This is one high school election you don't want to miss... Your Own Worst Enemy by Gordon Jack (Interview & #Giveaway)

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out an interview with the author and tour giveaway below...

Your Own Worst Enemy
By Gordon Jack
YA Contemporary, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 448 Pages
November 13th 2018 by HarperTeen


Three candidates, three platforms, and a whirlwind of social media, gaffes, and protests makes for a ridiculous and hilarious political circus in Gordon Jack’s second highly satirical novel. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith and Frank Portman.

They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Unless you’re student body president at Lincoln High School. Then you get all the responsibility but none of the power. And the three candidates running for president know all about that.

Stacey Wynn is the front-runner, but she didn’t count on Julia Romero entering this race. Julia is challenging Stacey for the title while also putting the moves on Stacey’s campaign adviser and only friend, Brian. And then there is Tony Guo, the way outsider. Tony is usually oblivious to the school’s political campaigning, as he’s oblivious to anything that isn’t about getting high and drinking all the Space Cow chocolate milk he can stomach. But when his favorite beverage is banned at school, a freshman political “mastermind” convinces Tony to become the voice of the little guy. But what kind of voice is that, really?

If this were an ordinary high school election, the winner would be whichever candidate was the most popular. But this year, each candidate may have to sink to a new low to win an election that could change the course of...very little.

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Author Interview

Would you tell us a little more about the main characters from YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY?

YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY is about a high school election for student body president. Stacey is the front-runner because she has the most experience. But then Brian, her best friend and campaign manager, falls in love with her rival, Julia, a transfer student from Canada who may or may not be Latinx. Unbeknownst to Brian, his little brother, Kyle, is spying on both campaigns and putting his own candidate forward -Tony, a stoner who just wants to bring chocolate milk back to the cafeteria. Everything gets really crazy when a spaceship of giant squid-like creatures lands in the quad and enslaves everyone. Just kidding about that last part. I’m saving that story for the sequel.

If they each could give one piece of advice, what would each of them say?

Stacey would say, “Work harder”
Tony would say, “Don’t work so hard.”
Julia would say, “Dare to be yourself.”
Brian would say (quoting Walt Whitman), “I contain multitudes,” which isn’t really advice but Brian struggles with decision-making so advice doesn’t come easily to him.

What do you find the most interesting about elections (of any kind)?

Elections are so carefully scripted it’s fascinating when you’re able to peek behind the curtain and get a glimpse of what politicians really think or feel. This doesn’t happen often. Usually, the person has to be recorded or videotaped without their permission. When Mitt Romney was running against Barack Obama, he got caught saying he doesn’t care about 47% of the population, which was pretty revealing. Hillary Clinton called some of Trump’s voters “a basket of deplorables”, which is such a great line, true or not. Of course, the king of the political gaffe is Donald Trump, which is why people seem like him. His supporters listen to his free associative mouth vomit and because it sounds so different from most polished political speeches they think it’s sincere instead of bat shit crazy.

Did you ever run for a student body position in school and, if you did, what was your experience (if you didn’t, what did you think about school elections and those who ran)?

Yes. I was a class representative at my high school. I wish I could say I ran because I wanted to make my school a better place, but really, I just did it for my resume. All I remember is one terrifying speech and a lot of boring meetings. I quit after a year and devoted myself full time to not failing Physics.

What is your favorite thing about this book?

I love all the characters, even the ones I disagree with. My first book was populated with mostly white, affluent teens and I really made an effort to diversify the cast of this next story and tackle issues of race and privilege in a way that isn’t overly simplistic or preachy. During election season, you hear the term “identity politics” used a lot to describe voting blocks that are reliably Republican or Democrat. When you reduce people to these narrow categories, you fail to take in the complexities that make us human. Every one of these characters exists on some kind [of] spectrum that makes them difficult to define so easily, which feels real and relatable to me.

What are you working on next?

I am currently finishing my trilogy of terror series centered on pivotal high school experiences. The Boomerang Effect tells the story of someone trying to bring down homecoming. Your Own Worst Enemy tells the story of someone trying to bring down a high school election. The next story is going to be about someone trying to bring down prom. Or graduation. Or back to school night. I love working in a high school, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m taking out some of my workplace issues in my books.

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 towards this goal, he had jobs as an advertising copywriter, English teacher, librarian, and semi-professional dog walker. The Boomerang Effect was his first novel. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

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What do you think of the interview? Will you be reading this one? I've got it on my Kindle to read - hopefully soon.

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