Review / Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

20210627ma_1388Book: Stand Up, Yumi Chung! (2020)
Author: Jessica Kim
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Basic plot: Yumi Chung’s dream is to be a stand-up comedian, but her parents have other ideas. Plus, she’s kind of shy. When she accidentally gets mistaken for another girl named Kay at a comedy camp, at first she doesn’t know what to do. She ends up becoming Kay and secretly attends the comedy camp! But she can’t tell her parents who are dealing with their own issues as their restaurant might be closed forever…

Opening lines from the book …
I should have known better than to think anyone would listen to me at the Korean beauty salon.


1) Yumi is such a fun character. I completely understand the shy part of her. So, I know what it’s like when you get caught unaware when somebody calls you the wrong name. (Although, I never pretended to BE somebody else, Yumi!)

2) Loved all the humour in the book. The funny situations are nicely surrounded by Yumi’s efforts to create comedic gold. It was fun to see how she and her friends fail but then go on to create a successful sketch.

3) I loved the relationship between Yumi and her older (very smart) sister Yuri. There’s a little secret involving the sister, and it’s going to affect the family. One of my favourite sister-scene is when Yuri tries to go to bat for Yumi to be allowed to go to the comedy camp and frames it in a way that just might convince their parents (who want Yumi to be a doctor or something like that.)

4) I liked how Yumi interacts with the teacher of her special hagwon classes. Yumi is able to actually raise her GPA and still do the secret comedy camp, but only because she works really hard.

5) The plot and subplots of this book are wonderfully connected. I love how the parents’ restaurant and stand up and karaoke all fit in by the climax of the story.


1) Something small, but I felt Yuri and Yumi’s names were are little too close in spelling. I know this happens in real life, but that one letter difference can be hard to spot sometimes!


Books with a comedic theme can be a hard sell for me. But I felt like this one hit all the right beats. I really enjoyed spending time with Yumi and her family and friends!



Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday