Read The Edumacation of Jay Baker by JayClark Online


From Booklist:*Starred Review* The magic lies in the telling. Jay, a large-hearted wiseass who’s nearly impossible to dislike, has a narrative patter so deeply laced with groaner puns, pop-culture bombs, and warp-speed free associations that it’s almost a new language. It’s an argot he shares with vivacious Cam (whose real name, hilariously, is Cameo Appearance Parnell), bFrom Booklist:*Starred Review* The magic lies in the telling. Jay, a large-hearted wiseass who’s nearly impossible to dislike, has a narrative patter so deeply laced with groaner puns, pop-culture bombs, and warp-speed free associations that it’s almost a new language. It’s an argot he shares with vivacious Cam (whose real name, hilariously, is Cameo Appearance Parnell), but after he gets rebuffed trying to share a bit more with her, he starts seeing another cutie who’s more or less the anti-Cam. While their awkward love triangle takes shape, Jay’s parents get mired in their own supremely embarrassing love-life disaster. To help him out of his funk, Jay’s government teacher (who can match him bon mot for bon mot) challenges him to use his considerable powers of clever to write a school blog. OK, so it’s not the most thrilling goal ever, but getting there is both flippantly fun and surprisingly resistant to ironic detachment. Most of all, though, Jay’s smarts, originality, and warmth make the old teen trope of the hot girl(s) falling for the doofus guy actually believable. Grades 8-11. --Ian Chipman...

Title : The Edumacation of Jay Baker
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780805092561
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Edumacation of Jay Baker Reviews

