Tag Archives: Humor

Review: The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike

The Absolute Value of Mike
By Kathryn Erskine
(Philomel, Hardcover, 9780399255052, June 2011, 256pp.)

The Short of It:

Laugh-out-loud funny.

The Rest of It:

When his father takes a teaching job in Romania for the summer, fourteen-year-old Mike is sent to a town he affectionately calls, “Do Over” so he can stay with his grand-aunt and uncle known only as Moo and Poppy.

Moo and Poppy have their own issues. They’ve recently lost their grown son Doug, and Poppy spends his days sitting in his chair, staring at the TV and eating nothing but Scrapple. Sitting in a chair all day wouldn’t be too bad, but there’s a project that the entire town is relying on Poppy for, and he’s in no shape to complete it. Having no other choice, Mike steps in to save the day.

There are some very serious issues contained within its pages, but The Absolute Value of Mike addresses them with humor. The small town feel and the relationship between the town’s inhabitants is at times laugh-out-loud funny, but also very sweet.

I had just begun to read this when The Boy took it out of my hands. He is not a reader, but after reading the opening paragraph, he declared that he would read it after me. Wha?? The Boy said he wants to read it? Wha?? It took a moment for that to settle in.

Isn’t that saying something though? This is clean tween reading. No vamps or zombies here. Just Porch Pals, a car named Tyrone and a Romanian orphan looking for a home. Although it’s geared towards tweens, I enjoyed it too.

Erskine’s name might sound familiar to you and that would be because she also wrote Mockingbird, which I reviewed here.

The Absolute Value of Mike is an Amazon Best Book of the Month and has been chosen by Indie booksellers for the Summer 2011 Kids’ Next List.

Source: Sent to me by the author.

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Review & Giveaway: In Stitches

In Stitches

In Stitches
By Anthony Youn
(Gallery, Hardcover, 9781451608441, May 2011, 288pp.)

The Short of It:

Funny, entertaining and even touching at times, In Stitches is proof that you can still have a sense of humor while completing medical school.

The Rest of It:

Memoirs are not my thing, but I had aspirations when I was young and yes, those aspirations had to do with me becoming a doctor. Anyone who knows me in real life knows how obsessed I am with the medical field. I mean, when you have some strange, undiagnosed illness that everyone calls “Lupus” you tend to do a little reasearch on your own.

That said, I was fascinated with this book. Anthony, I’ll call him Tony, starts the book off with his very strict, Asian upbringing. I had close friends with parents like his and yes…they both became doctors (in case you were wondering). It’s obvious that Tony’s family is a very loving, caring family but his parents are very clear on what they want for their son and what they want is for him to be a doctor. Not only a doctor, but a surgeon because as his dad tells him, “surgeons make more dallah. ”

Tony’s adolescence is wrought with angst. He’s not a bad-looking guy, but he’s a little geeky and awkward around the girls. Much of the book is him lusting over pretty girls. This was my least favorite part of the book. Unfortunately, the lusting period carries over to college where there is more awkwardness and near-misses with girls. BUT, Tony’s ability to make fun of himself is admirable. Not everyone can do that and his willingness to do it, is what kept me reading.

Once he got to his rotations at the hospital I was hooked. Nurses with attitude, patients with hang-ups, and beeper humor. Lots of beeper humor. It’s been so long since I’ve even seen a beeper, that I completely forgot that they contained actual messages. His rotations and the process he went through to get his residency were my favorites parts of the book. It seemed as if he “came into his own” and really figured out who he was. He became the “Tony” that he always wanted to be, and I was glad for him.

As a writer, Tony is pretty funny. I had no trouble zipping through the pages and I really feel as if I got to know him. His writing is engaging and he has an open, honest way of speaking. I really enjoyed it.  

If you’d like a chance to win a copy,  and you have a Facebook account, check out the details below.

Source: Review and giveaway copy provided by the publisher.

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This giveaway is now closed.

This giveaway is for one copy of In Stitches and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on June 17, 2011 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.

Please note: To participate, you must complete the sign-up form AND “like” In Stitches on Facebook. This means that you must have a Facebook account to participate.

To enter the giveaway, please click here. (The giveaway is now closed)

To like In Stitches on Facebook, click here.