Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

Title: #scandal
Author: Sarah Ockler
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Simon Pulse (June 17, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
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...







I love Ockler's writing. Her stories are always so endearing and her character even more so. They are made of the stuff I love. And while this one had a very different feels from her usual reads, I still enjoyed the heck out of this one.

These are the coming of age stories you wouldn't mind your preteen or teen reading. Ones that are heartfelt and true and hold so much meaning and so much growing. 

The authors take on social media and high school life, I think, is in fact very realistic. It seems so much can be done, so much can be shown, ruined, and destroyed with the click of a button, an upload, or a very few choice words. 

Lucy is a great girl, she is a hard core, knock your socks of gamer and she loves her zombies, she also happens to love Cole and her best friend. What she doesn't love is the fact that the love of her life Cole, happens to be with that same best friend. 

When she finally sees her chance to go for it with him is when it all falls apart. It is when a picture really is worth a thousand words and she learns that life and her peers can be cruel and hard and unforgiving.

I wish I could say the romance was a focus in this story, and while the scandal was, Cole was not. In fact we see very little of him but what we do see, we can't help but love. We can understand why Lucy wants him and why she would risk it all to be with him. 

Like I mentioned above, this is a lot different than most Ockler books, there is a lot going on, a scandal, a mystery, some romance, a friendship on the brink of breaking up, and some serious detective work underway. It is a lot to take in and a lot to process. It isn't chaotic so much as instead of focusing on Lucy's love of Cole and her friendship with Emily, this steers more towards social media and hunting down the person that stole Lucy's phone and posted the pictures to begin with, the person who wants to sabotage everything she has.

It was nice watching Lucy come out of her comfort zone without changing who she was. She stays strong to what she believes and to what she thinks is right. There are a lot of subtle messages that, if you aren't paying attention, you just might miss. Good messages about staying true to yourself and going after what you want in life without causing those around you harm. 

This was a fun take on the affects of social media in the lives of our younger generation and of course, a good coming of age story. Maybe not a favorite but still a really good one that I think most fans will still really enjoy. 




*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

36 comments:

  1. I recently finished a book where the author used hashtags to describe the main heroine's emotions and I LOVED how she did it. So, I think this one might be right up my alley. Great review!

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    1. That does sound like a really cute idea!

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  2. I have not read any of Sarah's books, but I am a sucker for endearing books as well. I have noticed that we have very similar tastes in books so this will probably be one that I enjoy as well. :)

    I really do enjoy it when authors incorporate social media into books.

    Great review. I am so happy that I found your blog. It is quickly becoming one of my favorites to read daily ;)

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Awww thanks so much Michelle, that means a lot!! I am so glad too. :)

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  3. I've been reading a wide variety of reviews on this one Ali, but I'm glad to know you enjoyed it overall. It does sound a touch chaotic with everything going on, and I know I'm going to want more of Cole for sure. I always want more of the cute boy ;-) Lovely review my friend!

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    1. It would have been so much better with even just a little bit more Cole. ;)

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  4. I must admit that I'm not too enthused to read this just because it sounds like something that would make me cringe while reading. I just hate to watch the characters squirm! I'm curious now, though. I'd love to see who was responsible. :)

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    1. LOL, yeah you should probably avoid this one then.

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  5. I have this on my pile to read soon. I was hoping for more of a WOW factor but I guess we'll see what I think!

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    1. You never know, you might like it more than I did.

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  6. How social media affect our teens is definitely something we need to think, talk and write about so I appreciate this book just for that. I've never read anything by Ockler before but I do own two of her titles.

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    1. I totally agree Maja, it really is something we can't ignore.

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  7. I've never read anything by Sarah but this one sounds like it focuses on a lot of good topis. Glad you liked this, even if you didn't love it.

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    1. If you want to try one of her books, I would definitely go with an earlier one, this was good but not her best work.

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  8. This sounds very current, and what a lot of teens are dealing with. I love that this works for young teens too and sounds perfect for those entering middle school where all this drama begins. Great review Ali :)

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  9. I was so eager to read this as I havent' read a book by this author, and I am sad that people aren't loving it. I like the focus on social media but I was wanting a wow book like her last book, maybe I should just read that one first.

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    1. I would definitely try another one then Heidi. ;)

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  10. Haven't heard of this author yet, I'll have to check out her other books, since it sounds like some of those might be a bit better :)

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    1. I hate to say it but they really were.

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  11. I've been really curious about this one, and while I wish it had blown you away more, it does still sound like an interesting story with a good lessonf for growing up with social media. I'll have to check this out, thanks for your lovely review!

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  12. It sounds like a good one. I cannot tell you how much I hate hash tags though....Maybe it's because I have teenagers, that use them...

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    1. I know what you mean Becca. It wouldn't be so bad if they said in Twitter but they don't, people use them in real conversations elsewhere and it is weird.

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  13. It's true that social media takes a lot of place now and it must be interesting to see the impact on the youngers. I'm curious I confess, I haven't read something like that yet.

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    1. It really was insightful and I think pretty true to what can happen.

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  14. I read one of her other books and liked it quite a bit .. I just can't remember the name. But this one sounds good too. That social media, man, it can get crazy. And I'm fine with the romance not being the focus. Great review, lady!

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  15. curious now what went down. A scandal is always interesting! great review hon. Sorry for the delay in comments, been a very long week.

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  16. I have this and now I am really intrigued to read it! I am actually really excited by this one just because it sounds very different from most books I have read. I haven't really read much from the author either so I am looking forward to seeing what I make of her writing style. Will be bumping this up my TBR list. Thanks for the review :)

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  17. This sounds kind of good. Thanks for the great review.

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  18. Okay, seeing the # in the title cracked me up. I mean, seriously? # are used everywhere and sometimes in everyday conversation. Which is annoying and childish to me. Still, seeing it in the cover definitely marked this a teenager book. It sounds pretty good. Thanks for the awesome review!

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    1. I know! It is taking over all normal conversation, it is even in tv series now.

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