To Jaykae: Life Stinx
Sixteen-year-old Jason feels alone and misunderstood when his best friend moves away, his father plans to remarry, and his step-brother-to-be is a high school basketball star, until he starts an online relationship with a girl from Hawaii.
"A charming, sensitive coming-of-age story that deftly captures the awkwardness of adolescence. It's a lot of fun, but it also has heart."--School Library Journal
"Hilarious. Readers will laugh and sympathize with Jason as he struggles to make sense of his life."--VOYA
"A clever balance of the thoughtful and the lighthearted."--The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
Jason Kovak has some serious problems. One of his best friends has died, another has moved to California, his divorced father is remarrying, and his new stepbrother is a Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike and star athlete. The only good thing in Jason's life, besides his dog Fred, is Surfsupl0, the girl he has just met in an Internet chat room. She is impressed with Jason, especially after seeing his photo. Now Jason is in trouble: it is not his picture, and he is not who he says he is. Jason is pretending to be his handsome, talented stepbrother, Josh. Jason must decide if he should tell Surfsupl0 who he really is or just continue lying. Will she still like him when she finds out about the real Jason Kovak? Readers will laugh and sympathize with Jason as he struggles to make sense of his life, coping with his critical father, the death of his elderly friend, Bertha Jane, and his new job at the Columbia City Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The breezy and conversational firstperson narrative, interspersed with Internet chat room conversations and Jason's interior monologues, will attract and hold even the most reluctant readers. Although this title is a sequel to Jason's Women (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986), it is not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy the hilarious adventures of this likeable protagonist. Reviewer: Jamie S. Hansen
From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up-A humorous sequel to Jason's Women (Little, Brown, 1986). Nothing seems to be going right in Jason Kovak's world. His best friend has moved to California, his divorced father is about to remarry, and he is not thrilled with his prospective stepmother. Even worse is her son Josh, who is everything Jason isn't: athletic, handsome, and popular, especially with the girls. The only bright moment in Jason's life comes when he meets Allison, a surfer from Hawaii, in cyberspace. Jason really connects with this girl. They get to know one another online, but when she asks for his picture, he sends her one of Josh instead. Finally, Jason decides to be honest with her, and he realizes that he should have told the truth all along. Okimoto has crafted a charming, sensitive coming-of-age story that deftly captures the awkwardness of adolescence. Many teens will identify with the boy's self-doubt and his struggle to be comfortable with himself. This is one of those rare novels that will appeal equally to boys and girls. It's a lot of fun, but it also has heart.-Edward Sullivan, New York Public Library