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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.
Posted June 21, 2014
This book was so unexpected, I loved it so much! more than I thought I would. As soon as I read the synopsis I knew this book is for me. However I haven't loved Sarah Ockler's last two books (The Book of Broken Hearts and Bittersweet) that much. I did love Twenty Boy Summer which is why I was waiting for that magic to appear again, and I'm glad I picked #Scandal up because it did finally make a reappearance. In #Scandal, the main protagonist, Lucy ends up going as the substitute date for Cole, her best friend's boyfriend, as a favor to her. Lucy doesnt want to because a. she'd rather be playing online and killing zombies with her virtual friends and b. she's had a crush on Cole ever since he moved to their town and feels uncomfortable doing this. Still, Lucy could never say no to her best friend and ended up going. This is when the book starts, at prom. Lucy tries to stay away from Cole but somehow Cole always sticks by her.. I thought that was absolutely adorable and totally showed me that Cole actually might like Lucy.. of course I completely condemn cheating in my books but the way this was presented (and more info you get later on in the book) had my heart softening towards the two. It's more complicated than just a kiss and initially while I thought those two obviously should end up together I was a bit peeved at the cheating aspect.. because even if it was a kiss and it was brief.. still.. cheating is a no no for me. So basically, trust me when I say that it isn't what it looks like.
Ok now that the cryptic talk is over, I can start making sense. So next day Lucy finds out that someone uploaded all the discretions of her classmates at the after prom party, including her kiss with Cole, on her Facebook page.. lo and behold.. turns out her phone is missing. Of course being set in high school and, no offense, most high schoolers being immature, no one listened to Lucy when she said she didn't upload the photos and why the hell would she sabotage her friendship to do that? Since no one believes her and her best friend isn't talking to her anymore, she sets off trying to find out who screwed her over.
So discussing the plot and characters, I loved all the characters. I loved Lucy, even though she is flawed, she really felt guilty about the kiss and didn't make up any excuse about it.. I also love her best friend.. she didn't turn into the mean girl and tried to ruin Lucy's life.. she was surprisingly very mature and civil about it.. my heart hurt for her. Then there's Cole.. I initially thought he would turn into a douche but he was so sweet and caring and brought up the whole issue of why should the girl always get the blame (people started slut shaming her) when he was an equal participant in the kiss. What's worse is that all the slut shaming came from the girls.. and again, Lucy's best friend brought up the topic of how would these girls feel if that was their sisters getting slut shamed and ridiculed? I just felt that on top of all the fluff, many issues of our current society regarding women and inequality were made aware of. There's also e(VIL) who are a group of high schoolers that think technology is a way the government is controlling them and shouldn't be used.. they're the ones that don't have phones.. don't use the internet, or have Facebooks.. and that believe technology is evil. I initially thought they were so weird and random.. but when I got to know them.. I just loved them.. especially when I found out that one of them is actually a hacker! like what? how does that even make sense? haha.
As for the mystery, I personally had an initial hunch that was buried but later it turned out to be just that.. so I was surprised by who did it. But this book isn't really about the mystery.. it is more about the character growth and the friends and how different people can become friends and live harmoniously together. It is about people who make mistakes but try to make up for them.. about people that are wronged but try to forgive. It is about being honest and not making excuses for yourself or others.. it is truly about being human as well as the best person you can be. So overall I think #Scandal was a very fun and hilarious read but it also conveyed some important messages for our current society.
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Posted June 13, 2014
#scandal was a really interesting book to me. It touched on so many different parts of being a teen today (or what *I* imagine being a teen today is like since those days are LONG past for me) and did it in a way that was neither talking down to them or unrealistically mature for the target age range. It explored social media addiction and the amount of information people put out into public, social media bullying and the real-life fallout from it, friendship, romance, sex and finding yourself. It was real and relatable and didn't pull any punches.
It's difficult to pin down what I enjoyed most about this book because I liked so much of it. I liked Lucy from the very start. She wasn't perfect. She wasn't hopelessly flawed. She was just real. She made mistakes – and yes, broke girl code – but she wasn't the only one. There was enough blame to share here and even the wronged party wasn't completely right. I applaud the way she stood up for herself in the wake of the post-prom scandal. She handled it all gracefully and with snark and sarcasm and – darn it – I respect that.
I wasn't sure how to take Cole at first, but it didn't take long before his true nature was revealed and I was hooked. He was sweet, but not over-the-top swoony. That's not to say he didn't have some seriously swoony moments. He did.
The bond between Lucy and Code was real and emotional and I found it difficult to find fault with either of them for what they did. What I think I loved best is that through everything, Cole stuck by her side and never left her to bear the brunt of the drama herself. Which brings me to the only thing I found really lacking in this book... I wanted MORE of Cole and Lucy together. I know the relationship wasn't the primary focus of the book, but I love romance and I would have loved to see more together time for these two.
#scandal was funny and heartfelt and I just loved so many of the words. Sarah Ockler has a way of making me feel SO MUCH of what her characters are going through and, as an emotional reader, I love that. There were several literal laugh out loud moments. (*cough* "undisciplined vibrators" *cough*) I just found this to be an incredibly satisfying book all in all.
