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.
The Edumacation Of Jay Baker by Jay Clark is mostly a book about self-discovery. It’s a book about not defining yourself by others, but by the things you are good at and care about. I’m being purposefully vague, but Jay Baker certainly has a lot to learn.
The best element of The Edumacation of Jay Baker is the humor. Reading about Jay trading barbs with Mike is laugh out loud funny. Plus, Jay is very self-deprecating which is something I appreciate in a YA character. Also, there’s one character, a teacher, who is a hoot and zany and wonderful.
However, The Edumacation Of Jay Baker is not a perfect read. Jay’s love interests, Cameo and Caroline, are bland and never seem very three dimensional. There is not much nuance going on with the two. Also the book is weighed down by excessive pop culture references. It felt like every other sentence contained one.
Unfortunately, I was very turned off by multiple usage of the r-word, that pejorative term for people with developmental delays. I know teens talk like that in real life, but it’s not okay with me. I’m not saying censor or don’t read this book. By all means, go ahead and read it. I’m just saying that every time I see ‘r’ used as an insult, I’m instantly snapped out of the story. We’ve all got different boundaries and comfort levels. That’s mine and I am absolutely not saying it has to be yours. I’m just putting this out there as a reason why I did not love The Edumacation of Jay Baker.
If you’re looking for a young adult take on divorce with a light tough and don’t mind excessive pop culture references, by all means check out The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark.
Disclosure: Received for review via Amazon Vine.