Title: #scandal [Amazon]
Author: Sarah Ockler [website]
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source/Type: Edelweiss/Digital ARC
Stars: 5 of 5
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’m not sure how to even start this review. As a huge fan of Sarah Ockler’s books and her in general it’s hard to say how much you love a book. Twenty Boy Summer was the first of her books I’ve read and nothing will come close to its place in my book loving heart, but #scandal managed to find its own place because truly it was a fantastic book and not really like any of Ockler’s other stories, but more in that later.
#scandal is the story of Lucy, a graduating senior that lives to kill zombies and stay out of the spotlight. Drama is so not her thing. She leaves the drama to former alumni Jayla Hart and her hit TV show. But even without drama Lucy has her secrets. Secrets that could destroy her if they got out. Secrets like the fact that she has been in love with her best friend’s boyfriend, Cole, for 4 years. When Lucy is made to go to the prom with Cole and they share a kiss that is captured in film, with a bunch of other incriminating photos of her classmates, and showed around school Lucy’s drama free existence is a thing of the past. Cloaked in a major scandal of epic proportions Lucy has to decide what she wants to fight for, who she wants to fight for, and just how Cole fits into all of this.
I really really loved the character of Lucy. In the past I have enjoyed all of Ockler’s main girls, but there was something about Lucy that I really adored. I think it was her reaction to the bullying she endured. I’ve read a few books where the MC is bullied and they basically fall apart, but Lucy wasn’t like that and I found her endearing. She didn’t stand up for herself in the way you would expect, but she didn’t cower either. She had her moments, but she brushed a lot of it off with humor and I appreciated that.
Actually, that brings me to what I said earlier. #scandal wasn’t like any of Ockler’s other books and that is because of the humor. In her four other books there were traces if lightness between the super serious moments, but there was a quirk to #scandal that really made the book standout from the rest. Whether it was a reference to the Walking Dead(insanely in love with that by the way), Veronica Mars(which I got even though I never watched the show) or even the use of Mockingjay, it added a new level to the story that made a serious read but cyber bullying and technology gone bad, into a fun story about rising above. Plus a Daryl mention never hurt anyone. 😉
Also the supporting cast of characters was a huge shining point in this story. They were all so different and unique but they all had their place. From Ellie and Griffin (the best friends), to Franklin and Ash (their attempt to help Lucy), to Cole. Oh Cole, how I loved thee. (If I gush about him this review may be as long as the book, so just know he is AMAZING!) All of these characters had a role in Lucy’s story. And they all in a weird way helped her take a stand for herself. They were all unconventional but they worked as a unit and are probably one of the better supporting casts I’ve read.
I know I didn’t really tell you much about what I loved about the plot and that was for a reason as I don’t want to give it away. There is a mystery aspect to #scandal that is worth the somewhat vagueness. Just know that this book as a collective, characters, plot, writing, is a fantastic read and has managed to make me an even bigger Sarah Ockler fan. Give me more Ms. Ockler, give me more!
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