Book and a Beverage [66] – Becca from Pivot Book Reviews

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Becca from Pivot Book Reviews!



Name & Blog Name: Becca @ Pivot Book Reviews!
Tell us a little about your blog! Pivot Book Reviews is where I gush about my favorite recent reads in hopes of “pushing” them in your direction, and also where I awkwardly discuss bookish topics and puppify book covers with my dogs for Cover Puppies! 
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) My Idea for Shoebox Swag post, because everyone is always wondering what to do with all the swag they end up collecting, and I have the perfect solution! This post was really fun to do, because I showcased my beloved swag collages, and everyone seemed to love it!
Got anything special coming up we should know about?  Right now, I have a special giveaway for a custom handpainted (by me!) tote, and it’s my very first International giveaway! Yay!


Whatcha reading? Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) From a friend!
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? Because it is honestly one of the most suspenseful books I’ve read this year! I’ve had to force myself to put it down just to get a bit of sleep. I blame this book for my lack of sleep this past weekend!
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? It’s about a girl who gets kidnapped while she’s backpacking in the mountains, and you’re constantly trying to figure out who is the real threat to her? The weather, or this guy, or this other person! She goes through so much turmoil — emotionally and physically — in the matter of a few days. YES! I definitely recommend this book to everyone! Be sure to pre-order! You will NOT regret it, I solemnly swear! :)


Whatcha drinking? Iced water, because it is blazing hot here in Oklahoma right now! Gotta stay hydrated!
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? Hmm, I mostly drink water so I suppose that!
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Sweet Iced Tea!


What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Pivot Point by Kasie West! This was my very first Kasie West book, and it made me the biggest Kasie West fan! I recommend this book to everyone, and if I hear you haven’t read it, I will pester you until you do! ;) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, because if you aren’t a contemporary reader, this book will change that for you! (It did for me!) It is so adorable, and realistic, and I just love it so much!! The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski would definitely have to be another book that I like to recommend. The world-building is incredible, and the main character, Kestrel, is one of the fiercest ladies I’ve ever met, er….read. ;)
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? 
I actually have a ton of proudest blogging moments, but that’s from sharing my Cover Puppies (puppified book covers) with the authors of whichever book I did that week. Their reactions are just amazing. I cherish them, and screenshot every single one of their responses on my phone! My proudest writing moment was this past November when I finished my very first novel for NaNoWriMo! YAY!
Anything else you’d like to share? The blogging/reading community is seriously the best. Creating my blog at the beginning of this year was one of the greatest ideas I’ve ever had. I have met so many amazing friends in just a short amount of time, and I love them all dearly. I look forward to meeting many more! The more, the merrier! Don’t hesitate to tweet at me! I love making new book buddies. If you love to read, you’re already considered a friend of mine! Also, thank you Brittany for having me for Book & a Beverage! I love these posts, and feel honored to finally be featured on one! :)

Thanks, Becca! I just LOVE your recommendations! All quite stupendous! I’m excited to get to Black Ice! So happy to hear good things about it.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Becca! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook // Instagram // BlogLovin’

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!


Top Ten Tuesday: July 29, 2014 – Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From


It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: 
Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From

This is such a fun topic! I have a bit of a book buying habit and I even buy multiple copies of books that are my favorites because I love collecting them! Going through my shelves is actually surprising sometimes to see what my collection holds!



Stephanie Plum was one of the first series I hooked onto when I started getting back into reading so this was a series that I actually kept the books when I was done (I didn’t always use to do that) so I still have all o f the book from the series! I’m still missing #10 because I loaned it to a friend (who lives across the country) but I own 1-18, the four novellas, the first in another series Wicked Appetite, and the first six in a series co-authored with Charlotte Hughes. (Though I still need to read those and Wicked Appetite.)





Thanks to my purchase of the Harry Potter box set the other week, JK Rowling has jumped up in the countdown! I have the seven box set paperbacks, the three books in the Hogwarts Library, the first three books in the series in paperback (not pictured: Prisoner of Azkaban), and the last five of the series in hardcover (not pictured: second copy of Goblet of Fire) plus a bonus copy of Chamber of Secrets in a mass market paperback copy!





