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This Might Hurt a Bit

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Kirby Burns is about to have the second worst day of his life.

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the worst day of his life, and in the three hundred and sixty-four days since then he hasn’t stopped running: from his family, his memories, and the horse-sized farm dogs that chase him to the bus stop every morning.

But he can’t run forever.

Kirby and his friends PJ and Jake sneak out of his house to play a prank whose consequences follow them to school the next day, causing a chain reaction of mayhem and disaster. It’s a story that’s touching and funny, an authentic meditation on the pain of loss, and the challenge of getting paint to stick to cows.

330 pages, Hardcover

First published June 4, 2019

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About the author

Doogie Horner

21 books30 followers
Doogie Horner is the author of This Might Hurt a Bit, Some Very Interesting Cats Perhaps You Weren’t Aware of, Everything Explained Through Flowcharts, A Die Hard Christmas, and other books. His comedy album A Delicate Man was an AV Club staff pick. He won over a hostile NYC audience on America’s Got Talent and is a frequent guest on Doug Loves Movies.

(source: Amazon)

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5 stars
65 (23%)
4 stars
99 (35%)
3 stars
75 (26%)
2 stars
32 (11%)
1 star
10 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for John Shannon.
30 reviews2 followers
February 27, 2019
Authors: please stop it with the "boy character is humiliated by bullies in to wearing a dress" bit. It's regressive and outdated
Profile Image for Lisa.
893 reviews539 followers
February 28, 2019
This is a bro book if there every was one: crazy pranks, evading bullies and getting into LOTS of trouble, yet here I am. Having fully loved this book.

I appreciated that the story had so much depth - Kirby is dealing with the anniversary of his sister's death. That is the underlying thread that weaves through the book, making it bigger than just three friends who get into a TON of boyish hijinks.

The humor in this book is what truly pulled me through - I actually laughed out loud probably every chapter.

My biggest critiques involve how some of the problems in the book are handled: with a very light air when the issues were pretty serious . Plus, the fear of getting beat up is just something I couldn't personally relate to, so the tension build up there did nothing for me.

Definitely worth checking out!
4 reviews
May 6, 2021
I feel like they could have done more with the ending but this book truly shows what happens when you bottle up the loss of a loved one. 9.5/10
Profile Image for Carolyn.
381 reviews3 followers
August 4, 2020
Rating: 4 stars

The worst day of his life is approaching, and Kirby is not ready for it. He's really not ready for it, and his parents want to talk to him about it, which might just set him over the line. So, instead, Kirby decides to cow paint with his two best friends, PJ and Jake. What starts as simply painting cows starts a chain reaction of events at school the next day, making it the second worst day of his life. When will Kirby get a break? In Doogie Horner's, This Might Hurt a Bit, follow the hilarious and nerving story of Kirby's ultimate second worst day ever.

Okay, so this was not what I was expecting. My expectations were strangely met in a way I was not expecting. I just read this entire novel this afternoon, so I'm going to need a moment to process what I just read. What in the world did I just read???? This Might Hurt a Bit was so hilarious yet so sad that I couldn't wrap my head around it. I felt so bad for Kirby, not only for the worst thing that ever happened to him, but also for his hilariously terrible day. I mean, this story is so crazy that there's no way that this could be reality, but at the same time, it could be. This Might Hurt a Bit is like one of those crazy high school movies you might watch on Disney Channel, but with the language and the drugs. Needless to say, I did enjoy This Might Hurt a Bit exponentially more than I expected to.

I recommend This Might Hurt a Bit for those who have a sense of humor. This Might Hurt a Bit is a book worth reading, mostly for it hilarious plot line.

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Scott.
790 reviews4 followers
April 27, 2022
This Might Hurt a Bit by Doogie Horner is the story of Kirby Burns as he experiences the second worst day of his life so far. This was listed as Young Adult reading and I decided to read three Young Adult books just to see what Young Adults are interested in these days. The entire book, minus a few flashbacks happen over a 24 hour period of time. Kirby has two very strange best friends who seem totally different but stay together. It seems the entire school is against them including several bullies and the administration. The teachers are aloof, his parents are distant, and the administration are buffoons. I did like the ending and how Kirby found solace. But the locker room scene, the lunchroom scene, the farmyard scene, and many others were so unbelievable that it made the book a pain to read. It is a shame that this is the type of books they are writing for young adults.
725 reviews19 followers
February 2, 2019
Review copy of Edelweiss.

