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The Boomerang Effect

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  108 reviews
It all started with a harmless prank. But now high school junior (and resident stoner) 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 dress
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  320 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Dana Elmendorf
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! As it starts out, Lawrence is the typical burnout. Living a subpar life as a teenager and doing the bare minimum to keep from being shipped off to alternative school. The author does a fantastic job of showing the domino effect of making one poor choice after another. But Lawrence lands himself into somewhat of a community service and has to be a mentor to the foreign exchange student in the “Buddy Club.” It seems unlikely that this screw up will ever get his act toge ...more
Rahul Kanakia
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Am I the first review? I think I'm the first review.

This book is great! From the beginning, I was completely on board with Larry. He's a wannabe Ferris Bueller type--someone whose antics are supposed to be charming--but he never quite makes it there. And yet his vulnerability and confusion is exactly what sets him apart from other charming clowns. He's someone who feels like he's carved out a place in his school and who's created an identity, and yet there's something about it that's not quite s
Susana Herrera
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful read for teens, and even for adults, who, like myself, simply love to devour YA novels. This novel was polished off like a fine meal in four courses. I stuffed myself to the brim with Jack's humor, a surprise love story, genuine friendships, and most of all, a fun mystery journey that I could not put down. This book had a bit of everything in it, and I walked away from the table feeling very satisfied with the end, but wanting to read more! What happens next? Will there be a ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a very entertaining, funny story. The writing is clear, concise and thoughtful. It helps to fill the void of young adult fiction which is aimed at kids who want humor and action for a high school boy who is believable and recognizable. This lead character is one the reader will want to root for in that he is screw-up with intelligence and a solid sense of pessimism and self-doubt, yet finds his way to a better place.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was bananas! It was a ridiculous and incredibly funny story that had me laughing out loud. I can't remember when I've had so much fun reading! The first night I picked it up for a bit of bedtime reading and ended up reading 3/4 of the book. I finished it as soon as possible the next day because I couldn't wait to get back to the story. It was completely adorable and I loved it! ...more
Ana K P
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
What stands out : The simple sophistication in the words of the title.

The Boomerang Effect: Attempting to do a good thing and it being mistaken as ill-meant and vice versa. This story is full of it!

Lawerence is your typical teenage guy, who is maybe slightly on the down low and tries to get his life back on track by doing things that just backfire on him.

Lawrence's parents want to be the mutually supportive kind but are very far off the mark; he wants to please his parents but what does please
Nick Nelson
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Boomerang Effect is a good book to read for me because it has an interesting main character with an plot that keeps twisting.
It's a realistic fiction focusing on Lawrence who is trying to not get into trouble and be sent to the military boarding school, but someone is trying to frame him.
My favorite character was Lawrence, he goes through a lot of difficulties that try to hold him back. He stopped doing things like smoking weed, hanging out with his friends and has to help a new foreign exch
Lawrence has been called into the principal's office again and is on his last chance before being sent to alternative school or military school. He decides it's time to get clean and shape up, but this ends up being easier said than done. After a failed attempt to help his friend woo the head cheerleader by using the school's Viking mascot, he now finds himself being set up for vandalism. But the mysterious Viking isn't done by simply defacing the principal's parking spot - it seems dead set on ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book doesn't fit into most stereotypes...

And yet it does!
Okay so while American high school scenarios which include homecoming, house parties and teenagers doing things, they aren't supposed to be doing, is all overrated, this book goes beyond it!

A character with whom you totally do not sympathise at the beginning, somehow manages to gain your approval by the end. While it does not mean he does a full 180 and become suddenly perfect, it's what makes it all the more likable.