I never read Nora Roberts but I did really get into her mystery series written as J.D. Robb. I actually didn’t keep these books as I read them but I bought so many in advance because I knew I would… Guess I need to keep reading them, right?? Anyway, I still have quite a few books in the series in my possession still just waiting for me to read them!





Ahhhh, one of my favorite shelves. I ended up collecting these for two reasons: Because I love the series and because my blog’s name is in the paperbacks! Amy got me the international versions of Cinder & Scarlet for my birthday and that only helped me become more obsessed with collecting books in this series and international versions!




Whereas the double copies previously mentioned were intentional, the double copies of If I Stay and Where She Went weren’t… I went to Anderson’s YA conference and didn’t bring my books with me to get signed (I wasn’t sure how that would work… you had to bring your own copies, no giveaways) so I figured I would buy hardcovers since I knew I had paperbacks at home. I was planning on maybe getting rid of my paperbacks once I had all the hardcovers signed, but I just couldn’t bear to part with them, so they stayed!




This is my vampire shelf (oops, it’s a bit blurry). Just makes sense to keep them together, right?




Fangirl was another unintentional double copy… The first one was already on its way and I didn’t know it (signed by Rainbow after her event at Anderson’s got cancelled SO SAD) while I was grabbing the second one and also getting it personalized at BEA 2013. HAVE to keep both of them! Then I bought Landline and still didn’t want to give up my ARC. Here we go collecting again! I still need to buy that wonderful copy of Fangirl and my own copy of Attachments (I bought it on audio) so this collection will grow too.




Nothing fancy about this one! Just my collection of the paperbacks for A Song of Ice and Fire. Although…. what will I do when Winds of Winter comes out and I can’t buy the mass market paperback right away? May have to buy the Kindle book and add the mmpb later.





I randomly picked up The Spellman Files at a thrift store a few years ago and really enjoyed it so I’ve been reading the series over the years. There actually is a sixth one that I had as an egalley but they have these funny footnotes and that didn’t really come off well on a Kindle so I still need to buy that one… It’s not a popular series so my bookstores haven’t had them and I should really just buy it off Amazon but I keep forgetting!





Another one where I still need to buy the last book in the series (for Heather Wells) but I have read that one! And I also finally read The Princess Diaries so I’m sure I will be reading more of those soon too!


Not quite what you expected, I bet… Lots of books that I used to read avidly but some series that have fallen by the wayside. Others that I’m collecting (which you knew) and are still growing! What do you think?

The Selective Collective features On the Fence

selective collective

The Selective Collective reads ON THE FENCE by KASIE WEST

The Selective Collective features ON THE FENCE by KASIE WEST provided to us by Harper Teen for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I got to write a bout a topic of my choosing and one of my favorite things about the book (obviously) was the relationship between Charlie and Braden. I loved the athletic aspect of the book because I’m more of a tomboy at heart than a girly girl and it was fun to see some more interactions between the two characters involving sports (hello, sports ARE romantic. CONTACT SPORTS. Don’t pretend like that little touch between you and your crush never sent sparks) so I came up with a sort of “perfect day” scenario for Charlie and Braden and what I think they would have a blast with!


Charlie and Braden both have trouble sleeping, so why not start the day with the sunrise and take it from there? Hopefully (ya know, since I’m making this whole thing up anyway) this would be a day where they’re awake more towards the 4-5 o’clock hour and not the 2 o’clock hour so they could meet at the fence and talk until the sun rises. Some sunrises can be even better than sunsets and there’s just something so much more calm and quiet about a sunrise… Not too many people awake yet, the day hasn’t started yet. I think it can be utterly romantic with the perfect setting!



I’m not exactly sure where they live, but I DO know it’s within driving distance of Oakland… So I’m sending these two to Golden Gate Park! There’s tons to do (not like I’ve been there, but still) and they can go for a nice hike, check out scenery, even hop over to a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge! It’s a great place to explore and spend time together before their next activity…


Source: The Week

Braden LOVES the A’s so what better activity than going to see a game? Maybe alone, on a real date this time without any friend drama in the mix! It’s the perfect activity for both of these sports nuts. They can sit back and relax, watching the game and still talk about anything and everything!


