Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

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..

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: June 17th 2014 by Simon Pulse

Terri's Thoughts  

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is June 17, 2014.

This is a story about bullying plain and simple and boy oh boy was there ever a lot of it that occurred on throughout the story.  I can not even begin to comprehend the torture and humiliation that Lucy had to endure.  I remember what it was like in high school and I recall that people could be mean and do things to make others miserable.  It was magnified in this story with the assistance of the many social media outlets available to teenagers which grants anonymity to allow people to bully.

There was an interesting cast of supporting characters in this story.  From Franklin, Lucy's sister, Cole and the eVIL crew.  I found them all interesting for different reasons and thought that they brought an extra value to the storyline.  The banter between Lucy and 420 was hilarious.  I also found an odd pleasure with the Canadian exchange student.  To quote from the story "A Canadian exchange student...who does that?".  FYI...I am Canadian so others may not have found it as funny as I did.

The main issue that I had with the story was with the schools principal and the actions that she took in the story.  Set aside the fact that she was completely flaky, I found it difficult to accept that she knew Lucy was being bullied yet she subjected her to a punishment for it.  Given the audience this story is directed at I do not think that it is sending a very good message.

To summarize my thoughts on this story I feel that it is a very relevant topic geared towards the right target audience to send it's message.  In our digital world we live in people have access to so many ways to target and bully people and it is simply not acceptable.  For fear of sounding old (really I am not that old!) I really hope that the message rings loud and clear when the YA audience is reading this.  Although this story outlines the message in sometimes radical ways, there is a truth to be found in all of it.

About the Author

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of novels for teens, including The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, #scandal, hits the shelves in June 2014.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Colorado, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Visit her website at or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.
Twitter:  sarahockler

1 comment:

  1. I am so confused whether to get this or not. On the one hand it just looks like a fab contemporary, but on the other I am not a particular fan of the whole issue with the school principal.

    I think this is one of those books where I will only buy it if it is on sale! :')

    Thanks for sharing lovely & great review! :) xx

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries