YA books to make you laugh

Sometimes what’s needed in life is a book that’s light, entertaining and full of characters and situations that make you laugh. We’ve put together some of our favourite funny YA books for your perusing pleasure.


Chloe Snow’s Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain

Actress Emma Chastain’s debut book is so funny that Readings staff members messaged each other lists of their favourite parts, so that they could relive the painfully embarrassing antics of fifteen-year-old Chloe, as described in her melodramatic diary.

Chloe’s life is falling apart for various reasons: her mother’s flight to Mexico to ‘find herself’, her lust for a very wrong boy, new distance with her best friend, and coping with the pressures of a surprise lead role in The Sound of Music. Chloe’s roller-coaster emotions, brutal honesty and raging hormones make for hilarious reading.

You can continue following Chloe’s (mis)adventures in the sequel The Year of Living Awkwardly.


Boone Shepard by Gabriel Bergmoser

The titular Boone Shepard is an Australian-born journalist trying to climb the ranks of London newspaper, The Chronicle, in two different centuries, thanks to a roughshod time machine. Intrepid and ambitious, Boone does everything he can to file his bestselling stories, stop others from finding out about his troubled past, and save the woman he loves (a pistol-packing bodyguard who, quite frankly, can handle herself).

Boone Shepard is enormous fun to read; rife with derring-do and death-defying scenarios, witty repartee, unhinged villains and references to the literature of Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and more.

Boone Shepard’s story continues in Boone Shepard’s American Adventure.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Dashing and dissolute British lord, Henry ‘Monty’ Montague sets off on a hedonistic Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend and secret crush Percy, and his serious sister Felicity. After Monty gets drunk, insults a duke, ends up naked at the Palace of Versailles, and decides to steal an important object, the trio find themselves caught up in a dangerous international manhunt.

This queer Regency rom-com is a witty romp with a dash of magic, and plenty of things to say about gender, sexual identity, class, family dysfunction and privilege all within the strictures of the time period.


Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais

Mireille, Astrid and Hakima are named in their school’s annual ‘Pig Pageant’, a humiliating Facebook competition to determine the ugliest girl. Instead of wallowing, the three teenage girls hit the roads on their bikes, together with Hakima’s brother, Kader, an ex-soldier and double amputee. Their plan is to reach Paris in time to gatecrash the Bastille Day Presidential garden party, each for their own personal reason.

Despite being disinterested in garnering attention or praise, the sausage-selling, cycling teenagers soon become French media darlings. Mireille’s sarcastic, witty and melodramatic narration lends hilarity to a book that takes on sexism, racism and ableism while delivering plenty of laughs.


Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Fifteen-year-old Harriet Manners is accident-prone, statistics-obsessed and more than a little nerdy. Her best friend Nat desperately want to be a model, but when Nat drags reluctant Harriet to a fashion show, it’s Harriet who gets spotted by a modelling agency scout and whisked off to Moscow.

Harriet is a delightfully klutzy character, and Geek Girl is full of extended slapstick sequences and public humiliations. Harriet’s desire to transform herself (especially in the face of schoolyard bullying) is tested against her loyalty to her friends in a way that is immensely relatable for tweens and young teens.

Based on the author’s real-life experiences as an unlikely model, this insider’s view of the modelling world is funny, accessible and heartwarming.


Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

The winning duo of skeleton detective/sorcerer Skulduggery Pleasant and snarky Irish schoolgirl Stephanie (a.k.a. Valkyrie), create comedy gold with every book in this enormously popular series. The successful setup is there right from the start; in book one, Skulduggery Pleasant, Skulduggery and Valkyrie uncover a plot for world domination and try to prevent a powerful object from falling into villainous Serpine’s hands. All the while Skulduggery boasts, Valkyrie cuts him down, everyone they encounter is freakishly funny, and the dialogue is as dry as toast.

Horror, comedy and fantasy combine in this very slick, very funny, and quite scary series.

Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She also writes books for children and young adults.

Chloe Snow's Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster

Chloe Snow’s Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster

Emma Chastain

$16.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...