  • Heidi
    2019-04-16 04:20

    “Three and a half Stars: A witty tale of a teenage boy coping with teenage and adult drama. Jay is a freshman dealing with the typical angst that plagues teenage boys. Raging hormones, unrequited feelings for his best friend, bully problems, and all the awkwardness that comes with being a teenager. His burdens become heavier when his parents announce they are separating on a trial basis. His dad is a workaholic and not home much. Consequently, his mother started up an affair with a low life, who just happens to be the father of one of his friends. Things go from bad to worse as Jay grapples with his family being torn apart, his arch nemesis, Mike, continues his ruthless taunts, Cameo, his best friend and love interest starts dating another dirt bag and he fails miserably in the debate for class president. There is a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel. A new girl, Caroline, comes to town and he forms a fast relationship with her. Will Jay somehow survive his unpleasant and geeky teenage years?Three and a half stars: A witty tale of a teenage boy coping with teenage and adult drama.What I Liked:*This is one of those books you grab when you are in the mood for a mindless, funny read. It is a novel full of everything you expect when following a somewhat nerdy teenage boy: bathroom humor, loads of sexual references, awkwardness and plenty of hilarious antics. This is a book you can pick up and put down because the plot is simplistic and perfect for days when your mind is tired.*I loved being in Jay's head. There are so many funny and witty comments in this book that will have you snorting and laughing out loud (seriously the type where you really do laugh, none of that fake LOL crap when you don't mean it). For whatever reason I enjoy following the ridiculous thought process of a teenage boy. Be prepared for loads of crude bathroom references (Jay suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and non stop thoughts on sex as well as self deprecating type remarks. This book will introduce you to many new sexual euphemisms and innuendos. If you are not the type that appreciates teenage boy humor, this book is not for you. *While on the surface this book is billed as a humorous book I appreciate that it dealt with some very real issues. There are three characters, Jay, Cameo and Caroline, who have parents with some major problems. Jay and his sister Abby are dealing with the break up of their family due to their mother's infidelity. I liked watching how each of the siblings grappled with the situation differently and how they experienced a gamut of emotions. Especially for Jay the feelings he has regarding the issue are interesting. At the end I applauded his mature decision when new allegations come to light. The way he confronts his mother and deals with the problem show a marked growth and new found maturity. *I loved the relationship between Jay and his sister Abby. Abby as a senior,of course,is obsessed with her boyfriend, popularity and cell phone, and her brother is the least of her concerns. As the events unfurl, the two bond and rediscover the importance of sibling relationships. The way Abby nonchalantly looks out for her little brother is adorable. I loved the late night floor sleep overs and the phone texts that Jay uses to get his sister's attention and most of all the way she fiercely protects him, but don't tell her friends that. This was my favorite aspect of the story.*I liked how on the chapters are a play on real song titles which the author lists at the end of the book. You get such gems as: “Dad Likes Her Butt And He Cannot Lie”, “I Just Called To Say I’m Pooping”, “Give Me One Reason Not To Shoot Myself In The Face.” These are: “Baby Got Back”, Sir Mix A Lot, “I Just Called To Say I Love You”, Stevie Wonder and “Give Me One Reason”, Tracy Chapman.*Finally, I mentioned in some of my previous reviews that coming of age books where characters deal with some major issues and at the end exhibit marked growth are some of my favorite reads. I thoroughly enjoyed the steps toward maturity that Jay takes and the way he comes to terms with the issues surrounding his family. Also I admired how he reconciles his feelings regarding Caroline and Cameo, and the resolution of his ongoing feud with Mike where he discovers they might have more in common than they realized. At the end you can chart his progress and see he is on his way to becoming a more mature adult... well he is trying, I doubt he will give up his bathroom/sex jokes.And The Not So Much:*One of my big issues in this book was that it is kind of all over. There is no clear plot line. You get a bunch of random scenes that flicker all over the map. It does not follow a neat, cohesive story line. The humor spices it up and keeps you entertained but more than a few times the jokes went over my head because they felt more like inside jokes and they were often lost on me.*I wish Jay's father was more involved. In the beginning he has a main role but as the story progresses he is absent, a background character. Jay's mother is a strong presence and you get to see her viewpoint which I liked, I wish his father's perspective was shown. I would have liked to know his father's reaction to his mother's final revelation.*I wanted a bit more resolution of the parental issues that Caroline and Cameo faced. Both girls dealt with difficult situations and I would like to see how they settled out; especially for Cameo, her home life was a mess.The Educmacation of Jay Baker is an entertaining read that explores the angst and drama in an average teenage boy's life. It is ridiculous and full of crude humor and sexual references. It is not all fun and games, though. This book depicts a young man learning that his parents aren’t the models of perfection he always believed them to be. They are human and fallible just like everyone else. If you are not the type (a deviant like me) that appreciates this type of humor then this is not a book for you. If you want something light, funny but also a book with mature changes pick this one up. Favorite Quotations:“Eyebrows raised, Dad was looking might surprised by my sudden rebellious streak. Normally such a square peg, I’d gone and dug myself a round grave.”“Even a confident, accomplished career man like Jim Baker could be shattered by his wife checking out a copy of another guy’s Moby Dick.”“Ah, fart jokes. A common denominator bringing everyone closer together since Adam let forth the first one in front of Eve.”“I’m a parent, Jay,” she replied. “I have guilt that goes on for miles. The pollution of my life.”“The least Keith could have done was driven a different vehicle. His rust-bucket van wasn’t fit to take a dump in, and the last thing our family needed was for it to be parked outside Mom’s---flashing a sign to the world that he was Magna-Doodling her on a regular basis.”A big thanks to Jay Clark and also to his publisher, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for kindly providing me a copy for review purposes. Stop by for a chance to win a copy.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-09 04:41

    Jay Baker’s got trouble, right here in River City. Trouble with a capital T, and that rhymes with B, and that stands for—better luck next time? You got that pop culture reference, right Mr. Baker? After all, the ones you fling at your readers span decades beyond the referential zingers any typical high schooler would have in his arsenal of snark. They also, alas, get in the way of the story you’re trying to tell, making readers take time out of the narrative to figure out just exactly what you’re trying to say.Having said that, The Edumacation of Jay Baker isn’t all bad. Amidst the overwhelming tide of female voices in teen literature today, it’s always refreshing to have a male protagonist—even if he is angsting over the women in his life in a voice that misses the mark of feeling authentic. His surprisingly strong bond with his older sister is a positive spot too. They snark at each other as most siblings are wont to do, but there’s still a deep love present, and it helps both of them deal with the situation of their parents’ marriage imploding. The plot itself is nothing new, but nothing bad either. In more capable hands, the family drama and a shifting of affections from one girl to another while not groundbreaking, is not an unwelcome addition to the shelves. This particular book, however, is done in by a mismanagement of words.

