Review: Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
It’s really rare to find a book that perfectly addresses problems while still being hilarious and entertaining, which is why we’re so lucky to have Jessica Kim’s ‘Stand Up, Yumi Chung!’. Yumi Chung has always suffered from shy girl problems but, on the inside, she’s actually prepared for her very own Netflix stand-up special by collecting humiliating memories in her notebook and reworked them into comedy gold.
However, instead of getting to spend a summer watching and learning from her favourite Youtube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a scholarship at a prestigious private institution. And just when Yumi has resigned herself to her fate, she stumbles upon a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favourite Youtube stars. There's just one problem: no one knows who she really is. This is a hilarious and uplifiting story about identity and chasing your dreams, which is just made better by a witty, amazingly crafted heroine.
Although this book is one filled to the brim with laugh out loud moments, what really made the book for me is how the author skillfully tackles issues like racial microaggressions (such as thinking that all Asians look alike) or stereotypes (like the unfortunately common 'tiger parents' idea) while still making it a fun, entertaining read. Another really interesting aspect of this book is that every single character is so well thought out and deeply connected with the storyline in some way or the other, whether it's Yumi's dad or her Youtube idol, every character is there for a reason. But, the main character, our girl Yumi, still shines through and will have readers rooting for her all the way through. What I loved about Yumi is that she's so unapologetic about her dreams which makes her the sassy, lovable character that she is.
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! is a must-read for all readers and book-lovers, and is a book that even reluctant readers will thoroughly enjoy. The brilliance of this story is proof that we definitely need more women writers in comedy now and in the future.