#scandal by Sarah Ockler

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17415348 (1)#scandal
Author: Sarah Ockler
Published: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Teen Romance
Pages: 416
In Series: Standalone
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Read in: September 2015 | DNF


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…


DNF at page 270

So this is the first book of the year that I had to “DNF” and it really saddens me. I hate doing this! I usually will stick books through in hopes that it will get better or it will finally just click for me, but this didn’t. At all. I literally couldn’t stand it. I have never read a book by Sarah Ockler before, but I guess I should have seen this coming considering the plot. But I was hoping to read a contemporary to get me over my book hangover due to Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas and it failed so terribly. I want to say that I am missing the Throne of Glass series so much that any book will pale in comparison, but I think this was just not my cup of tea.

First of all, Lucy finds herself the center of her school gossip based on a scandal during prom night when she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend while her friend Ellie is sick. First of all, who sends their best friend on a date with her boyfriend? That is so bizarre to me. I don’t care if you trust her and know nothing will happen between them the fact that you are in bed at home while your boyfriend is off with your friend and you want photos is so weird to me! This whole plot just went downhill right from the first couple of pages. Photos are taken with Lucy’s phone and uploaded on her own Facebook page tagged to the school’s gossip page, Miss Demeanor. These were all incriminating photos of pretty much everyone at the party, including the kiss between Lucy and Cole, plus some other photos… Now anyone with a brain should realize that Lucy posting some scandalous photos of herself with Cole makes absolutely no sense at all, but alas Lucy takes the heat for the entire spectacle. So as a result the entire book is now focused on trying to figure out who posted the photos so Lucy could clear her name and get Ellie’s friendship back. First of all, I called the culprit right away and I was a little disappointed. I only know who the one responsible is because I read the last couple pages to see what actually did happen and I am glad that I just DNF-ed it. Sadly.

The writing is really what made me not want to even bother. It was  all over the place. It really felt like I was reading a POV from someone who was speaking rather quickly and their thoughts were a little jumbled. There were a lot of random italicized thoughts thrown in and it just distracted me. Also all the references! I couldn’t take all the pop culture references. I usually really like when an author will throw in a few references to some of my favorite shows or movies, but this book had so many that it felt like it was just trying too hard. Students refer to Lucy as their “Mockingjay” and Lucy spends a page and a half talking about the meaning of a scene from The Walking Dead. Poor Harry Potter was even brought up. It just didn’t really do it for me. Maybe I am just being too picky, but it felt weird.

The characters couldn’t even save this book for me. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters at all. Lucy was just an annoying snob who wanted to play zombie videogames 24/7 and it made her a little unlikable to me. She continuously talked about how she would rather killing some zombies or just that she was into zombies. Everyone in this book just seemed a little too cliche and predictable. Everyone was so obsessed over this Miss Demeanor site and Facebook. I’ve seen this done before already, and better. Even the principal of the school was checking her and replying to Facebook messages to her mother and commenting on her friends’ baby photos while in a meeting with a student! I did like Cole, however, and thought his scenes with Lucy were really cute, but I just didn’t really care about their relationship.

Though this book had a pretty good message about technology and sharing negativity and how everyone worries over social media these days, it wasn’t for me.

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4 thoughts on “#scandal by Sarah Ockler

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