The Edumacation of Jay Baker

The Edumacation of Jay Baker - Jay  Clark I wanted to like this book more than I did. Jay Baker is a fun character, a self-proclaimed geek who really had more going for him than he understood. But unfortunately, the affected writing style distracted me so much from the story that this is what I will remember about this book.

Almost every other sentence contained a pun, pop culture reference or a play on words. Both the dialogue and the narrative are full of over-the-top cleverness, and not a single word spin was left unspun. Rather than making Jay sound hip and cool, the affectation created a lack of relatability to a character who was otherwise very likeable. No one, not even the coolest of cool teens, talks this way. And if one doesn't understand the basis of the word play, the reference falls completely flat.

If you can overlook the high concept writing style, the story itself is adequate. Jay has a crush on his long time best friend, Cameo, a girl who seems to like having Jay available as her backup when her other relationships crash and burn. Jay's parents' marriage is self-destructing at an alarming rate. And his former best friend turned enemy, Mike, has ramped up his bullying efforts to a high pitch. The only bright spot in Jay's life is new girl Caroline, a tennis star with an overbearing father and secrets of her own.

Jay's story is mildly amusing due mostly to his jaded outlook, but Cameo and Caroline are not given enough personality to make me care who he ultimately chooses as a romantic partner. A 3.5 star read.