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

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  610 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Higgs Boson Bing has seven days left before his perfect high school career is completed. Then it's on to Harvard to fulfill the fantasy portrait of success that he and his parents have cultivated for the past four years. Four years of academic achievement. Four years of debate championships. Two years of dating the most popular girl in school. It was, literally, everything ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  610 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, young-adult
This is a quick, diverting little read that follows the standard Manic Pixie Dream Girl format, though it does a few interesting things with it. The odd title revolves around the moment that upends Higgs Boson Bing’s life: his clingy girlfriend asks (through a proxy) whether he would donate a kidney to her, and he vacillates because he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t. This sets off a chain of events that sends Higgs from his pedestal as the popular, wealthy, Harvard-bound king of the school down to th ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I can't even ... Damn. That . Ending!

This book had so much potential, funny, weird, and even sad sometimes. I would've liked it more if not for that chick. I guess, after all, it was all up to Higgs but the way things went down was just a NO NO for me.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those kids who stan John Green
Recommended to Aroog by: Eric
I am not ragging on Lisa Yee. Lisa Yee is a good person, I'm sure, BUT:
Higgs is an asshole and Monarch is the most manic pixie dreamgirl character I've ever come across. Sure, Higgs redeems himself by apologizing in the end, but it's belated, and he is still an asshole. Nick/Samantha is never explained, because I have yet to meet a boy engaged to his high school girlfriend that bends to her every whim, and that's bothersome. Monarch exists just to explain Higgs' angst, and when he finds out who
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sweet story about a high school senior who realizes right before graduation that he hasn't really been true to himself for many years. Funny and also somewhat emotional. I'm not a huge fan of the cover. I don't think it represents the characters all that well. Quick read. 3 1/2-ish stars. This would have ended up at #18 on my list of top 20 fourteen+ Cap Choices books, but it was kicked off mid-year, so there's no point keeping it on my list. Kicked off of 2015favorites list 10/12, by Last Leave ...more
Richie Partington
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: THE KIDNEY HYPOTHETICAL: OR HOW TO RUIN YOUR LIFE IN SEVEN DAYS by Lisa Yee, Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, March 2015, 272p., ISBN: 978-0-545-23094-0

“What do you want from life?”
-- The Tubes (1975)

“’You think I’m a jerk just because I’m going to Harvard? Wait. Correction. Might go to Harvard.’
“’I think you’re a bourgeoisie jerk for even wanting to go there in the first place. Do you know what kind of people go to places like that?’ Monarch didn’t wait for my answer. ‘Rich people w
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I was so in love with Millicent Min, Girl Genius in middle school, so obviously I was super psyched for this -- and it was good! Higgs Boson is an overambitious jerk, but also sort of a sweetie (gardening nerd! aww!). That he falls for a ~edgy bad girl~ (heh) is a kind of awesome different take on the usual girl-falls-for-bad-boy business.

Of course, usually I have zero patience for ~edgy cool kids~ who are 99% of the time spoiled and privileged, with no sense of family obligation or responsibil
Andrew Carlson
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book appears to be the first of Lisa Yee's in the YA genre, and it's a great start! The Kidney Hypothetical is a fast-paced, entertaining, and surprising read. I truly enjoyed it.

The novel is not an earth-moving novel that people are likely to gush over, but it definitely has a message, comparable to other popular, gushable YA novels (i.e. Paper Towns).

I was surprised by the ending, but not shocked. I won't spoil it here with details, but I will say the conclusion rapidly took me from "Yea!
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
One little question-- "If your girlfriend were dying, would you give her one of your kidneys?"-- brings about the rapid downfall of Higgs Boson Bing, during what should be the best week of his life. He's days away from graduating from high school and heading to Harvard in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. How has he suddenly come to a place where his girlfriend (um, EX-girlfriend) has convinced all the females at Sally Ride HS that he's the devil incarnate; Harvard is re-evaluating th ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm so over these types of stories. John Green (who I really admire) got the ball rolling on the "dweeb-kid-meets-manic-pixie-girl" schtick and now cliched books are falling from the skies.

Higgs life is falling apart all over a dumb question his girlfriend asked, and now the whole school hates him. The only person that can get him over it is the wild child he meets out in the woods.

Yeah. Over it.

Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was such an odd book. It wasn't quite satire even though it was pretty over-the-top at times. I don't know that the book really found the right tone. Higgs is an unlikeable character even though this is supposed to be his redemption story. We all know that smug, popular jerk from high school who is oblivious to the people that dislike him. I didn't particularly enjoy spending a whole book with him. Monarch's story was pretty obvious and I didn't think their adventures were charming or fun. ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Grating and irritating. The premise/disagreement that launches the events in the book is beyond dumb. Far too much yelling and name calling, which I think was supposed to pass as humor but falls flat. The level of hate and retribution leveled at the main character is weird and out of proportion. Only reason for two stars instead of one is that the author touches on why some kids are driven to achieve and sheds a light on the down sides of achievement for achievement's sake.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I read it before shelving! A fast read with short chapters and enough of a story to keep it moving. I will only mark this book HS/YA for my middle school readers who are much more advanced and mature. While the content is innocent in nature the overuse of some language could be bothersome. However mild in nature compared to a lot of YA books. Told from a senior boy's perspective who has lived the life his parents have wanted and in the shadow of his decea ...more
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Rich in Color
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
All cards on the table — when I heard that Lisa Yee was coming out with The Kidney Hypothetical, I fell out of my chair. That’s how psyched I was for it. I mean, Yee’s book Millicent Min, Girl Genius was one of my favorite books in middle school, right up there with Harry Potter. So I had high expectations going into this… and I wasn’t disappointed.