  • Rob
    2019-04-20 07:42

    3.5 stars. This one eventually won me over despite trying waaaaayyyyy too hard, coming off like Juno hopped up on blue meth. Everyone, from the titular narrator on down, is hipper than hip, speaking in a stilted, slangy patois that resembles nothing on Earth. Even the characters' names are obnoxious: Jay has a long-time crush on his best friend since childhood, Cameo "Appearance" Parnell. Never have I seen a writer working so hard; you can almost smell author Jay Clark's flop sweat.But somehow it all pulls together. Jay's voice is an acquired taste that eventually grew on me, and his struggles – girl problems, separated parents, a contentious rivalry with a classmate – rang true despite all the stylistic affectations. And I have to admit it was kind of nice to read a Young Adult novel that didn't seem to want to be much more than a funny diversion; the heaviest this thing gets is when Jay gets assigned to write a blog by his social studies teacher. In all, it's a fast, breezy read that makes a nice break in between weightier YA books that tackle the Big Issues.

  • Sarah Nessler
    2019-04-12 07:20

    Well again I was looking forward to reading this book since I know the author! I still need to ask him if he will sign my copy. It was a fantastic book all about issues in high school things that a lot of kids can understand on multiple levels. It is refreshing to see that this is not just a typically YA book that it is geared toward another audience other than the middle school age that most books tend to lean towards. Middle school holds many different issues but high school also holds its own different beasts. I have noticed watching my nieces grow how much pressures in life have truly changed since I have been in school which is scary and shocking. I am hoping more people read this to get more ideas on some issues in school and home life that can and do occur. Thank you Jay Clark I loved it!

  • The Rusty Key
    2019-03-28 04:30

    Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Abigail TysonRecommended For: Both boys and girls aged 14 and up for moderate teenage sexuality and language.One Word Summary: Overzealous.In young adult literature nowadays, there are not enough books geared towards boys. Of course, many include boys and the problems boys grapple with sometimes happen peripherally to the main story, but there aren’t a plethora of books written with teenage boys in mind. In The Edumacation of Jay Baker, Jay Clark strives to remedy this imbalance. How well he succeeds at this undertaking is up for debate, but his good intentions might make up for his obsession with his own narrative devices that, while not unoriginal, are not anything to write home about.Jay Baker is your every-day fifteen-year old boy. He has a huge crush on his gorgeous, cheerleader best friend, struggles to keep his cool (and dignity) when his bully emasculates him, has another crush on a different beautiful girl, and is trying not to lose his mind while his sweet-as-pie family starts falling apart. Add in somewhat uncontrollable irritable bowel syndrome and being forced to run for student council president, and Jay’s life is generally unenviable. But over the course of a few months, he learns through much trial and error that although his life isn’t perfect, it is certainly manageable (and can be utterly fun).As stated before, it is clear from the very beginning that Clark wrote this book for boys who don’t have many characters to relate to in current young adult literature. While his intentions are clear and are in the right place, the quality of the story suffered from an author who wanted too badly for his main character to be the most boyish he could be. From talking openly about porn (using witty euphemisms, of course), to describing how sexy the female characters’ breasts are – Jay Baker is as close to an adolescent guy as it gets. However, it’s not effective. Young men are just as complex and multi-dimensional as young women, and reducing Jay to a stereotype is not doing justice to male characters. Yes, men of all ages think about sex, but Jay being sex-crazy and immature does not make him easy to relate to; it makes him a caricature of adolescent boys. It is also clear by looking at Clark’s biography that he based the titular character off of himself (his wife is even named Caroline, which is the name of Jay’s tennis-playing crush), so one might assume the character would have a bit more depth. On another note: every single character was unusually witty. Although there were many hilarious lines and laugh-out-loud scenes, the reader is taken out of the story when the fifteen-year-old main characters make clever references to 80’s new wave. Once again, it feels as though Clark wants the story and characters to be fun and relatable, but the dialogue reads as pretentious and cocky. What is frustrating is that the devices used to tell the story (sometimes using “Character Name: Dialogue” instead of traditional quotes, quickly breaking the fourth wall, etc.) aren’t entirely hackneyed and could even be seen as refreshing. Unfortunately, the execution is the downfall, in that Clark shoves how clever he finds himself down the reader’s throat. The Edumacation of Jay Baker is a story with heart and excitement, but perhaps too much of each. Jay is likable, but the painstaking effort to make him thoroughly boyish is off-putting and takes away from the experience of what could actually be a very funny and charming story. The dialogue is clever, but too clever for the characters and unnatural. Although if one can get past those blemishes on an otherwise pleasant and entertaining story, then it has the potential to be a worthwhile read – especially for boys.For more reviews, author interviews, reading lists and articles from The Rusty Key, visit us at