There’s a “fun center” near my house so I’m sure there’s one somewhere close to Charlie and Braden! They have all sorts of great things to do there — from go-karts to bumper boats to mini-golf. Honestly, what better place for two competitive people? Depending on their energy levels after a busy day, they can keep the momentum going with go-karts or wind down with a casual game of mini-golf. (My money’s on Charlie!) Round out the night with some ice cream nearby. (There’s ice cream at this fictional fun center. What fun center DOESN’T have ice cream? That would be a crime.)

So what do you think? Great set-up for Charlie and Braden? Anything else you would throw in or change? I think they’d have a blast on this mega-date day!


And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of ON THE FENCE so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Interview with Kasie West + Giveaway
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Review: On the Fence
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  From Page to Screen
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Roundtable: On the Fence



ARC August 2014: I’m participating!

I made a promise to myself (just a couple weeks ago, actually… What planning ahead, right?) that I would catch up on some ARCs and SOON. I’ve had a stack of them growing, especially after BEA 2014 (which always brings a LOAD of September ARCs) and I really wanted to catch up on quite a few before their actual pub dates roll around since I seem to be having issues with that recently. (I do what I can to read before the pub date but I just read so many other things too!)

I decided the last couple of weeks of July and all throughout August, I wanted to start catching up on my ARCs — some pre-pub ARCs (Augus & September mostly) but also ones that I still need to read after being approved on NetGalley and Edelweiss (probably with more focus on NG since I seem to read more EW books for some reason)… When I heard/remembered about ARC AUGUST, that seemed like the perfect opportunity to officially commit to this plan! A big thanks to Octavia for hosting this and I’m really looking forward to kick off here soon!


Hmmm. Well, I don’t want to say “THESE ARE THE BOOKS I WILL READ” because we all know I’m a mood reader and that won’t happen. What I WILL do is post some books from my lists that I really need to and want to read SOON and these will be the ARCs I’m focusing on!


  • MORTAL DANGER by Ann Aguirre (have heard some not good stuff about this so do I still read it?)
  • SIX FEET OVER IT by Jennifer Longo
  • VIRGIN by Radhika Sanghani
  • BLIND by Rachel DeWoskin


  • I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson
  • TRIAL BY FIRE by Josephine Angelini
  • ROOMS by Lauren Oliver
  • THE JEWEL by Amy Ewing
  • BELZHAR by Meg Wolitzer
  • SALT AND STORM by Kendall Kuper
  • WINTERSPELL by Claire LeGrand
  • FIREBUG by Lish McBride


  • DISSONANCE by Erika O’Rourke (July)
  • THE HALF LIFE OF MOLLY PIERCE by Katrina Leno (July)
  • THE VANISHING SEASON by Jodi Lynn Anderson (July)
  • JUST LIKE THE MOVIES by Kelly Fiore (July)
  • 17 FIRST KISSES by Rachel Allen (June)
  • THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen (June)
  • BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler (June)
  • MY BEST FRIEND, MAYBE by Caela Carter (June)
  • THE THINGS YOU KISS GOODBYE by Leslie Carter (June)
  • COIN HEIST by Elisa Ludwig (June)
  • THE SECRETS OF LILY GRAVES by Sarah Strohmeyer (May)
  • REBEL by Amy Tintera (May)
  • BUZZKILL by Beth Fantasky (May)

So there you have it! That’s my reading list for August, more or less. I’m hoping to make it to at least… at LEAST six. Upwards to about 10? I’ve been averaging 8-12 books a month lately but that’s also including audiobooks which I won’t have for any of these so six may even be the max. Hopefully I’ll knock quite a few out in August!

Thanks again to Octavia for hosting! See you in August!

Discussion: Diversifying Reading vs Being a Diverse Reader


There’s been a lot of talk everywhere about diversity + the book/reading/book blogging communities… This post isn’t so much about diversity in the market so much as my personal reading tastes and how they’ve evolved to become more diverse than they used to be and the tricky business of stepping outside of my comfort zones.

My reading tastes used to be very narrow. First, I read Harry Potter. Then I re-read Harry Potter many, many, many times until my sister started recommending the books she was reading. Then I accepted a recommendation from my friend Alison and started reading Twilight which lead to reading those books and then re-reading those books. I read a bit of adult contemporary (almost all recommendations) and then I started picking up cozy mysteries and read mysteries almost exclusively. Then my friend Lisa recommended The Hunger Games and after falling in love with that series (and binge reading it), I finally started to seek out books on my own, which is how I found all of the amazing young adult fiction that I read today!

