Friday, June 27, 2014

#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…

It was one of those days where I just didn't feel like finishing the stuff I was reading.  So, I got on Twitter to see what the buzz was.  The first tweet I clicked linked to Sarah Ockler's #scandal which debuted that day.  So I bought it, then promptly put down my computer and went for a snack.  I was intrigued by the title, so I went back and picked up the reader, neglecting the clean dishes in the dishwasher...

...and I was still neglecting everything every chance I got so that I could finish it.  I even woke up early to finish the book so that Lucy Vacarro wouldn't have to be constantly interrupted by a totally adorbs 15-month-old.  I. Woke. Up. Early.  That's sayin' somethin' folks.

What's so great about #scandal?  Oh, only that there is a definitive Star Wars vs. Star Trek, hyperdrive vs. warp drive debate, MULTIPLE Veronica Mars references, Fruit Ninja, The Dark Crystal references, and a lot of Walking Dead analogies.  A lot.  And a main character whose inner strength and restraint you just want every teen girl to see, and emulate.  I loved that the romance wasn't your typical crush and ohmigoodness-he-likes-me-back-and-he's-a-broody-crazy-dude-but-I-still-love-him-anyway progression we see so often in young adult.  I liked that Lucy and Ellie and Cole had history.  I liked that you didn't see all of the history until the end.  And I liked that the plot unraveled just enough for you to know that there were significant happenings in the past, but that you didn't have to know what they were to be compelled to flip a page.

While the first chapter and a third are kinda rough around the edges, keep reading.  There are some sentences that just don't mesh and you can tell it was heavily edited to the point where they may have just needed to walk away for a month before finalizing that chapter and a third.  But, it gets way better.  And cheesy as heck, but for some reason, all that cheese just worked for me.  And while it didn't make me turn off auto sign-in on my social media on my phone, if I were in high school or especially college, after reading this, I just might.

PARENTS:  There is language.  I think I counted five f-bombs.  They were true-to-character, and weren't for shock value, but they were still there.  There are sexual themes and innuendos, but there isn't any explicit sex that I can recall.  There is character who is called 420, and is constantly high.  The entire plot revolves around risque pictures taken at an after-prom party at one of the supporting characters' cabin in the woods.  So there's definitely debauchery.  And cyber-bullying.  It's a hot mess of hot-button topics.  I'd say if you've got a sophomore or below you'd best read along.