I like Spencer p
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has really good writing. But the story does not make much sense. I would reccomend this to anyone who like non fiction life stories with happy endings.
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥

Find this review, plus more, on my blog: Booklikes OR Blogger

Basic Info

Pages/Length: 225pgs
Genre: Young Adult
Reason For Reading: Cover

At A Glance

Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?:
Cliff Hanger: No
Triggers: n/a
Rating: 4 stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Cover: 8
Plot: 7
Characters: 8
World Building: 8
Flow: 8
Series Congruity: n/a
Writing: 7
Ending: 7

Total: 7

In Depth

Best Part:
Spencer's nerdy responses.
Worst Part: Nope.
Thoughts Had: Vampires vs Knights... could be something there!

Aliaa El-Nashar
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was a bit disappointed with this book, mostly because a lot of people seemed to have enjoyed it so much, so I figured I would too. I didn't.

The main lead was very VERY hard to like. I get how the author was trying to paint this picture of an average high school student lacking in confidence and overall thought he was better than he really is, but all it made him seem to me (from start to finish) was a complete and total douche bag. To EVERY ONE. And the way everything just magically resolved i
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable story about high school drama and antics, told from a male perspective, but I think the swears and drug references should have been minimized despite the intended older-teen audience. The humorous story moves along at a good pace, but all the plot lines get resolved extremely quickly right in the final few pages, rushing the end of what could have been stronger resolutions.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Come for the laughs, stay for the heart.

Do you love swag and snail mail? Gordon has tons of fun swag just for signing up for his newsletter (no purchase required but you should definitely preorder YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY). Check it out here.


Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I made my library order this because I absolutely loved Your Own Worst Enemy and I need more of Gordan Jack's narrative voice in my head. Probably because it's so similar to my own voice in my head.

This one did not disappoint. I hope Jack is working on his next because I could read his writing all day.

Pop Bop
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Perceptive, Funny, and High-Spirited

This book starts off very much feeling like a poor Andrew Smith "Winger"or "Stand-Off" wannabe. World weary but vaguely immature stoner with absent parents and girlfriend/friend/school issues makes smart-aleck observations about school and life while drifting around being judgmental and sour. Don't despair, though, because our hero has to be down and backwards in order ultimately to head up and forward. (Anyway, he's a funny enough immature stoner that you sus
Katy Noyes
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite YA school-set stories of recent times. Brilliantly funny.

Laurence Barry (don't call him Larry!) cares a lot what people think of him in his high school. Long known as a stoner and prankster, he's forced into turning this around after the threat of reform school is dangled in front of him. On top of this, he's pressured into taking part in a mentorship scheme, and paired up with a very smart but socially inept younger student, Spencer.

In trying to help his friends with variou
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this book 5 stars. The book had lots of funny parts and little humor parts that made you smirk and that's it but it would still make me want to read it because of those moments. Another thing that it had was it was realistic. It had what real high school has like the different people group and it also had the stereotypes like the perfect couple consisting of the head cheerleader and the quarterback of the football team. The other thing it had was really good characters. There was the ...more
Rebecca Dartnall
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The boomerang effect is a social psychology concept describing how attempts to persuade others often result in them adopting the opposite stance—and Lawrence Barry is about to learn all about it. On the brink of expulsion, he decides to stop smoking weed and imbibing alcohol and start trying to be a better person (mostly to avoid exile at a military academy). This starts with helping out his clueless buddy, Spencer, acclimate to high-school life—how to be popular, how to look cool, and most of a ...more
The Boomerang Effect is a hilarious tale of the events that occur when a burnout kid, Lawrence, tries to straighten his ways and finds all sorts of bad things coming at him. Firstly, Lawrence is a funny kid, in that he has this overactive imagination, which could also be due to the amounts of pot he consumes, and he is an entertaining protagonist. Some of the lines in the book had me laughing for quite a while. His predicament and the mystery of the Viking had me invested throughout the book. Se ...more
Dylan Lawrence
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Boomerang effect is about Lawrence Barry, who is almost expelled for misbehaving at school. They decide to not expel him, but if he does anything against school rules they will transfer him. The school's mascot is a Viking but no one has played the role of the Viking for a long time, but Lawrence decided that he wants to bring the Viking back so he, borrows the costume without anyone knowing but the coach. At the next football game, he gets into the Viking suit and goes to the game. At the g ...more
Jackson V.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it

Jack Gordon’s realistic fiction Boomerang Effect, explores the life the troubled kid Lawrence Barry. He is about to be expelled for about the tenth time for a prank, when the last opportunity comes up for him. He doesn’t want to be sent to the reform school so he takes the mentorship, and is forced to take it seriously. His mentor Spencer Knudsen had just moved from Norway and although he is very smart he doesn’t have great social skills. When everything just starts going right for Lawrence, a
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A fun, campy high school mystery. Favorite quotes:

Teenage boys aren't supposed to be enthusiastic about anything. We're supposed to snort and scoff and call things gay even when we secretly like making macaroni portraits of Katy Perry. Forget I said that.

I hadn't felt such a premonition of doom since I opened my PSAT packet and saw the word "ruination" staring back at me.

Where do we come up with phrases like "cold turkey" and "on the wagon" to describe sobriety? Seems like we should update these
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abondoned
Gordan id pretty new of an author I think. This is his first ever novel and. I really enjoyed it and thought it was fun. The characters are funny and its such a good lesson. Its a good story and the plot was cool. Ive never actually heard of the boomerang effect.

I like that Lawrence cleans himself up. He starts to think and let people help him. He goes from stoner kid to a nice guy. I like that its about helping for good. Rather than trying to force people to change to your image. Of what "cool
Sonya Mukherjee
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book! For me, it had a very high giggles-per-page ratio. Lawrence is an unusual protagonist -- his lack of self-awareness is sometimes epic, yet always combines with an essential-but-clueless kindness -- and I generally felt like he was charming me despite himself. A former origami champion who has since embraced a burnout identity because it made him more popular, and also because it seemed to please his father, he's now emerging from that identity just as he emer ...more
Ryn Lewis
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book that succeeds in being both humorous and reflective, The Boomerang Effect was a fun and enjoyable read. Lawrence is a funny and sympathetic character who grows significantly through the book. I appreciated that he suffered through several temptations to go back to his drug habits, even if they felt slightly superficial. Lawrence as a character may not be entirely believable as the popular, wealthy party boy reformed, but readers will appreciate his struggles to turn a new leaf while every ...more
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars = Good+

I got a kick out of Lawrence and the rest of his new friends in this, and I enjoyed watching them figure out who was framing him. (Although I was frustrated that it seemed the culprit would get off light in the end.)

This book is more about Lawrence - his family, his using and his sobriety, his need for a new identity and new friends if he's going to stop using, and about the threat of expulsion - moreso than about the vandalism at school and Lawrence being framed. But the school
What a delightful cartoon of a book. At first, I wasn't too keen on the meandering writing and the lighter characterization (compared to what I usually read), but Lawrence (and Spencer, and Audrey, and al) really grew on me by the end. This book is very popular with my more on-the-fringe upperclassmen, and I can see why--it's a great story of how our inner-selves don't always match up with our outer-selves, and how being true to that inner-self can be life changing/affirming (Maybe imag ...more
Lorenz Aparentado
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought the book was pretty good. I especially liked the characters. They were funny and well thought out. I liked the contrast between the main characters because we can see two different toughts on the same thing. I liked the story and thought it was interesting. The best part about this book was how relatable it was. As a high school student, i could understand their problems because i was facing similar problems also. I think this is a good book and i would recommend it to a high schooler ...more
zak period 6
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
its a pretty good books its sorta a book about the life of a stoner who needs to mentor a super goody goody kid and if i were to be stoner i would probably give it a 5 star but the quality of the book and the humor is the main reason for me. but can relate to stuff my sister talks about and stuff i see at school which makes some jokes and parts of the plot funny even if its not intended to be humorous.
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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 is his first novel. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

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