I feel like I’ve branched out with my reading a lot in just a few years and yet even still, I find myself falling back into my old comfort zones. I found a series and then stuck to it (Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games). Then an author and stuck to them (Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella). Then genres and stuck to them (adult contemporary, mysteries, dystopians). And now I think I’m the most diverse in my reading that I’ve been so far with all of the different genres I enjoy, but I’m still mainly stuck in YA and rarely branch out to adult or middle grade now (though I’ve made progress with that as well, lately). Although… I wouldn’t really say that’s an issue…

If you’re coming from a diversity aspect, sure. I’m not the most diverse reader out there. I could really dip into a lot more issues or perspectives or backgrounds, but I’ve always been a reader who has stuck to what I love and what I know I love. I’ve slowly branched out from only reading fantasy when it was Harry Potter to thoroughly enjoying fantasy and now it’s one of my favorite genres to read… But even when I first started reading fantasy, I thought I hated it.  I didn’t know where to start as far as fantasy was concerned so I was just trying things other people liked with no clue as to what I would enjoy. Sometimes it worked out amazingly (Graceling) and other times, I just couldn’t get into it (Lord of the Rings). It took a long time of picking books and trying them before I finally started to realize what kinds of things I appreciated in fantasy and what things I really didn’t have interest in, and really that’s the same with every genre.

As far as this post goes, I’m not talking about diversity meaning race or religion or sexual preference. I don’t really choose books based on any of those (unless it’s something like Christian fiction because I already know that’s something I don’t personally connect with). I’m talking about diversity in my reading meaning picking up different genres, male vs female POVs, trying to pick books based on what sounds interesting and not caring whether that means YA or Adult or MG. When I look at where I started as a reader and where I am now, I never could have predicted all of the different genres and subject matters and types of characters that I read — and yes, race and religion and sexual preference fall in with that too. I never really chose books with the express purpose of avoiding one thing or the other but I always fell back into my reading comfort zone. I do dip out of it from time to time, but I also like staying within that comfort zone because that’s when I find the books that I expect to love and in fact do fall in love with — because I know those are the books I will identify with the most. I don’t always have to identify with a book to fall in love with it, but that’s usually a really good way for me to get hooked so often times those are the books I seek out.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m making progress! I feel like I’ve come a long way already in the books that I pick out and the books I end up enjoying. Even within a genre or a topic that I expect to love, I find books that just don’t live up to my expectations. Other times I’ve picked up books I think I’d enjoy and find out that I really just don’t enjoy books set in a certain time period or a certain setting or characters who have certain personality traits. Some things vary from book to book and some things, I find out, really do end up falling under a generalization of things I do or don’t enjoy, but I’m able to make that generalization because I’ve tried so many books with those elements and truly don’t enjoy them.

While I’m trying to step out of my comfort zone, I think it’s important for me to edge out slowly… test the waters… pick something in between something I love and something that’s totally different. When I tried diving into fantasy, for example, I tried FULL OUT FANTASY with worlds and creatures and terminology and I was utterly overwhelmed, and I think that can be true with any reader. If you step too far outside of your comfort zone, it can easily be scary and overwhelming. So far, I’m enjoying expanding my reading tastes little by little and pulling those new and exciting topics or genres into my bubble of familiarity. Some people can make big leaps like that but that usually doesn’t work for me. I’m really enjoying growing as a reader at my own pace because that’s really what’s working so well. When I try to force things because other people are reading them or because they’re all the rage or because they’re a hot topic, sometimes I’m just not ready for that yet.

I think it’s important for readers to try new things and expand their reading horizons because it’s true — you don’t know what you’re missing out on if you don’t try — but also remember that you’re reading because you love to read. You’re doing what you love and it’s something that makes you feel passionate. It’s always okay to stick within your comfort zone when you want to/need to because those are the things that make you love what you love!

How do YOU define being a diverse reader? Do you think that pertains to stepping out of your comfort zone little by little as well having a variety of genres and topics to choose from?

