#scandalby 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/i>/i>
A Facebook scandal goes viral after prom in this comedic, edgy novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.
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 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. But before they get the chance to ’fess up to Ellie, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising photos 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.
Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know that there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…
Gr 9 Up—Despite her reservations, Lucy Vacarro gives in to best friend Ellie's request that she stand in as Cole's prom date, while Ellie is at home sick. Though she'd rather be at home slaying zombies instead of in a poofy dress, Lucy spends a momentous night with Cole, whom she's been secretly in love with for years. The pair shares a few drunken kisses and the next day a picture of their faux pas is posted on Lucy's Facebook, along with photos of her classmates' indiscretions. Now persona non grata, the protagonist is pulled in for cyberbullying counseling and branded a homewrecker. She sets out to clear her name with the help of a quirky group of technophobes, her starlet sister, and the British import school newspaper editor. Preachy at times about the dangers of social media mismanagement and little heavy on the Veronica Mars jokes, this engrossing novel ties together important themes of friendship, celebrity worship, and slut-shaming. Teens will happily tag along as Lucy tries to uncover the identity of not only the true perpetrator, but also who's behind the Gossip Girl-type blogger who collects the high school's scandals. Primary and secondary characters are fully developed; however, readers may find the male lead a little underwhelming. The classic "I'm in love with my best friend's boyfriend" story with a 21st-century twist and lots of heart.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
Why, oh why, didn’t Lucy Vaccaro just skip prom and stay home playing “Undead Shred” like she wanted to?If she had, she never would have kissed Cole, the boy she’s secretly been in love with for four years—and her best friend’s boyfriend. She wouldn’t have lost her cellphone either, and she would have avoided the social media nightmare that erupts when compromising pictures of everybody at that post-prom party are broadcast from her Facebook account—including a photo of that kiss with Cole. Ockler’s take on cyberbullying, social media and friendship is a rambling, agreeably foulmouthed and often funny one, but it feels both overstuffed and underdeveloped. It’s at least in part a mystery, but authorial misdirection produces an unsatisfying and anticlimactic resolution rather than enjoyable red herrings. A subplot involving Lucy’s Lindsay Lohan–like older sister provides opportunities for parallelism and reflection, but it also helps boost the page count. Likewise, pages dedicated to amiable bickering among the sweetly goofy members of an anti–social media activist group that allies with Lucy are amusing but feel ancillary. Lucy herself begins to feel more a tool for the message than a fully developed character, despite her engaging narration.As platitudes mount in the second half of the book, readers may find themselves wishing Lucy’d played “Undead Shred,” too. (Fiction. 14-18)
Read an Excerpt
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture tagged on Miss Demeanor’s Scandal of the Month page is worth about a million. Especially when the story all those words tell is an absolute lie.
Well, mostly a lie.
The part about falling asleep in his arms is sort of true. I don’t remember the details about the horse, or how it got into the living room exactly, but judging from the smell that morning, that part’s true too. And yes, the Harvard-bound debate team captain definitely cannonballed into the pond wearing only tuxedo socks and silver fairy wings. Everyone got shots of that.
But there’s no way the other stuff happened.
Not like the pictures are saying it did.
Meet the Author
Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and Twenty Boy Summer. Her books have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. She lives in Washington with her husband, Alex. Visit her at SarahOckler.com and find her on Twitter and Facebook.
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