  • Dracolibris
    2019-04-20 03:22

    Irreverent yet relevant, poignant and sarcastic, witty and in your face, this book had a little bit of everything, and then some snark added on top. Jay Baker is a freshman with a snark-o-meter that is through the roof. His life is a complicated mess of unrequited crushes, homophobic bullies and parental divorce shockers. His only allies are his sister, the Homecoming Queen (who hates everyone and everything), his best friend Cameo (one of his unrequited crushes), and his teacher, Ms. Lambert (who can out-snark him in a heartbeat). But as he journeys through this treacherous freshman year, he finds more allies and more resources within himself than he knew he could have, and if he doesn't come out of this mess a little bit wiser, at least he comes out of it a little bit cooler. I found this book incredibly hard to put down. At first I enjoyed it because of the witty repertoire amongst the characters, but then it moved me to a deeper level, as Jay uncovers unwanted truths about the world around him, such as his parent's strained relationship. It had humor, heart and more than a few fart jokes- which kept me from feeling completely like Jay was just a little bit too smart for his young years. I think it would be a good read for boys and girls, and for someone wanting a lighter touch with realistic "problem" fiction. The content is acceptable for most teens who would be OK with mature themes (parental affairs and masturbation get a few mentions) and some salty language. The pop culture references were flung fast and hard, only occasionally getting in the way of the narrative, and even though I enjoyed them immensely, I wondered how true a voice this was for actual teenagers today, and how many of them would still be relevant for the teenagers of tomorrow.

  • Sasha
    2019-04-18 03:38

    Jay Baker is the quintessential teenage boy. He's snarky, he's hilarious, he's sarcastic - and I liked him. His family life seems to be pretty normal; however, that's just what it looks like on the outside. He's in love with his best friend and she may or may not return his feelings and then there's a potential new love interest in the new girl at school.I really, really liked the Jay Baker. He is exactly what I think a teenage boy should sound like. Male main characters in YA are scarce and sometimes they seem too feminine or not quite boy-ish enough for me. Jay Baker was EXACTLY how I thought a teenage boy should and would act. Did I agree with some of the stuff he did or said? No, but that's probably what makes my case that he's a believable character. I also really liked the way the story unfolded. And it totally did not end the way that I expected, which was really refreshing. These days it seems like I can see things coming from a mile away, but not here. And these twist and turns are realistic.I know 3 stars makes it seem like I didn't like it, but I did! The only thing that I think the younger folks would have a problem with are the pop culture references. I, personally, thought they were hilarious and understood most of them; however, since the target audience of YA is 12-18 years old, I don't know that the pop culture jokes would resonant with them the way it did with me. Oh and, it didn't end exactly how I would have liked. But that's just my opinion.Definitely pick up this 2012 Debut book when you're in the mood for lots of laughs, a good contemporary story, and/or a boy POV! I enjoyed it!

  • Josh Herlands
    2019-04-14 10:13

    I give this book, The Edumacation of Jay Baker, 4 out of 5 stars. Jay Clark, the author, did a fabulous job with how he wrote the story. The plot was also very intriguing. I couldn’t put it down. The book is about Jay Baker, an awkward teen who deals with issues most kids hope they never have to go through themselves. During the story, Clark would put in a lot of references to other books, movies and TV shows. There were some that I didn’t quite understand. Even though I missed some of them, the storyline still made sense to me and I got the sense of what Jay was feeling. The plot can connect to teenagers very well. It has things that teenagers may struggle with in their life. Connecting to one of the scenarios Jay goes through really deepened my understanding and liking for the book. Even if you are not a teenager now, you would still like this book because it may remind you what your life was like back when you were in high school. A quote that is written on the cover of Clark’s book is, “You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll feel awkward by association.” I like this quote because you start to understand what Jay, the character, may be like before you even open the book. The book lived up to the quote. I didn’t cry but it definitely felt awkward and funny throughout the story. All in all, the book was very good. Don’t you want to know what makes this Jay seem so awkward?

