October 2, 2023

REVIEW Jacky Ha-Ha (Jacky Ha-Ha #1) by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Jacky HaHa (Jacky HaHa #1) 
by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Format: Paperback (ARC) + Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books/Little, Brown and Company

Sometimes all it takes is one person believing in you and giving you an opportunity to turn your life around. 

In James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein’s series opener, Jacky Ha-Ha, Jacky Hart is the stereotypical class clown. She’s at her happiest when she’s making other people laugh, but she doesn’t always know how to tone it down (as evidenced by the string of detentions she earned in the first week of school). Instead of forcing her to serve her punishments as intended, the principal offers Jacky a chance to serve out her detentions by participating in the school play (where she thinks Jacky’s comedic talents will be put to good use). Initially hesitant, Jacky eventually agrees and comes to love performing. Obstacles like one parent serving in the armed forces, one who’s barely home, and a stutter that tends to make an appearance any time she gets on stage threaten to derail Jacky’s journey to opening night. 

Tara Sands did an excellent job bringing Jacky’s humor and personality to life with her performance in the audiobook narration of the book. I liked how this was structured as a letter of sorts from an adult Jacky to her children. The comments inserted by the narrator (adult Jacky) helped add some depth to the story. 

While the book is undoubtedly funny, there are also some heavy emotional moments to contend with. Jacky is struggling with her mom being halfway around the world serving in the armed forces when she needs her most, her dad always being busy and never home, and the fact that she and her sisters are often left to fend for themselves. There's also Jacky's constant fear that others will make fun of her due to her stutter. 

Overall, this was an excellent middle-grade humorous book. If you or a young reader in your life are looking for a good laugh, this is a great choice. I’m excited to read about more of Jacy’s adventures in subsequent books in the series. 

Thank you to the authors, the publisher Jimmy Patterson Books, and the team at TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with a complimentary review copy of the book as part of my participation in the blog tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review the book immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed Jacky Ha-Ha. All opinions expressed in the review are my own, and not influenced in any way. 

About the Authors

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include the LEMONCELLO, WONDERLAND, HAUNTED MYSTERY, DOG SQUAD, and SMARTEST KID IN THE UNIVERSE series, and many fun and funny page-turners co-authored with James Patterson. You can visit Chris at ChrisGrabenstein.com.

Chris’ Links:

Website: https://chrisgrabenstein.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGrabenstein 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ChrisGrabenstein/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/95190.Chris_Grabenstein 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.grabenstein 

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author. His enduring fictional characters and series include Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, Maximum Ride, Middle School, and Ali Cross, along with such acclaimed works of narrative nonfiction as Walk in My Combat Boots, E.R. Nurses, and his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. Bill Clinton (The President Is Missing) and Dolly Parton (Run, Rose, Run) are among his notable literary collaborators. For his prodigious imagination and championship of literacy in America, Patterson was awarded the 2019 National Humanities Medal. The National Book Foundation presented him with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and he is also the recipient of an Edgar Award and nine Emmy Awards. He lives in Florida with his family.

James’ Links:

Website: https://www.jamespatterson.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JP_Books/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamespattersonbooks/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3780.James_Patterson 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesPatterson/ 

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