Your Own Worst Enemy

Your Own Worst Enemy

by Gordon Jack

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062399441
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Gordon Jack always wanted to be a writer. In third grade, he put that on his “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” list, just behind astronaut and professional dog walker. While working toward this goal, he had jobs as an advertising copywriter, English teacher, librarian, and semiprofessional dog walker. The Boomerang Effect is his first novel. He lives in San Francisco with his family. Visit him online at or on Twitter @gordojack.

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Your Own Worst Enemy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CQuimby 19 days ago
So happy it's out! I love Gordon Jack's writing and have been looking forward to Your Own Worst Enemy. Boomerang Effect was excellent and I appreciated it as an educator and relative of teenage boys who aren't into dystopia or zombies. This book gives them a novel with heart, humor and the thrill of reading truly excellent writing that avoids limiting the male character to a romantic interest or a bully. I wish there were more books that speak to the 8th to 12th grade male like Jack's do. Thank you B and N for being on the Gordon Jack track. Boomerang Effect is still not as known as I think it should be, but Your Own Worst Enemy got a starred Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly loved it, as did a host of others. Exciting to watch a relatively new author rise in real time.
ruthsic 3 months ago
In a parody of the 2016 American presidential election, Your Own Worst Enemy explores the devolution of human nature when it comes to politics. Stacey thinks she is running unopposed for student body president, until Julia, a newcomer, and Tony, the school’s stoner, both enter the race. As the candidates and their campaign managers figure out ways to one up each other, and defeat the other candidates, we see a slightly exaggerated portrayal of how identity politics can be misused and the original message lost in the mess. In a revolving multi-person POV of Julia, Stacey, Tony, Kyle and Brian, we see the countdown towards the student body elections from all angles. Each of the people in it had their own reasons for getting involved, be it misguided altruism, an effort to seem mature, just the hankering for chocolate milk in cafeteria, or a sense of feeling power. I feel the most character development was done in the case of Julia’s arc so I’ll start with that first. Her arc is the most important issue in this story: her ethnicity and race paint a target on her back and is used to launch an opening volley into this battle. Julia herself doesn’t know what race she belongs to, thanks to a close-lipped mother but due to her surname, everybody assumes she is Latina and the Latinx majority in the school flock to support her. Her message is probably naive in the start, but by the end she realizes she has a chance to make actual change, and the ideas on how to make the school year more inclusive. Stacey, on the other hand, is an experienced student politician with a good sense of social issues and has worked hard to get to this position, but her desire to do good things is often overshadowed by her cold political sense to the point that it sometimes seems she only is an ally for political benefit, and her personal troubles often leak into her good judgement. She also has a take-charge nature, which means she has been taking care of her father when her mother dumped them both, but that very nature is seen as distancing by her peers (remind you of someone?). Brian, who has been her best friend and campaign manager is stuck between his friendship and his feelings (and frequent boners) for Julia. Tony – well, he is only a Trump in that he doesn’t care about public service and doesn’t have what it takes for the job – is being manipulated by Kyle into blowing up what could have been a good election race and essentially bring down the whole level. Kyle, a nihilistic little brat who embodies chaotic evil at just 14 years of age, should have been watched more carefully because he seems the type to be being radicalized by some alt-right peeps. The story also goes into what good politics could like, if people stopped to listen to diverse opinions, acknowledged privileges and knew when to be an ally instead of drowning out voices. It takes a realistic approach to the situation, and present the characters as all flawed in their own way, but still being able to do good if they acted together. It talks about how sensationalization, unfair methods, manipulation, all in the context of the small pool of a student body, but also embodies the general spirit of how politics is in this current age. It also mentions the current social issues, and how they have impacted the discussion and voter engagement. And the multiple POV worked so well for this story, specifically because it kept the story from dragging in any particular parts, and by switching characters keep