Yee, Lisa. The Kidney Hypothetical, Or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days. Scholastic/Arthur Levine 2015 266p. $17.99 ISBN 978-0-545-23094-0 hs Conflict E-BN
Higgs Boson Bing, named by his mother who worked at JPL, or the Jet Propulsion Lab, has enough to deal with because of family expectations. His father wants him to be a third-generation Harvard Dental School-educated dentist. It’s the last week of senior year. He is totally on track when his life is derailed by his girlfriend of over two years, who can’t believe he wouldn’t give her a kidney if she asked. A smear campaign ensues, and he is known as Dinky Dick and other unflattering names, and unflattering flyers are being posted on campus and around town. He tries to overcome these and other humiliating circumstances, including being seasick on the Senior Sail. In the last week of school he stumbles onto an abandoned Airstream trailer and finds Monarch, a girl who seems to do just as she wishes with no outside authority telling her how to live and what to do with her life. This novel provides a sometimes funny, yet very serious look at what parents’ expectations can do to a high-school student. Readers will identify with Monarch, whose mysterious background is finally revealed, as well as cheer for Higgs Boson as he aligns his future to his own goals. This is a quick read that is fast-paced, with quirky characters that are very believable.
Strongly recommended for contemporary fiction collections as it addresses a very real problem: parents directing their children to overachieve in order to get into quality colleges in order to follow family aspirations and occupations.
Summary: Higg Bing is on track to be valedictorian and Best Senior, and he excels in sports. When he refuses to answer a hypothetical question from his girlfriend, he becomes a social pariah. Can he survive, and does he really want to go to Harvard? Gr 8-11.
Friendship-Fiction, Love-Fiction, Parental expectation-Fiction