  • Jaila
    2019-04-09 02:40

    This book is... cute. It's not worth raiding shelves for, but it's somewhat amusing. The main problem is that the book liked itself way too much. It was funny, but not exactly laugh-out-loud funny. It had a few moments. The plot was insanely predictable, but this is the kind of story carried by the humor and pop-culture references (which are way too in-your-face. Seriously, one reference was "Viva La Chicken!" in reference to Viva La Vida. It's supposed to be ridiculous, I know, but that just screamed "trying too hard"). The falling-apart family aspect was somewhat interesting, but not very engaging.A good way to put it is this: Jay Clarke writes like Jordan Sonnenblick, but, to put it frankly, worse. Okay, to be honest, despite my gripes, this book isn't bad at all. It's just a little obnoxious and, like I said before, it loves itself way too much. But if you want to read a clever, funny book, go read Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. It's remarkably similar and aimed at a younger audience, but it's cleverer and funnier than Edumacation. Trust me on this one.

  • Estelle
    2019-04-03 02:37

    I think Jay Clark definitely writes the books he wants to read. I feel like I'm getting a huge glimpse into his brain. Now onto the book: I didn't love this one as much as Finding Mr. Brightside, but I did like that we have this main character shielding his real feelings in piles of piles of pop culture references and jokes. Most of all, his parents relationship is a huge part of the story and I don't think I've read another YA where a parent's separation plays so much into the course of the book. I thought that was excellent because beneath all the quirk, it's a serious plot line with many messy feelings. (Another part of Jay's style.) Also there's a GREAT teacher in this book who knows her crap, and does her best by her students. Loved it.Jay Clark, I enjoy you and would like more of your books please. This story is overflowing with personality like I've NEVER read in any other YA. Certainly a unique voice in this book category.

  • Jenna
    2019-03-28 02:30

    If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, quick read, narrated by a sarcastic teenage boy, then this book is for you. Jay Baker, is just an ordinary 15-year old freshman, with a very sarcastic and smart humor that will make you laugh, cry, and all things in the middle. The story is actually simple, but the way he narrates and reacts to the situation is hilarious and interesting. His parents are divorcing, he’s confused with his love life. It’s actually understandable, he is young and still lacks the maturity older people have because of the many experiences they have in life. He is in the crossroad in his life, and reading about it is not only entertaining but it also brought light and some wisdom to me. I just love the book!

  • April
    2019-04-02 06:34

    The Edumacation Of Jay Baker by Jay Clark is a young adult contemporary novel about a boy whose parents are divorcing and the effects of the divorce on him. Jay is an average freshman boy for the most part, he’s got a huge crush on his best friend Cameo Parnell, is running for student government and has an enemy, Mike Hibbert, who likes to rhyme Jay with other words.Read the rest of my review here

  • Merrie
    2019-04-04 09:34

    I read this for work -- I'm going to review it for young readers. I liked it. It was a refreshing break from the Twilight and Hunger Games rip-offs. I also very much liked that while the main character isn't popular and is a bit moody, it wasn't as mopey and dark as many teen books. It was actually a lot of fun -- especially as a fan of pop culture. This book is littered with creative pop culture references, which makes it a fun read, even though it's about broken hearts and divorce.

  • Danie P.
    2019-04-16 04:34

    I really loved the dialog in this book very snappy/pop culture oriented. Jay Baker loves his best friend Cameo, but also likes Caroline a cute tennis player. He constently is trading insults with a football player who calls him gay because Jay calls him pregnant. His parents are having a trial seperation and his mom might be at fault.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-04 10:25

    Jay's a little too slick to be believable as a nerdy teenage boy but that's my only complaint. It's a fun and funny read, while also dealing with a serious subject - the ramifications of the parents' separation from the point of view of the kids. Oh, and of course, getting the girl...

  • Heidi Rikard
    2019-04-04 03:37

    Laugh out loud funny. Great book for guys...this author is up there with Sherman Alexie. Would love to see him speak live to see if he's as witty in person as he is on paper.Too bad I can't recommend it to my students, but I'll highly recommend to my high school librarian friends.

  • Susan
    2019-04-13 08:37

    ugh. can I punch Jay, please? Hard? I can't stand him or his sense of humor or his infatuationn with his best friend and if Cameo had fallen for him by the end of the book I was going to scream. Best just stop.

  • Benjamin Zabin
    2019-03-21 08:16

    I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!So funny and very easy to relate too. A MUST READ!

  • Chryssa
    2019-03-28 09:25

    I'm still laughing at the author's jokes. I felt like I was back in high school. Great Job!

  • Marybeth Taylor
    2019-03-26 09:17

    A hilarious, excellently-written, pun-filled "coming of age" story. Creative characters and stunning plot, I would for sure recommend it!

