Thank you so much for visiting by Bibliophilia, Please for my stop of the 2016 Debut Author Bash! Today, I'll be featuring Gordon Jack and his debut novel, The Boomerang Effect.
Title: The Boomerang Effect
Author: Gordon Jack
Publisher: Harper Teen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: November 8, 2016
A hilariously subversive YA debut that explores the meaning of friendship and loyalty, and also why you should avoid being trapped in a small space with an angry chicken. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith’s Winger and Frank Portman’s King Dork.
It all started with a harmless prank. But now high school junior Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he participates in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but the social skills of the periodic table.
Then disaster strikes. Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairytale-inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl, a Renaissance LARPing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. But Spencer seems to have some answers. In fact, Spencer may be the one friend Lawrence never knew he needed.
We're sending Gordon back to work as a librarian.
If someone has walked up to you wanting books in the following genres/descriptions. Which book(s) would you recommend and why?
‒ Realistic Science Fiction
I would have to go with The Martian by Andy Weir for this one. His book hooks readers from the first line. I mean, how often do you pick up a book where the narrator begins by saying, “I’m pretty much fucked”? Usually you have to wait until page 50 for things to get that bad. And things are bad for Mark Watney. He’s stranded on Mars and has to survive for over a year on potatoes before there’s any hope of a rescue. Watney is a great character, who never loses his sense of humor, despite being trapped on an inhospitable planet.
‒ Most Readable Book with Heavy Literary Elements
“Heavy Literary Elements”? Is that like dense symbolism? Or weighty themes? Sounds like French food, which I generally don’t like. But OK. If these books were on the menu at some fancy bistro, I would recommend them to the customers who prefer Chicken McNuggets. I love the complicated plots in Marcus Sedgwick books, especially Midwinterblood. I also love the surreal interior landscape of Challenger Deep by Neil Shusterman. In terms of language, I’m a huge fan of Tom McNeal, whose book Far Far Away captures the style and tone of the best kind of creepy fairy tale.
‒ Historical Romance for the Male Reader
Male readers don’t do historical romance, do they? That’s why we have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. You think the girls needed the zombies in that story? OK, I’m kidding, but the category strikes me as something thrown out there as a challenge, like the kind you see on Project Runway –“Make a formal gown out of chicken wire and plastic spoons. Go.” So my chicken wire and spoon selection is The Battle of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. The book takes place during the Depression in Seattle, Washington and has so much rich detail about the life and times of its characters. Guys will like it because Love and Death are characters and they play with Henry, who’s White, and Flora, who’s Black, in a game of absolute domination. That appeals to guys, right?
‒ Epic Fantasy with Female Protagonist
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson wins this category hands down. I love this character so much I would name my only child after her if I hadn’t already named him Henry. Nimona is the shapeshifting sidekick to the “evil” Lord Ballister Blackheart and wants to help him defeat Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics (You can tell from those names alone that this book is awesome). At first, she appears as a rather unruly minion, but then she becomes truly destructive and total pain in the butt to Blackheart, who comes to love her despite his better judgment.
‒ Favorite Book of 2015
I loved Kelly Loy Gilbert’s debut novel Conviction, which probably falls in the “Readable Books with Heavy Literary Elements” category. Maybe I do like French food after all. This is like one of those required reading books your teacher assigns that you end up loving so much you write the best essay of your life and get into your first choice college. The story focuses on Braden, who is the star pitcher of his high school baseball team with everything to look forward to. Then one night, his dad hits a police officer with his car and kills him. The police want to know if this was an accident or not and only Braden can tell them, but will he? (I’m ending on this teaser hoping you’ll pick up the book and start reading).
‒ Must-Read 2016 Debut
I can’t really discuss my own book here without looking like a egomaniac, so I’m going to nominate Rahul Kanakia’s Enter Title Here. I got so sucked up in this book; I read it in a weekend, which almost never happens. Mostly this was because his narrator is so compelling. High school senior, Reshma Kapoor isn’t always likeable, but she’s always interesting. I found so much to relate to in her desperate bid to become her school’s valedictorian. Not that I was my school’s valedictorian. I didn’t even come close. But I know what it’s like to want something so bad you’re willing to lie to your own son to make sure he doesn’t find the Halloween candy you’ve stolen from his bag and hidden in your closet. But I digress. Enter Title Here is a darkly funny story that takes on the real pressures teens feel today to succeed, no matter what the cost.
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About the Author
Gordon Jack was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. After graduating college, he worked in advertising, writing commercials for supermarkets and banks. He is best known for the phrase “Imagine the Pastabilities” which ran in many local Sunday newspapers. After exhausting himself creatively, he moved to Spain and taught his special brand of advertising lingo to foreigners (well, technically, Gordon was the foreigner, not the Spaniards). If you travel to Andalucía, you will hear locals exclaim at cafes and restaurants, “Hay demasiado pastabilities!” when confronted with too many menu options.
Now Gordon lives in San Francisco and works as a librarian in a public high school, where he plans to force teenagers to read his debut YA novel The Boomerang Effect when it’s published in 2016.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
2016 Debut Author Bash
Thanks to the very generous Gordon Jack, we have ARC of the book plus swag up for grabs!
Ends at 12:01am CST on
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