Full disclosure: I know Doogie so I may be biased!

Balancing the seriousness of it being the anniversary of his sister’s death and high school rural hijinx, Kirby and his two diametrically opposed best friends spend a fun evening having an adventure and then suffer the brutal consequences from school bullies and administrators alike the next day. This book is a spiritual successor to John Green’s geeky but fun books, and has so many one liners to laugh at.
Profile Image for Jen.
84 reviews12 followers
October 29, 2019
I couldn't get through this one. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it was just a lot of HS boy shenanigans and I stopped reading.
Profile Image for Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves).
1,668 reviews43 followers
May 23, 2019
Read my full review at between-the-shelves.com!

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for providing me with an early copy of this book to review!

I'll start with the good: there are a lot of funny lines in this book. Kirby's voice is unique; while it's difficult to follow his train of thought at times, he's overall a funny guy. He tries to make light of what's happening to him, despite the fact that he's struggling more with his sister's death than he's letting on. It's this suppression of emotion that felt the most real to me throughout the book. Kirby doesn't want to talk about it, with anyone.

For me, the timeline of the book wasn't quite believable. Everything here happens within a day. But it feels like Kirby's in school a lot longer than he should be. There's all this time between classes where bullying happens. Overall, the events don't seem like they add up to a single day. The events would have made more sense if they spread out over a series of days, instead.

The other thing that bothered me was the little time that was spent on Kirby dealing with his sister's death. This book is being promoted as a book that deals with grief. But, we don't get much of that actually within the text. Just small scenes here and there. I would have liked seeing this theme explored more through Kirby's eyes.

Overall, despite the funny moments in the book, This Might Hurt a Bit left me feeling a bit lukewarm about the story.

2.5/5 stars
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Profile Image for mint🍵.
309 reviews
July 25, 2021
okay this was a weird experience for me because i kept tiptoeing back and forth, this has bullies and gross things and seems immature but then there’s swearing and some actual heavy topics that were handled really well, but then i realized that at no point did i not enjoy reading this so none of that really matters. it was actually hilarious, like i laughed out loud a few times and i could see myself reading this again as a little fun pick me up time, (especially considering it only took me a few hours to read) - if this was a movie, i would watch it so hard, i think it was really well done, and i’m impressed? idk.. that it was set during one day, i don’t think i’ve read that before and i really just just liked everything about it honestly. i especially like jake, the mean fashionable burnout, his character was so interesting to me and not like anything i’ve really seen, i loved his little ending and basically everything about him ha. overall it was just really good, good job, yes
Profile Image for Sherman Hayes.
5 reviews
November 4, 2020
My favorite character in this book is henry he is really funny and love his friends. my favorite event was when they went to go prank a farmer by dying the cows red with koolaid and out of no where there was a big bull that came out of no where and attacked them and they had to run as fast as possible away and almost died. I loved the way how the author wrote this book because of the way he described everything and was soo descriptive it was amazing. I think the pass was a little slow but I liked that it was and sometimes it would be fast I liked it. I can make connections with this book because I like to talk to people and have a little group of friends to talk to.
3 reviews
November 21, 2020
This Might Hurt A Bit is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. The book has Hilarious pranks, action and suspense. It also features a lot of sad and serious moments to counter it. Doogie Horner is a brilliant writer, he was able to make all the characters so relatable, but make them unique too. I like this book mainly because of the emotion you get from it. There are really sad part’s, and then there are parts that will make you laugh out loud. The book is extremely descriptive, while reading it I could really pitcure the situations. All in all I highly recommend this book to anyone who is alright with shedding a few tears.
Profile Image for Blts.
97 reviews1 follower
October 15, 2020
This is a well written book that unfurls seamlessly. It reminded me of the way a John Irving novel unfolds. So many unnoticed little pieces lead to the ending. The suspense ratchets up with each chapter so that when something predictable happens you are relieved and also recognize the predictable as meaningful rather than contrived. Also if you know a teenaged boy who doesn’t love reading, this might just be the cure.
Profile Image for Erica Warren.
211 reviews5 followers
September 11, 2021
This book is both hilarious and heart-breaking, a refreshing look at what it means to grieve. Horner is a master at weaving unexpected sentences that make you think, laugh, and feel all at once.