#scandal is only the second of Sarah Ockler's books that I've read. I now see the error in my ways and plan to change this immediately.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Posted July 15, 2014
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!
Posted June 10, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
#scandal by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
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...
What I Liked:
Before I start this review, can we all just take a moment to stare at the male model's hair?! Ahh, it looks so silky and soft, I totally want to run my hands through his hair. Tell me I'm not the only one? What - I'm crazy? That's fine, I'll have him and his wonderful hair all to myself. *feels satisfied*
Anyway. What a novel. I definitely walked into this one thinking that I'd get a great romance and a hilarious story, and most likely I'd love it, because I have a good feeling about Sarah Ockler's books. Well. That's not quite what happened. There IS a great romance, a hilarious story, and I did love this book. But this book went deep into the social norms and culture of teenagers and the presence of social media. #scandal is heavy on the repercussions of social media usage - it's quite heartbreaking in this book.
Lucy went with her best friend's boyfriend to the prom - her best friend said she was sick, but didn't want Cole NOT to go. Lucy has been in love with Cole for four years - little does she know that he has been in love with her the whole time as well. They kiss at prom, they fall asleep, and the next morning, pictures of them - and everyone at prom - are posted all over Lucy's Facebook page. Someone took her phone, created an album for prom pictures, and posted pictures of Lucy and Cole, and so many other teenagers messing around the night of prom.
Everyone, including the school's principal, thinks Lucy did it, that she is cyberbullying others. Things escalate quickly; Lucy is slut-shamed (she kissed her best friend's boyfriend), Lucy is harassed and attacked (she allegedly posted all of those embarrassing pictures of everyone else on Facebook), and Lucy is alone (Ellie, Cole's girlfriend, won't speak to either of them, and neither will Lucy's other friends, or anyone else at school). Lucy turns to the anti-social-media group, the valedictorian, and Cole, to find out who took and posted those pictures.
I was angry as I was reading this book. How dare everyone blame Lucy! How dare the principal ignore Lucy's protests of innocence! How dare everyone slut-shame Lucy! It's funny, because Ellie and Cole broke up before prom - that's why Ellie faked being sick, and asked Lucy to step in - she thought Ellie would be a harmless date that wouldn't try anything with Cole. I felt so bad for Lucy, and for Cole, because they definitely got the short end of the stick, out of everyone affected.
Lucy is so one-of-a-kind. She's a hardcore gamer, somewhat goth-ish, a total geek (meant in the nicest of ways). I really like her! She handles everything with controlled panic and some confidence. She's torn up about being blamed for everything and having to apologize for something she didn't do, but I like her character, and how she reined in her outbursts.
The Jayla Heart/Angelica Darling thing is confusing. Apparently, Lucy's sister is a TV star. Her real name is Janey, her star named is Jayla Heart, and her character's name (in the show) is Angelica Darling. Jayla comes home mysteriously, and takes over as Lucy is thrown into the prom scandal. It was weird, but interesting - the inclusion of a TV star/famous sister. Confusing, but interesting.
The story is pretty straightforward - find out who took those pictures and then uploaded them to Lucy's personal Facebook page, via her phone. I had a feeling who did it, and I was right, but I didn't solidify that conclusion until it was revealed, so that was cool. Ockler kept me going, trying to figure out who did it. It's like a whodunit type of story, but no one died.
I like how Ockler inlcudes the underlying theme of the danger of social media. It's important to understand that social media is pretty harmful. These days, you can access everything from your phone, and while that's cool, it's scary. All of your information, already logged in, right there for anyone to control. Clearly, that hurt Lucy (and others) in the end. One malicious act, and lives were ruined.
I also like the other underlying themes that Ockler including - the ones dealing with relationships. Lucy makes friends with people she would never talk to otherwise (the anti-vanity-technology guys, Franklin the valedictorian, etc.). She also develops a better relationship with her sister, who learns her lesson.
And there's the romance. It's not a romance that is in your face, all the time. Cole and Lucy do not have chemistry that flies off the page. Their stolen night is what caused this whole situation, but they fight to be together. Together, with the new friends, they find out who put up the pictures. This romance is less about the physical romance, and more about the mental and emotional side of the relationship. I love how Ockler created and progressed their relationship. The romance was really well-done, in this novel.
Heck, everything was really well-done in this book. I seriously enjoyed it! I spent most of the novel with simmering blood, but not at Lucy - at the unfairness of the situation. But Ockler teaches us several important lessons in this book, and that is excellent.
What I Did Not Like:
I know I just said that I really liked the romance how it is, but maybe a little more between Cole and Lucy? It makes sense, that they would back off, after being "caught", but ahh, I wanted more scenes between them! Yes, mental and emotional bonds are important. But physical bonds are important too. Heh.
I can't really think of anything else! This book was really solid. Good stuff.
Would I Recommend It:
Yes! The non-contemporary-romance-fan likes another contemporary romance novel - what is happening!? That being said, I'm not usually a fan of contemporary romance novels, but I liked this one. The messages behind this book are super important, so there's that. The romance isn't overwhelming or dominant, so there's also that. This one is a good one, I promise!
4 stars. I'm two for two with Ockler's books! And both are contemporary novels, huh. I'll de
Posted November 7, 2014
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Posted August 2, 2014
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Posted August 4, 2014
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