Top 5 Wednesdays: Books About Pranksters/Jokers

I guess the one slight advantage of being stuck at home for April Fool’s Day is the fact that I can avoid my coworkers’ April Fool’s pranks! I have a few coworkers who get very into the holiday, and although some of the jokes are fun, some of them can get a bit annoying. I’ve seen a lot of social media posts in the past couple of days suggesting that we should just cancel April Fool’s Day this year because nothing can top what’s already happening in the world, as well as pleas for people to avoid insensitive jokes about COVID. It did seem a little weird to me to ignore the holiday altogether though, so I thought it might be fun to find some books that have characters known for being pranksters or jokers! It was surprisingly hard to find these on Goodreads since any searches for books about pranks or jokes seemed to lead me to memoirs by comedians or children’s joke books. Luckily, I managed to find five that fit the theme.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

35704397. sy475 I am intending to start this book later on today, since I thought it was the perfect fit for April Fool’s Day! It is about a girl named Clara Shin who is known for being a prankster. When she takes one of her jokes too far, her father punishes her by forcing her to work on his food truck for the summer, along with an uptight classmate named Rose and a boy named Hamlet who seems to have a crush on her. I’ve only read one other Maurene Goo book so far, which I really enjoyed. She is one of my top priority authors to try this year, and this book was the first that came to mind when I thought of today’s theme! Looking at the synopsis now, it actually seems like most of the pranking and jokes occur before the story has started, but I’m curious to see how the story plays out. As a side note, I’m also pretty intrigued by the food truck angle since that is something that I know very little about.

2) Class Clown by Robert Munsch

1099663. sx318 I almost forgot about this book! Robert Munsch was one of my favourite children’s authors, and I still find his books so much fun to read even as an adult! This book is his 2019 release which is about a boy named Leonardo who has always been very funny. When his teacher Mrs. Gomez asks him to stop being funny, he tries his best but can’t help doing something silly to make everyone laugh! So many of Robert Munsch’s characters could probably be considered jokers or pranksters (or maybe troublemakers), but I think this is the first book that is really explicitly about a character clowning around. Even though I’m not in the target age range for this book, I’m still planning to give it a try because it looks so funny!

3) Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

40986512This book is a new release that I only discovered a couple of days ago. It is a middle grade story about a girl named Yumi, who loves watching comedy and turning her own stories into a comedy act of her own, even if she is too shy to get on stage. While enrolled in test-prep tutoring over the summer, Yumi discovers a comedy camp that will be hosted by one of her favourite Youtube stars, where she is mistaken for another girl. Yumi decides not to correct them so she can keep going to the camp in order to perform and finally convince her parents that she can be a great comedian. As a shy girl myself, I think I’ll probably be able to relate to Yumi even though I rarely read middle grade. I definitely would not have been interested in getting up on stage by myself for anything, but I’m curious to see the author’s approach to to story, especially because of the mistaken identity angle.

4) You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

44143895. sy475 This is one of the many rom-coms that I’ve added to my TBR in the past year, and it looks like it will be so much fun to read! This book is about a couple, Naomi and Nicholas, who are preparing for their wedding in three months, only to realize that neither of them want to get married anymore. The problem is, whoever backs out of the engagement first will have to pay for the entire nonrefundable wedding! The two of them end up in a prank war to try to get the other to back out first, and they soon find themselves reconsidering again as they have fun together. This book also sounds like it could make a hilarious movie, along the lines of the Kate Hudson/Anne Hathaway movie Bride Wars. To be honest, I’m not usually that interested in books that involve a prank war because I tend to find most of them very immature, but this one just sounds like so much fun! This book will be out next week, and I’m looking forward to getting to read it whenever I am able to get a copy.

5) The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack 

25877250This was one of the only other books that sprung to mind when I thought of a prankster theme, since I remembered it being mentioned in the synopsis. This one is about a high school student named Lawrence who is on the verge of expulsion after a series of pranks, but gets the opportunity to redeem himself by taking part in his school’s mentorship program instead, where he is assigned to an intelligent but socially awkward Norwegian exchange student named Spencer. When someone dressed as the school’s Viking mascot destroys the fairy-tale inspired floats for Homecoming week, suspicions automatically fall on Lawrence because of his reputation, and he soon realizes that Spencer not only knows what happened, but he may be just the friend that Lawrence needs. I was a bit hesitant at first to add this book to my TBR, but the more I saw about it, the more it seemed like something I might enjoy. It would definitely be a great one for April Fool’s Day because of the focus on pranks!



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