I found the characters and the story compelling, stressful in that heightened way that only a good, suspenseful book can be. It's both realistic and utterly unbelievable, a mashup of all the things I never knew I needed in a story until I read them here. In short, this one's worth it.
56 reviews
December 30, 2022
2.5. one of the weirdest books I've read in a while. basically just chaotic teen boys coming of age, but all in one day. mental health, dealing w loss of a sibling, making mistakes and then having every possible thing go wrong. surprisingly violent especially from bullies. characters were interesting but extreme beyond realism. kind of engaging to see the chaos that enfolds and watch mc's mental progress throughout, but mostly just chaotic.
1,703 reviews4 followers
May 31, 2020
Kirby and his friends PJ and Jake have an adventure one night that leads to a school day with loads of unexpected consequences. While the mishaps are believable and the pranks will resonate with some small town readers, I didn't find any of the characters to be engaging. The characters weren't very likable, and the ending didn't provide enough depth to redeem Kirby.
Profile Image for 12e3m.
20 reviews
June 24, 2021
This made me cry every time Kirby got vulnerable and breaks down crying whenever his sister is mentioned -or not in many cases- and the way he describes her death is so heartbreakingly beautiful! I really enjoyed his character even though sometimes it annoyed me, both PJ and Jake were enjoyable too, and the three of them together were fun and sweet at times.
Profile Image for Kelly Whitt.
778 reviews10 followers
September 10, 2021
I couldn’t put it down. It’s about 24 hours in the life of a boy who’s about to endure the 1st anniversary of his sister’s death. He and his 2 friends get into a predicament that snowballs. Sometimes funny, sometimes dangerous and violent, the story was compelling enough that I finished it in a day.
Profile Image for Chelzea.
1 review
August 24, 2019
This book somehow managed to tackle the sadness of a kid repressing his grief over a loved one while still managing to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. I want to be friends with all three of these boys (even Jack, who’d probably stab me with a gravity knife).
1 review
September 22, 2019
thought the process of how Kirby felt emotions was very relatable. A teen who loses loved ones will hurt the most and therefore do silly things.

The dress thing was too much and overused in books and moves. but other than that I liked it.
Profile Image for Alicia.
6,225 reviews124 followers
April 2, 2020
A boy and his family ripped apart by the illness death of the sister. That's what the book is for over 300 pages without much to truly intrigue me (even with the dad being a pilot for small prop planes), but nothing happened except sadness and anger.
Profile Image for B.
1,798 reviews7 followers
April 17, 2020
Good book about the process of grief. Kirby lost his older sister to cancer a year ago, now after a move and new school Kirby is being chased by bullies and forced by his parents to confront the grief that is consuming them.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
236 reviews
September 25, 2021
I am not sure what I entirely expected from this book, but this was not it. Overall, it was not a terrible read as it follows the events of one character over a day after pulling a prank on the school's bully. It was overall an okay read and a different take on how one should deal with grief.
Profile Image for Mercedez Gene.
34 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2022
- It was pretty boring, the whole book takes place over one single day. Definitely a younger read.
What's relatable:
- The disorganization of thoughts when experiencing grief is the only relatable thing.
What I learned:
- It's crazy how unrealistic people will write about high school
Profile Image for Debi G..
1,006 reviews36 followers
September 10, 2019
If there is such a category as “books for boys,” this fits. Action, humor, shame, humiliation, fear, fighting, rule-breaking...
I’ll be recommending it in a book talk for my students.
Profile Image for chloe.
56 reviews
September 19, 2019
catches the hijinks of high school within a single book in a way i really enjoyed. five stars. and mr. doogie, i give you my condolences for having such a unique name.
Profile Image for Stephanie Grandstaff.
125 reviews2 followers
October 10, 2019
3.5 I liked the characters and the most of the story line but it seemed to be too far fetched which made my rating go down.
539 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2019
A fun little adventure in the worst 24 hours of Kirby’s life. So much boyish bravado, dumb stuff, and beating each other up. Funny with a little tenderness at the core.
Profile Image for Jill K Wagner.
85 reviews
February 6, 2020
I really liked this book! I just want to give Kirby a hug so many times throughout. It was funny and sad. The narrator on the audio was fantastic, capturing all the characters perfectly.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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