Do you think you’ve developed your reading repertoire over the years and have expanded your reading horizons? Do you tend to just read what you love or take the plunge and dive into something totally different than what you usually read?


Book and a Beverage [65] – Dana from The Nerdy Journalist

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Dana from The Nerdy Journalist!




Name & Blog Name: Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist
Tell us a little about your blog! I began thinking about starting a blog when I attended a session about blogging at a scholastic journalism convention (shout out to my fellow newspaper/yearbook/litmag peeps!). I originally shrugged off the idea because I couldn’t come up with a “blogging niche.” In Nov. 2013, I started The Nerdy Journalist as a journalistic experiment and a chance to share one of my favorite things in the world: books.
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) Last month, I did a photo shoot inspired by To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. 
Got anything special coming up we should know about?  I don’t really plan my posts far in advance. Reviews and discussions tend to pop up when the mood strikes me. I definitely want to do more photography posts in the future, but I’m having trouble finding models.


Whatcha reading? The novel I’m reading right now is Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, but I keep putting it aside so I can re-read Fullmetal Alchemist (not pictured) and watch the anime.
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) I borrowed Siege and Storm from my local library.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? I’ve been hearing so many good things about the Grisha trilogy, so I decided to give it a shot. I had trouble putting Shadow and Bone down. As for Fullmetal Alchemist, I had a major manga phase during middle school and I’m getting back into it now. FMA is my favorite manga, and I’m pretty sure it always will be.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? Honestly, I’ve only read two chapters of Siege and Storm so far. The first book is exciting and vivid. The Grisha trilogy is unlike any fantasy story I’ve read before. If you’ve never read manga before, I think you should give it a shot at least once. As previously stated, Fullmetal Alchemist is my favorite manga. There’s a lot of fantasy/steampunk elements in it, the storyline is suspenseful and action-packed, and the characters (both major and minor) are amazingly complex.


Whatcha drinking? Peach flavored iced green tea
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? I do most of my reading in bed or in the car, so I usually only have water with me while reading. 
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! If it’s hot, homemade sparkling lemonade (with a heaping teaspoon of sugar). If it’s cold, peppermint mocha.


What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols — I love Jennifer Echols! Her books are always so edgy and fun. Such a Rush was the first one I read, and it’s my favorite. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu — I’m cheating a bit here, but the whole series is amazing. It’s one of those books that I picked up recently and wondered, “Where have you been all my life?!?” The final book, Champion, left me with such a terrible book hangover that I was making paperclip rings for days (if you’ve read the books, you understand this). My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick — The romance in this book is so swoony and adorable! 
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? 
In December, I wrote a profile about a retiring art teacher for my school paper. I’ve known that teacher since I was in third grade, so I just HAD to be the one to write the story. I wanted to capture her “essence” in the paper. I wanted everyone to know how kind she is, how much she loves teaching. When the paper came out, one day before she retired, I personally delivered the papers to her room and watched her read it. She teared up and told me how thankful she was that I wrote her profile. I’ve never been more proud of any work I’ve done for the newspaper.
Anything else you’d like to share? I love chatting with fellow book nerds, so don’t be afraid to leave comments on my blog, tweet me, friend me on Goodreads, etc.! I’m pretty much always open for a conversation (unless I’m in class or at tennis practice).

Thanks, Dana!! LOVE your recommendations! I really enjoyed Such a Rush and Legend (still need to read the rest of the trilogy) and I’m hoping to start My Life Next Door soon! Thanks so much for being on Book and a Beverage!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Dana! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook // Instagram // Tumblr

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!


#scandal – Sarah Ockler

#scandal – Sarah OcklerTitle: #scandal by Sarah Ockler
Date Completed: June 11, 2014
Publishing Info: June 17, 2014 by Simon and Schuster
Source: ARC from Simon Teen -- Thank you!
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
Related Posts: The Selective Collective features The Book of Broken Hearts, The Book of Broken Hearts
    A private, high school senior gets an unwanted turn in the spotlight when a Facebook scandal goes viral after prom in this comedic, edgy novel from the author of The Book of Broken Hearts and Bittersweet.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 dealbreaker 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, just weeks before graduation. 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…


As I’m sure many of you know, I was a HUGE fan of the first Sarah Ockler book I read, THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS. I have to read any other ones besides that and #SCANDAL but I’ve heard good things about the rest! Obviously, when I went to start #SCANDAL, I had some pretty high expectations. I had heard from others who had already read it that it definitely was a different style than Sarah’s previous books and I tried to put myself in that mindset but… well… I failed.