  • Brian Kell
    2019-04-07 10:35

    One of the fastest, funniest, quick witted books I've ever read. Really enjoyed it.

  • Chloe705
    2019-03-27 05:22

    *SPOILERS* "The Edumacation of Jay Baker" is a book worth remembering. In Jay Clark's rendering of a teenage boy's life, we meet Jay Baker, a high schooler who has been in love with his best friend, Cameo, for as long as he can remember. He has been there for her through the good times, like when she had a boyfriend, and the bad times, like when she didn't have a boyfriend. This period in Jay's life zoom's in on a year where his parents are getting a divorce because Jay's mom cheated on his dad with Cameo's dad. Over this year, Jay let's go of his love for Cameo when he falls in love with the new girl at school, Caroline. This book was a fun read because new information and interesting twists were spewing from every page in the story. Through love and betrayal, Jay grows as a friend and human being and realizes that some things aren't meant to be. Although there was no physical action in the story, there so much character tension and longing that drove Jay to change and become a better person. I loved how the author brought new characters into Jay's life to strengthen his internal conflicts of trying to pick sides between his two parents and Cameo and Caroline.If you like romance and tension read Jay Clark's wonderful book on what it means to be indecisive and young.

  • Taylar
    2019-04-07 05:37

    Jay Baker deals with his family life going bonkers, school and a bully there, and girl troubles. All of which add up to an entertaining teen novel. What makes it more entertaining is the style in which the author, Jay Clark, writes Jay Baker's story.There is so much sarcasm, wit, and pop culture references that I really appreciated. There is also a lot of heart and intriguing descriptions. Also, the chapters are very short. I don't think I found one longer than 5 or 6 pages.And, of course, the inevitable fart and poop jokes that would come along with a main character who suffers from IBS, but also diffuses everything in his life with humor. Those weren't my favorite jokes, but when the going gets tough in our main character's life, you also appreciate the levity of a silly, juvenile fart joke.I will look to see if Jay Clark has written more, because Edumacation was quite an entertaining and quick read.

  • Anne
    2019-03-23 06:24

    I think this book is meant to appeal to reluctant readers - but the way language is used (with lots of made-up words - such as beautiliciousness and manorexic- and lots of innuendos) actually makes this a book for a sophisticated reader who might not be so impressed with the subject matter.Jay is a freshman in high school. He has a long-running feud going on with classmate Mike Hibbel, a long-standing crush on his best friend Cameo, and has just gotten the news that his parents are separating due to some major indiscretions. While there is some prime teen material here, there is also a really heavy undertone of sexual tension throughout. Lots of innuendos (but without the humor that I found in Swim the Fly by Calame to redeem it). Steer towards high school.

  • 704True
    2019-04-10 10:34

    Filled with humor and emotion, dealing with romance and divorce, school bullies and sarcasm, and a lot of teacher advice, this book is a great read! Highly recommended!

  • Amanda
    2019-04-01 06:34

    3.5Original review: took me a little while to settle into The Edumacation of Jay Baker, but it had nothing to do with the story, and everything to do with the fact I was reading an ARC. I caught a grammar error on the first page, and it took a bit before I got over myself. Once I did get invested in the story, I devoured the book in an evening. There is a valuable story nestled in between the constant barrage of pop-culture references and other snarky banter. In her review, Jess called Jay the male version of Juno. I can definitely see that, though for me the awkwardness shifted a little bit too much between charming awkward and awkward awkward. While it didn’t necessarily work all the time for me, it fits Jay’s character.If you read the synopsis, you know that it mentioned something that I have professed my profound dislike for: love triangles. But! But but but. You will perhaps be surprised to find that I really had no issues with this love triangle. If anything, it was a realistic love story with some overlapping love interests and confusion. I can deal with that. It wasn’t over dramatized and there was more to the story than the love interests. In fact, a lot of the whole love interest/triangle deal led to the importance of Jay learning to be himself, and that was good.One of the best aspects of The Edumacation of Jay Baker is the cast of characters. Jay is fun, but his mortal enemy (Mike), his sister (Abby), his love interests (Cameo and Caroline), Ms. Lamert, and his parents make this book what it is. Being a big sister myself, I identified with Abby, and thought she was well-portrayed. Big sisters represent! Jay’s run ins with Mike are hilarious and the resolution to that story arc was both surprising and satisfying. Ms. Lambert also shined through — when you can’t count on your divorcing parents to be there for you, everyone needs a teacher like her — and provided a strong adult figure in the story.In the end, The Edumacation of Jay Baker is a story about a boy who learns to deal with the craziness that life can bring. It is contemporary, but not realistic in the sense that actual teenagers (and parents, and teachers) would speak and act the way they do in the book. Contemporary comedy is a more accurate term perhaps, and there is also truth in comedy. And I always love a story where the main character learns how to be himself. Or herself. Stories like that are incredibly important. I wished I had had more stories like that when I was a teenager.The Edumacation of Jay Baker is a quick read that will make you laugh at all of the antics, and feel for Jay through all of his downs.

