Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Kidney Hypothetical: Or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days by Lisa Yee

Genre: Contemporary
Rating: *****
Pages: 266
Should I Be Concerned? Frequent and harsh swearing but no sex.

Prom king. Debate captain. Harvard early admission. Higgs Boson Bing is a high school success-until his girlfriend asks, hypothetically, if he'd donate a kidney to save her life. When he says no, she takes it as a personal betrayal. The next day, the entire school's turned against him. He can't take a step down the hall without passing a "Higgs Bing is a Dinky Dick" poster. His best friend's stopped speaking to him. And that Society for Animal Protection he listed on his application? Yeah, someone tipped off Harvard that it had two members and never actually saved an animal.
The entire faculty, from the janitor to the principal, is more than happy to watch his life of privilege crumble around him. At home, his mom's too busy grieving for his perfect older brother to help. Meahwhile, his dad's obsession with having a second Harvard bound son blocks him from seeing Higgs' real needs.
He needs an ally-and he finds her in a beaten up trailer by the river.
Monarch couldn't be farther from the Ivy League crowd Higgs once called friends. She has dark eyeshadow, a butterfly tattoo, and a reckless sense of adventure. Whether they're launching a pet store raid to make Higgs a true animal defender or just handing out in her trailer doesn't matter. She makes him feel more alive than his two-kidneyed girlfriend ever did.
Hanging out with Monarch may get him arrested, but with seven days to graduation, it's time he started living.
This book was perfect for me. I don't know if it will hit the spot for anyone else, but it did for me. Usually when I read a book, it's an errand months in the making. I mark the release date on my calendar, take my sweet time finding a copy, and then put it in my monstrous To Be Read.
Kidney Hypothetical wasn't like that. I picked it up on a whim, read the jacket flap, and ended up taking it home. The fact that I went to the library seven days before graduation might've had something to do with it. In the world of fiction, breakups and betrayals are fueled by some dramatic incident. In real life, they fall apart because of petty pride and escalating arguments. I've never seen a work of fiction ground that particular piece of reality into a story. At least, not a non-comedy.
It's grittier than what I usually read, and Higgs' trainwrecked life hits some pretty low points, but his wacky escapades and the sheer absurdity of his situation provides comic relief. Kidney Hypothetical is more applicable to my life than any book I've read in the last year. I would've stayed up all night to finish it, but I wanted to drag it out and savor the taste.

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