Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee - OPTIONAL

Yee, Lisa  The Kidney Hypothetical, 266 pgs. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015. $17.99. Language: R (81 swears, 16 deity, 4 "f's", other mildly crude language) ;  Mature Content: PG-13 (drinking, smoking) ; Violence: PG.  

In just seven days, Higgs Boson Bing will graduate from high school and he is on top of the world.  He has been accepted to Harvard, has won many of the top awards at school, is dating Roo, one of the prettiest, most popular girls at school, and is pretty sure he has the Senior of the Year award in the bag.  Then everything falls apart.  When his girlfriend asks him a hypothetical question -- would you give me one of your kidneys -- he doesn't answer yes because it's just a hypothetical question.  He has no idea that one comment will start the beginning of one of the worst weeks in his life.  Everything goes wrong from Roo storming off to some serious harassment at school to Harvard calling to re-evaluate his acceptance.  And his family seems to be falling apart.  Then he meets Monarch.  She won't tell him her real name, but he finds her compelling and interesting and she makes him question what he really wants and who he is trying to make happy. 

On one hand, I enjoyed this book, read it in one sitting and found it quite amusing.  On the other hand, there were several things that seemed over the top.  Does your girlfriend of two years, cry , stomp off and not speak to you again because you won't hypothetically give her a kidney?  Do you experience such vitriol from your classmates because of it?  Does the administration at school really treat you with such disdain and act as though you are getting what you deserve?  If they truly believed Higgs didn't deserve the things that he achieved, why wait until his very last week of high school to let him know?  I thought Higgs was likeable, not perfect, but he did learn a few things about himself, and there is a satisfying end to the story.   

HS – OPTIONAL.  Reviewer:  RB

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