The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

Hilarious, snarky and crudely unapologetic

The Edumacation of Jay Baker
By Jay Clark
Henry Holt and Co. | Hardcover, 272 pages
Ahhh….Jay Baker. I can’t believe I’ve put off reading you for a year. It was almost like destiny that you literally fell on my feet (my night table stack finally toppled over). Who knew being a freshman could be this much fun and gruesome at the same time? Who knew there’s no such thing as “sarcasm overload”? And potty jokes inserted in literature at a moderate amount could be fodder for the seriousness of how much life sucks?
Fifteen year-old Jay Baker is about to get schooled. He falls in love with his best friend and then meets the girl of his dreams. He’s the target of a bully who’s got an axe to grind. His family life is about to go down the crapper, all thanks to his wandering mother.  To some teenaged boys, this would probably trigger a break out that can only be contained with copious amount of Proactiv. But not Jay. Noooo. All his horrors lead to the inevitable worsening of his Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I know right?

This book was loads of fun. Jay Baker is a relentlessly sarcastic teen who finds incongruous humour in anything and everyone. Even with his parents on the verge of getting a divorce, Jay managed to veer away from an almost certain woe-is-me teen angst. In fact, it was almost as if Jay wouldn’t allow himself or the readers go down that alley. Jay Clark (author) will not let you feel any other emotion but mortification. Readers can count on his snark and ill-timed puns to see all the ways that they need him: a refreshingly honest, in-your-face teen who had no single pretentious bone in his body. Among the drones of perfect characters populating the YA books, he is just what we need to cleanse our palate.

Based on the low rating on Goodreads, I’d say this book is wholly misunderstood. But I understand why. Jay Clark didn’t shy from keeping it real. He used the “R” word rather generously. And some may even feel like there was too much of obnoxious humour in here. Not for me. I started this book right around bed time. I’ve never felt more uncomfortable holding my laughter in than I have reading this book.

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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