The Bloomsbury Review Editors' Favorite Books 2008
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2009
"It wouldn’t seem possible to make high school jocks, popular girls and losers fresh and hilarious, but Yoo does it. His Romeo and Juliet story is a winner (outcast Albert Kim with popular girl Mia? No way), but it’s Albert’s ice-dry telling of his tale of woe that sets it apart. From his uncool Korean parents with their “legitimately tragic childhoods” to the angry little kids next door (“a barrage of iceballs arc overhead like grenades”), Albert views growing up with all the comic sweetness and unsentimentality it deserves."
The New York Times
"Yoo deftly describes the charged emotions created when a popular community member is stricken by illness or injury; a candlelight vigil, fundraiser, and walkathon are poignant, comic, and unnerving.
Mia might be a little too good to be true, but Albert is a funny, fascinating, and infuriating character. Laugh-out-loud moments and painfully realistic scenes of student life will hold readers’ attention."
School Library Journal
"So what elevates Yoo’s novel above other underdog-gets-the-girl-in-the-end fare? First, his writing is laid-back, chatty, funny, and disarmingly frank. Second, he really gets inside Albert’s head, believably channeling the thoughts and emotions of a second-generation Korean-American teenage boy."
"In this tragic love story of the saddest kind, Al learns important life lessons about himself.
Yoo's attention to detail and his inclusion of frequent trivia and pop-culture references keep the story alive and entertaining,
while his tale of a young man's first love includes all the mania and agony that is realistically possible. The first-person narrative from Al's perspective will appeal to both male and female readers, making for a broad audience. This novel stays true to the high school experience. Readers will laugh, sigh and cheer along with Al."
"Yoo does a fantastic job narrating Albert's desperate attempt to win Mia back, against impossibly crushing odds. Albert is penned with so much sincerity and humor that it's impossible not to root for him. His self-awareness -- of both his insecurities and his outsider status -- make his quest even more intriguing. "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before" is an irresistible book, a quirky first-love story from a talented emerging writer."
The Daily Camera
"Albert is likeable, witty, and interesting...Readers will chuckle throughout this lengthy book."
"Yoo is excellent at channeling the angst of the teen age years, and can tell a great story."
Sacramento Book Review
"Although it may sound like one, the story isn’t a formulaic teenage romance. Yoo is a master at describing Albert’s acute perceptions and unique reactions to his high school environment...
Albert is one of the most candid characters portrayed in fiction. Yoo’s ability to pinpoint the nuances of the complicated system of high school society shapes the character. As only Albert can prove, being an intentional loser has its delights."
Northwest Asian Weekly
"Albert felt like a real teenage boy and his emotions were captured so well. The love between him and Mia grew gradually and I loved that. STOP ME was a funny, sad, and wonderful story all at the same time.
Yoo really knows how to capture the reader and keep them hooked until the last page."
Teens Read Too
"His treatment of Asian stereotypes is witty and rings of truth (as a former teacher, I saw my share of Alberts) and his portrayal of the high school loner is insightful.
This book was funny, clever, and a beautiful story about self discovery and teenaged romance."
Girls Just Reading
"Yoo has the wit of a Larry Doyle or a Gordon Korman, and all the heart of the best movies in John Hughes’s canon.
Yoo gets all the aching emotions of first love gone bad so terribly right that it’s hard to read in the best kind of way."
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before is a humorous, ironic, and completely entertaining read that really hits the mark. Albert is an engaging and thought provoking character whose unique voice is hard to resist and his outlook on life is one that many teens will be able to relate to. Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before genuinely and candidly captures the heartaches, thrills, and lows of being in love and growing up.
The Compulsive Reader
I loved this book. I could have done with less swearing but on the whole the emotions coming from the book made it so I couldn't put it down. I could relate to the main characters thoughts and feelings easily and it was very enjoyable to read.
Kiss The Book
"Yoo's quirky voice remains true to the outsider teenager. Occasionally, the nineties references got a little tiresome, it almost felt like it was targeted to an adult audience but the relatable high school scenarios brought it back down to Earth. Besides that, I found little faults in Stop Me.
All Five Stars
"Here we run into another protagonist that is unique and endearing. It reminded me of a book I read once, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron, but I liked it MUCH more. Five and a half enormous frogs. In jars."
"The novel is humorous but heartfelt. With hundreds of embarrassing scenes...Albert is flawed but lovable...in many ways. And it's always nice to get a guy's perspective in a romance."
Becky's Book Reviews
I laughed so hard I had to keep some ChapStick handy to keep my lips from cracking."
– Gene Luen Yang (author of Printz Award-winning
American Born Chinese)
"Subtly, delightfully subversive. David Yoo has a rare talent: he's able to make you laugh, sigh, wince, and cheer--all at the same time."
– A.M. Jenkins (author of Printz Award Honor book
Repossessed and Damage)
"Albert is one of the most unique characters I've ever encountered in fiction or in life. His absurd and deeply romantic fall into first love is funny, heartbreaking and surprising. David Yoo is a major talent."
– E. Lockhart (author of The Boyfriend List and
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)
"David Yoo's voice is so witty and charming it only seems fair to give warning: he'll break hearts of teenage readers of all ages with this bittersweet love story."
– Jonathan Lethem
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before – Synopsis
If Albert Kim has learned one thing in his tragic adolescence, it's that God (probably a sadistic teenaged alien) does not want him to succeed at Bern High. By the end of sophomore year, Al is so tired of humiliation that he's chosen to just forget girls and high school society in general, and enjoy the Zen-like detachment that comes from being an intentional loser.
Then he meets Mia Stone, and all the repressed hormones come flooding back. Mia, his co-worker at the Bern Inn, is adorable, popular, and most intimidatingly, the ex-long-term girlfriend of Ivy-bound, muscle-bound king of BHS and world class jerk, Ryan Stackhouse. But -- chalk it up to the magic of Al's inner beauty -- by the end of a summer vacuuming hotel rooms and goofing off together, he and Mia are officially “something.”
Albert barely has time to ponder this miracle before the bomb drops: Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer, and he needs Mia's support, i.e. constant companionship. True, he's lost weight and he’s getting radiation, but that doesn’t make him any less of a jerk. And to Albert, it couldn't be more apparent that Ryan is using his cancer to steal Mia back.
With the whole town rallying behind Ryan like he’s a fallen hero, and Mia emotionally confused and worried for Ryan, Al’s bid for love is not a popular campaign. In fact, it's exactly like driving the wrong way on a five-lane highway.
In this desperately funny novel, David Yoo tells an authentic story of first love, and therein captures the agony, the mania, the kicking and screaming that define teenage existence.
For more information, visit Hyperion Books For Teens
Hardcover, $16.99, 384 pages
ages 13 & up