The Edumacation Of Jay Baker Jay Clark Book Review

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 Jay Clark Book Cover

The Edumacation Of Jay Baker

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.

Other reviews of The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark:

Gone With The Words
The Book Cellar
Bookshelves Of Doom

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Interesting review… I have heard that this is a very funny read, but have also heard the bad things that you pointed out. Doesn’t sound like a book for me, though.
    ashelynn hetland recently posted..Giveaway: Neversink by Barry WolvertonMy Profile

  2. Uh oh! Two pet peeves, one book (the R word really bothers me, as do excessive pop culture references – especially when they are consumer product mentions). Thanks for the heads up. This wasn’t at the top of my TBR, but should I ever decide to read this one, at least I’ll go in ready.
    Em (Love YA Lit) recently posted..WanderloveMy Profile

    • Well the pop culture mentions are more like the Jersey Shore ilk. I mean, if the book interests you, by all means read it. 🙂 It’s not a terrible book, just lots of pop culture and such.

  3. I think I’ll be passing on this one. Much as I love pop culture (because I do! SO MUCH!) the r-word will take me out of the story all the time. It’s a habit I want to see teens break and even though it feels authentic because, as you said, they do say it, it’s just a habit I want to see go away and this while I’m sure wasn’t intended to promote it, sounds like it does to a degree.
    Sarah recently posted..Review: See You At Harry’s by Jo KnowlesMy Profile

  4. I’ve heard such mixed reviews on this, and I’m still on the fence as to if I’ll read it. I’m bummed to hear that the love interests are one dimensional, as I hadn’t read a whole lot about them in previous reviews. Perhaps that’s why *lol*
    Jac @ For Love and Books recently posted..Review: Shiver by Maggie StiefvatarMy Profile

  5. Thank you for this, April. I was much more angry and ranty in my review than I needed to be, and I think you handled it way better than I did. I was extremely offended by the use of the “r” word in this story. And I feel exactly the same as you did. The second it was used, it jolted me right out of the narrative. Teens may talk this way regularly, but I have never seen it used like this in a book before. I thought it was terrible. Thank very much for addressing this. Most reviews I have seen don’t.
    Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted..The Juliet Club by Suzanne HarperMy Profile

    • I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I’m pretty sensitive to usage of the R-word for private reasons and I imagine other people are too, and it’s something I want other people to be aware of.

      Like, I’m not advocating censorship, but just saying this is not cool with me.

      I’m glad I am not alone in that feeling.

  6. I hate when my students use the r-word, though I am hearing it less and less (which I can only hope that trend will continue). And I really don’t like it in my stories, even if it’s there to prove a point. Now, if only calling people “gay” as an insult would go away…
    Mary @ Book Swarm recently posted..Beware the Killer Nuns: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFeversMy Profile

  7. I’m not a huge contemporary fan to begin with, so I think I’ll pass on this one. The use of the “r” word also kind of surprises me. If the author used it to prove a point, I think that would be one thing, but just to have it in there for the point of “realism” or whatever seems unnecessary. There are plenty of other insults one can use that aren’t so loaded.
    Meghan recently posted..[review] Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiMy Profile

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