Review by Booklist Review
Everyone expects Stacey Wynn to sweep the election for senior-class president. She's won every student-council election she's ever run in, has connections with all the major clubs, and is a shrewd political tactician. Even so, she's unprepared for her competition: mysterious new Canadian student, Julia, whose Latino heritage threatens to galvanize the minority vote in her favor. When Tony, a notorious stoner, enters the field on a platform of more-liberal food policies in the cafeteria (or, at least, a lifting of the school's chocolate-milk embargo), the result is a madcap three-way race to the top (or bottom) filled with social-media gaffes, unleashed secrets, and startling betrayals befitting the winner-take-all world of high-school politics. Featuring the same flair that made Jack's debut, The Boomerang Effect (2016), such an irresistible read, this follow-up mixes his trademark wit with reflection on the dysfunction of our current-day political system. Despite the story's humorous bent, Jack takes painstaking effort to imbue his cast of characters with complex motivations, humanizing them even as they engage in cutthroat tactics. With pacing, heart, and incisiveness, Jack has masterfully woven a tale that perfectly blends zany high-school antics and biting sociopolitical satire.--Reinhardt Suarez Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A group of idiosyncratic teenagers navigates the precarious waters of identity and cultural appropriation while campaigning for student government in this delightfully comedic and timely high school drama by Jack (The Boomerang Effect). In California, extracurricular superstar and avid environmentalist Stacey faces unexpected competition in her run for student body president from a mysterious new girl, Julia, who appears to be a Latina-and garners the Latino vote-but hides the fact that she doesn't actually know her heritage. Further complications ensue when Stacey's best friend and campaign manager, Brian, develops a reciprocated crush on Julia, while his cunning conspiracy theorist younger brother, Mohawk, not only persuades the perpetually stoned, "not stereotypically Asian" Tony to join the race but also defaces Julia's posters with the phrase "Build That Wall!", successfully transferring public sentiment away from Stacey and toward Julia. The parents are all emotionally and sometimes physically unavailable, leaving the protagonists to wrestle with questions about their own identities, how to represent themselves to the world, and whom they can trust. This briskly paced, at times riotously funny satire offers a subtle, discerning critique of both the contemporary U.S. political scene and the milieu of identity politics through top-notch storytelling. Ages 14-up. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by Horn Book Review
Overachieving high-school junior Stacey is a shoo-in for student body president--until Julia, the French Canadian new girl, and Tony, a "not stereotypically Asian" pothead, decide to run against her. Jack's satirical examination of the American political process through the lens of a high-school election is both laugh-out-loud funny and thought-provoking. Rotating points of view offer insight into the motives of the diverse cast of characters. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A stoner, a type-A achiever, and a new girl with a secret fight for the class presidency.Stacey Wynn, who is white, is running unopposed for student body president of her California high schooland that's just the way things should be. Her best friend, Brian, who she suspects may be gay, is her campaign adviser, which is working great until his (secret) crush, new student Julia Romero, decides on a whim that she is running too. And for reasons no one can understand, Chinese-American underachiever Tony Guo is also now on the ballot. What should have been a sure thingin Stacey's mindis now a true election, and it soon devolves into a game of scheming and back-stabbing. Each candidate hides a troubled home life and strained family relationships, but Julia's struggle is especially central to the election's conflicts; the French-Canadian child of a white mother of Italian descent and a sperm donor, she appears Latinx but her mother has refused to reveal her donor's ethnic heritage. The story begins two weeks before the election, and the hijinks are chronicled by an unintentionally hilarious and earnest student blogger. Discerning readers will appreciate the timely and astute exploration of both the gravity and levity of identity politics and the critique of neoliberal ideals. Sharply observedbut so sharp it may be missed by less woke readersthis is satire at its best. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.