Mr. Z's Reviews > Zen and the Art of Faking It

Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick
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's review
Mar 31, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: a-classroom-library, school-life-friendship-drama, humor
Recommended for: Middle school students
Read in April, 2009

"People are always telling kids to be themselves, but either they didn't mean it or they didn't tell you how to go about doing it when everyone was trying to push and pull you into line."

8th grader San Lee is once again the new kid in town. He's moved from school to school so many times he doesn't even know who he is anymore. There are so many cliques and labels to choose from at school, he loses track. It doesn't take him long to fall in love with a gorgeous, guitar-playing classmate. What will San do to win the girl's affection and to establish himself as one of the school's most mysterious and, therefore, most popular kids in the school? Well, for starters, he pretends to be a Zen master who thrives on Indian-style meditation, a multiple of bizarre Zen techniques and spiritual ramblings. With his Zen master image, he quickly wins first the curiosity and then the love of the girl of his dreams and the admiration/jealousy of his classmates. But how long can he keep his Zen lies going before the non-Zen truth is revealed? And just how much will his lies cost him? In the end, here is one question readers might ask: "Is it easier to act like someone we're not or to just to be who we really are?" As many students know, the answer isn't as obvious as it may seem.

Personally, I thought "Zen and the Art of Faking It" was a good story but "Drums Girls and Dangerous Pie" was a GREAT STORY! In fact, it is exactly because Drums Girls and Dangerous Pie was SO good that I wasn't as impressed as I read through Zen and the Art of Faking It. Still, author Jordan Sonnenblick is a promising writer for today's student readers: quick-witted, fast-paced and full of laughs. While he can come across as a bit corny at times, he does seem to understand many of the challenges middle school students face in their daily lives. He is also able to take many of those not-so-fun problems (dealing with school work, teachers, parents, divorce, crushes, etc.) and turn them into fun-to-read stories.
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Reading Progress

04/10/2009 page 1
0.38% "Just starting. I read Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie and wanted to read Sonnenblick's next novel."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Philip So you're saying go with Drums Girls and Dangerous Pie... I'll add it to the list.

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