Review: The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

Remember those awkward, teenage years? The fumbling, bumbling, and then the sweet taste of victory when something finally goes your way? No?

Well, you can relive it all and more in hilarious form with The Edumacation of Jay Baker by debut author Jay Clark. And we promise, reading about those experiences will be far less traumatic than they are to this book’s teenage protagonist:

A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay:

  • He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell
  • He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson
  • He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns
  • His family-life cookie is about to crumble.

Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).

Clark has one of the funniest, freshest voices in YA fiction today and reading his story is simply delightful. The fact that his story is so honest, engaging and heartfelt just makes the experience that much more fulfilling.

With The Edumacation of Jay Baker, Clark has perfectly captured the experience of high school and growing up. He likewise tackles the touchy subject of a broken home and the difficulties of accepting a new family structure with poise and honesty. Whether you’ve experienced divorce first-hand or not, he paints a clear picture of the messy emotions and conflicting feelings that come along with it.

While there are plenty of character relationships at work in The Edumacation of Jay Baker, my favorite is the pitch-perfect dynamic between Jay and his older sister. I’m sure I latched onto this because it really reminded me of my relationship with my own younger brother — but all of the relationships in Edumacation are executed perfectly.

I haven’t laughed this hard while reading a book in a long time, and it’s always refreshing to see such a universally appealing story hit the YA shelves. This book is for everyone: teens, adults, guys, girls, llamas, etc. Clark captures the honesty of growing up with all the humor and tenacity you need to relive those teenage years.

The Edumacation of Jay Baker is in stores on Tuesday.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: