Thursday, August 28, 2014

#scandal by Sarah Ockler [Review]

#scandal3.5 out of 5 Robots!

#scandal by Sarah Ockler
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release: June 17, 2014
Hardcover:  416 Pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Copy: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
I didn't really get #scandal.  I think it had a lot of promise, but by the end I was feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing.  I felt like #scandal never quite knew what it wanted to be.  It would hang out in the slightly quirky YA arena, but swerve over into the serious side of bullying, only to verve off into the over the top territory.  I also think there were just so many subplots that not enough time could be properly devoted to any of them.

The heart of the story involves around Lucy, her best friend Ellie, and Ellie's boyfriend, Cole.  Lucy has always had a thing for Cole, but was too scared to admit it.  Ellie and Cole ended up dating instead and stayed together for a few years with Lucy silently holding the torch for Cole.  That is, until Ellie gets sick on the day of Prom and convinces Lucy to go in her place with Cole.  Lucy, who is not really a "prom kind of girl", reluctantly agrees.  Lucy and Cole find themselves at an after party and end up kissing.  We find out that Cole and Ellie had actually broken up, but Lucy still feels horrible.  Meanwhile, someone steals Lucy's phone and posts incriminating photos from the party from Lucy's Facebook page, including a picture of Lucy and Cole kissing.  Everything goes south very quickly.

But I had a hard time buying into this whole thing.  Never mind the fact that Lucy never told Ellie how she felt about Cole (which, I probably wouldn't have either) but Ellie never told Lucy they broke up.  And Cole didn't tell Lucy they broke up before he kissed her.  What?  And I certainly didn't understand Ellie pushing Lucy to go to the prom with Cole.  Who does that?  And considering how this sorta love triangle is the crux of the story, there is very little romance.  We have no reason to root for them really since they are barely together in the book.

The other part of the book is taken up with a mishmash of plot threads.  We have (e)VIL - a student group against having an online presence, Miss Demeanor - an anonymous Facebook gossip site, Lucy's estranged relationship with her sister and the mystery of the stole phone.  Some parts, like (e)VIL and Miss Demeanor felt really over the top.  But I did like the phone mystery part.  It was probably the most interesting part of the book, to be honest.

Overall, I didn't dislike this book, but I wasn't really sold on it either. 

Disclosure:  I reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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