  • Beth G.
    2019-03-26 05:16

    Mom and Dad were in their room with the door shut. Again. Cautiously, I pressed my ear against the wooden frame. Hakuna Matata, no Discovery Channel-like sounds could be heard. Only two mammals speaking so quickly and intensely that their voices were nearly inaudible.Synopsis:Jay Baker's world is starting to crumble on all fronts. He has to face his mortal-enemy-since-the-seventh-grade in a Freshman Class Presidential debate. He only decided to run for class office to impress cheerleader Cameo Appearance Parnell, his best friend and unrequited crush, but she's still dating the jocks who've been bullying Jay for years. His parents' 19-year marriage is clearly not doing well; he just found out his mom has been sleeping with Some Dude Named Keith. It's all enough to push a smart-mouthed, IBS-prone kid to the breaking point. Jay can try to cover up his worries with a fast-paced monologue of quips, puns, and pop-culture references, but, at some point, he's going to have to figure out how to just be himself.Review:With a quick-paced narrative filled with snarky, coarse humor, this should be a hit with middle-school boys. Jay's problems are instantly recognizable: he wants to impress a girl or two, he wants football-player Mike Hibbard to quit bullying him, and he wants his parents to get their act together. Jay and his older sister, Abby, make quite the sarcastic comedy team, leavening the mood whenever it seems in danger of turning serious.Overall, this is a decent contemporary realistic novel with plenty of boy-appeal, appropriate for the younger range of YA. Jay's heavy reliance on pop culture references will probably endear him to some teen readers, although they may date the book as pop culture moves ever onward. The narrative veers perilously close to "too clever" from time to time; maybe Jay is trying to impress the reader just as he tries to impress Cameo and Caroline. Clark's debut novel won't be everyone's cup of tea, but readers looking for light realism (no big issues here, just the everyday problems just about every teenager faces) served up with a heavy dose of snark will find it hits the spot.On shelves January 31, 2012.Final Word:Middle school boys seem to be the ideal audience for this light contemporary realism that's heavy on the snark.Source:e-ARC via NetGalley, provided by the publisher by request.

  • Terri
    2019-03-30 02:41

    Edumacation was refreshing and unique. I enjoyed reading from a male’s perspective, as most of the YA I consume is from a female perspective. Jay’s snarky personality and quick wit reminded me of my favorite protagonists in John Green and Maureen Johnson’s novels, but with a pop-culture bent. Jay’s personality is so unique, but the author slightly diminished that by also having Cameo and his favorite teacher communicate in exactly the same style. That there would be two such people who grew up together and communicate like they do is not unrealistic, but that they would find a teacher who communicates in the same “say the first odd thing that comes into my head” manner was just unbelievable. But putting that aside, since I did ENJOY their awkwardness, Jay’s family situation was the driving force in the novel. Edumacation portrayed an unrealistic character with very realistic problems. Jay has always related well to his mom, and when he finds out that his parents are separating because she cheated on his dad, Jay doesn’t know how to feel. He loves his mom and dad, and like any kid in this situation, he wants them to get back together. His sister, on the other hand, is tired of their mom being “dramatic and needy,” and says their dad is better off. She’s openly angry and supportive when their dad starts to date another woman. Jay, meanwhile, visits his mom in her new home and feels uncomfortable. Though I’ve never been through this situation in my own family, many of my friends have experienced their parents’ divorce, and the feelings of being torn, not wanting to place blame on the parental figure they love, while recognizing that there were problems that couldn’t be fixed with “I’m sorry, I love you.”The other major issue is Jay’s unrequited love for Cameo and his newfound crush on Caroline. He and Cameo have been friends for years, and she’s always breaking up and getting back together with her various crappy boyfriends. When she’s broken up, she pays more attention to Jay. When she’s with the boyfriend, she neglects him. Jay recognizes this (good), but it’s his teacher who says, “She would not be good for you, move on, why don’t you go talk to Caroline?” They hit it off, but there was nothing particularly deep about their connection.All in all, it was a quick, quirky little read that I enjoyed a great deal. If you like your protagonists with plenty of snark and interesting dialogue, this is your book!

