, a faith made-up by two fellow high school outcasts, and begins a hilarious spiritual quest that gives her the strength she needs to come out. Debbie's sarcastic, angst-filled narrative propels this very funny lesbian coming-of-age story.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews 
Greg Gaines has one thing going for him, a wildly self-deprecating sense of humor. But low self-esteem and his efforts to just drift through the chaos of high school mean he has no real friends. His only social activity is making "unwatchable" remakes of classic movies, with Earl, a tough teenager from a dysfunctional family. Under pressure from his mother, Greg reconnects with Rachel, a former friend who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. His smart-aleck humor makes her laugh but it's not going to save her life.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
This intricately plotted adult novel includes a number of elements that should appeal to teenagers. A combination of e-mails, letters, articles, and a narrative by Bee, the teenage daughter of Bernadette, to create a comic collage of offbeat characterizations, witty situations, and satirical observations examining why a brilliant, but increasingly eccentric former artist disappeared.

There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
God as a teenage boy named Bob; an immortal whose mother won Earth in a card game is the conceit at the center of Meg Rosoff's offbeat and darkly humorous novel. Bob is lazy, selfish, and obsessed with sex. He acts with no concern for the result of his actions. And now his lust for a beautiful human assistant zookeeper has brought Earth to the brink of environmental disaster. Might it not be time for a change in the heavenly order?
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
Kelsey Finkelstein's efforts to revamp herself during her freshman year in high school leads to mishap after mishap in this hilarious coming-of-age novel. The travails of freshman year have never been conveyed with so much humor.

More chuckle worthy young adult novels I would recommend include: Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk, Firecracker by David Iserson, Matthew Meets the Man by Travis Nichols, Getting over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald, Call the Shots by Don Calame,  Not That Kind of Girl by Vivian Siobhan, and The Downside of Being Up by Alan Lawrence Sitomer.

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