In The Kidney Hypothetical, Higgs Boson Bing is this perfect high-achieving kid on his way to Harvard, until he flunks a hypothetical question posed
Jo Sorrell
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-2016
Higgs Boson Bing has been dating Roo for over two years. While Higgs is firmly planted on the graduation stage as the valedictorian, but girlfriend, Roo will be sitting on the back row. But, she's beautiful and fun, so it's all good huh? Until one day someone asks;
"Higgs, if Roo needed a kidney, would you give her one of yours?” A simple question, no? But when Higgs Boson Bing refuses to answer the question, claiming he doesn’t like hypotheticals, his last week of high school takes a turn for th
The Styling Librarian
The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee – Release Date- March 31st, 2015 – Realistic Fiction – 6th grade and up – What a fantastic novel. I loved Lisa’s main character who reminded me of her other characters, in a good way. I appreciate how he’s struggled to life in the shadow of his older brother, dealt with parent expectations, and is just starting, as a graduating senior in high school to find out who he is and what he wants to do in life. I was reminded of Jerri Spinelli’s Star Girl for part of ...more
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
I dislike teen romance stories. BUT bonus points to the author for having the main character break up with his girlfriend in Chapter Two. :) At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book but I found the story written well and there was enough of a story line to keep me interested. The book is young YA level (reading and content). It is a short read but the story moves along at a good pace and it feels complete when you are done. The characters were well-rounded but parts of the plot seemed a bit ...more
Rachel Seigel
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an entertaining story about the pressure that some teens feel from parents to live-up-to certain expectations and the challenge of carving your own path. Protagonist Higgs is a bit of a jerk, and some of the secondary characters and plots feel underdeveloped, but the message gets through without being preachy. There are a couple of semi-surprising twists which will be easy to figure out if you are paying attention, but it won't take away from teens enjoying this book. Some swearing but n ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
Maybe it was because I read this book immediately after seeing a number of plays that were written by actual teenagers that I didn't much care for this book. The plays had more depth than this book. The book was amusing enough, and I finished it, but the characters all seemed like caricatures, and none of them were very likable. Even in high school, are kids really as superficial as Roo, or even Higgs, the main character? The ending, although understandable, and probably more realistic than anyt ...more
Alexa Hamilton
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: teenbooks
Sometimes a break up is a blessing, except in high school when it's over a hypothetical question and it ruins your reputation and your relationship with your best friend to boot. Higgs has to find a way to navigate his last week of high school, when everything goes wrong. We learn about his past little by little--never too much exposition at once. I liked this book, it's written well and the story is interesting, especially for teens trapped in their own social groups.
Jennifer Chow
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I think Bing is an amazing character who is flawed but relatable. It was also great to see how exactly his life could spiral downward.It gets a little wild toward the end of the week, but I liked how he reexamines his life throughout the adventures. I also found his relationship with Monarch to be refreshing and enjoyed reading about a strong female character.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So this was my random bookshelf buy for the month and I have to say it was meh. The story was interesting at first but I feel like it started to drag on and random things were happening for what seemed like no reason. There were a couple of things that surprised me which is why the book was still readable but it's nothing great. The writing though I will say was good.
Jonine Bergen
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: realistic, ya
There's a lot of things to like about this book. But I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to buy the ending.
Yee has done an admirable job of providing the backstory and explanation as to why the main character, Higgs Boson Bing, is an obnoxious, entitled young man. I particularly appreciated that she shows the reader some of the quirks that make him more human and likeable.
Sherry Berkin
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A fun, insightful page-turner with depth and humor. I loved following Higgs on his journey from king-of-the-world to potential Harvard reject/loser. So funny and fun but with real poignant moments.
Susan Cackler
May 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
How to be a jerk and seven days later learn you are still pretty much a jerk but it's okay because so are all your friends and your family. The book is fine although a bit predictable. The only likable character is Charlie and we don't get to see enough of her.
Higgs is living his life according to someone else's plan, he gets a wake up call from the most unlikely person and it rocks his self perception and his future. Good book for any young adult who is planning the next steps in life.
Pat Miller
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and thought its opening chapter could be a model for opening chapters everywhere.
Amanda Snow
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, young-adult
Had a hard time getting into this one, but was glad I kept reading. Main character was excellent, the rest I just didn't connect with.
Emily Fitzgerald
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Finally! A book to accurately describe the life of an ordinary teenager… not! The Kidney Hypothetical on How to Ruin your Life in Seven Days by Lisa Yee is just the opposite. It follows the life of Higgs Boson Bing, a senior in highschool, and his last year at school as being a total superstar.

Just like any other story that has the hero sink to an all time low but then rise again with the help of a significant other, this novel could be one of the cheesiest ones I’ve read. Higgs Boson Bing is a
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Lisa Yee was born and raised near Los Angeles. As a kid, she loved reading, opening brand new boxes of cereal (to get the prize), and riding the teacups at Disneyland.

Lisa attended Brightwood Elementary School in Monterey Park, California where she once won an award for best decorated cake. However, Lisa cut the ribbon in half because her friend Linda had also worked on the cake, and they had agre