  • Jess (Gone with the Words)
    2019-04-04 10:24

    Read this review on my blog! --> The Edumacation of Jay BakerThe Edumacation of Jay Baker is a bittersweet book about Jay Baker’s once-perfect family’s spiral into Divorceville.And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Jay is also having girl troubles. AND there’s a dude at his school who won’t lay off the gay jokes. All this going on and you know what I did most while reading this book? Laugh. I laughed so. much. The best way I can describe Jay Baker is him being the boy version of the character Juno, of the movie by the same name (because you didn’t already know what Juno I was talking about). He is so smart, so damn witty and clever. I loved him (in a brotherly way, of course). I loved waiting to see what ridiculousness he would say or think next. This book wasn’t all fun and games though. There were moments where I really felt so badly for Jay and Abby, their mom and dad. Watching their family fall apart was not easy on any of them.There are some characters in this book who makes some highly douchey moves. I started out really disliking them, but by the end of this book, Jay Clark has redeemed them somehow, thus causing me to not hate them anymore. I like redeemable characters. :) Except Keith. Still hate that dude.I did, however, have SO much love for Ms. Lambert. Total girl crush! I wish all teachers were like her. She knew how to reach these kids, when to step in, and when to let go. I also have a crush on Jay Baker’s dad. Weirddddd....I must also tell you about the awesomeness of the chapter titles, which are not called chapters but tracks...“Don’t You Remember You Told Me You’d Feed Me Pizza?”“You Ain’t Nothing but a Hoochie Mama, I Guess”“I Kissed a Girl and She Wasn’t That Crazy About It”“Every Melrose Place Has Its Thorn”“I’m Like a Jaybird, I’ll Only Blog Away”And if by any chance you’re confused as to which song Jay Clark is so cleverly referring to, he has an actual “Playah-list” that tells you what he’s talking about at the end of the book. :)Actually, if I could, I’d pull all kinds of quotes from this book and show them to you. But really, opening it to any page will find you a passage that will make you smile, if not outright laugh.I look forward to many more books from Jay Clark. Especially if they will be as enjoyable as this one.

  • Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
    2019-03-30 09:19

    3.5 starsIf you're looking for a good, laugh out loud read pick up Jay Clark's debut book! Jay Baker is hilarious. There were times he had me laughing out loud and other teams I felt so sorry for him, but before I could teary eyed for all he's dealing with he says something funny that makes me start laughing again. He's a typical teenager who deals with a lot, his first love, a great best friend, a broken home and a bully. Normally I'd feel horrible for Jay, I mean I did, but his snarky and down right hilarious comments he makes to deal with all that goes around him had me laughing at moments I didn't even except to laugh out. For most of the book I found his sarcastic ways charming, and some of his best lines were used towards the bully he deals with in the story.Jay does a lot of stuff and says a lot of things I felt were very realistic for a typical teenage guy. I felt his character was very believable and may even be relatable to some. Jay Clark did an awesome job at giving his character a true to life teenage voice, which is one of the things that made me like this book. That doesn't mean I agreed with everything Jay says or does, but there's something about what he does through out the story that makes him so enduring. The other person I enjoyed was Jay's sister. They both dish it to each other like all normal siblings do, but they're both also there for each other when the other needs it. I won't even get on the topic of Jay's mother... that women irritated so much.Jay's writing is fresh, it's surprising, and it's real. I enjoyed the way he tells Jay's story and how he allowed me to get to know his characters. I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud so often while reading a book. His debut is a solid read, and I even enjoyed the surprise ending. I have to say, I didn't see it ending the way it did. The only compliant I have, and this is going to show my age, is all the teen lingo, but I'm "old" and definitely not in the 12-18 yrs old range (even though I may at times act like it). This is definitely a read the targeted age range will love, which is 13-18 yrs old. As I said above, this is a good read, and it's one I recommend to YA readers who are looking for a good contemporary book from a male teen's pov.