#SCANDAL was VERY different for me as a reader. Not just in style but it didn’t even feel like I was reading the same author. All of the bare bones were there of the things that I loved in THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS – a strong female character, a rocky but great family relationship to explore, a super swoony boy, and friendship trials/tribulations – but none of those elements really seemed to work or pan out for me in #SCANDAL. Almost all of them felt completely undeveloped and overshadowed by the plot and without that feeling of reality from the characters and their relationship, I was just lost in the drama of the book.

#SCANDAL had some, well, scandalous topics. Lucy finds herself the victim of a social media explosion after being photographed kissing her best friend’s boyfriend (now ex, although that wasn’t news to the school yet) and an innocent situation turned completely and untruthfully raunchy. I really appreciated a lot of the situations that Lucy had to deal with and I thought Sarah Ockler did a great job of showing how social media really does affect our daily lives, especially when it comes to the relationships we have with our peers. Things can easily be taken out of context or thrown out of proportion because of the passive-aggressiveness of social media and many people end up not confronting issues head on. I think Sarah Ockler did a really great job of exploring those angles and I loved all of the questions both characters and reader came up with throughout the course of the book.
What I didn’t enjoy was how most of the characters handled these situations. If Lucy is innocent (we know she is), why didn’t she stand up for herself more? I’m not a vocal person by any means and I don’t really push myself into situations or even speak up for myself at times, but if I was involved in a scandal that was entirely untrue, you BET I would be all over the place defending myself, tracking down the culprit who was spreading rumors about me, and trying to make things right. Lucy was portrayed to be this kickass, zombie and guts-loving, nose ring-wearing girl and I felt like she didn’t once have that sort of personality outside of her videogames. I’m not saying that stereotypical look + attitude combination exists all the time, but it was surprising to me that she would be bold with her looks and actions everywhere EXCEPT for handling this scandal and her friendships. I was just really disappointed with her character.

I really wasn’t sold on many of the relationships, sadly. We find out many different things about Lucy’s relationship with her sister, but they’re only briefly touched upon and then quickly resolved. The swoony aspect between Lucy and Cole are totally glossed over because of the situation surrounding them. They had some REALLY cute moments but there were just so few and far between. I was really disappointed with the friendships too. Everything just seemed so catty and superficial. I just felt like every relationship in the book really could have benefitted from a bit more development.
I really just wasn’t a fan of the overall feel of the book, to be perfect frank. I can appreciate keeping a lighter tone with such a heavy topic, but I would have liked to see it addressed a bit more seriously. Again, all the messages were there but I didn’t quite like their delivery. The whole vibe was just a bit TOO Gossip Girl meets Mean Girls and I think it got a little too silly for my tastes. I would have liked this to feel a lot more realistic instead of getting carried away with being fun.

I’m just so sad that this one didn’t really seem to work out at all for me. I was really hoping for another knockout after THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS and I think that was really just a tough book to follow. The overall feel left me wanting so much more of the reality of each situation and everything just felt a little underwhelming.


“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Lucy // Character Obsessions: Zombies, video games, Cole. 
Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. Why didn’t you stand up for yourself?!? That’s one thing I can’t understand. Why did no one encourage her to come forward and say or try to prove that all of these scandalous accusations were false? Why didn’t she WANT to? Who wants to be tortured and ridiculed like that? I mean, obviously she didn’t but that was just something that bothered me throughout the whole book. I also felt like she was so passive with her friendships as well. I really had just hoped for so much more from her.
Principal Zeff // Character Obsessions: Advice, cookies, Facebook.
WOW, this principal should be fired. Instead of solving problems and really taking matters into her own hands… She encourages Lucy to take the blame for her “actions”? Even though she knows she’s innocent of the accusations? And then comes up with BS activities to “help the students”. No. Just no. So unprofessional and just a terrible principal.


Kept Me Hooked On: Issues. It was so interesting to really sit back and think about your social media presence as well as consequences for whatever you do, especially in a public setting. It’s terrible that people are actually treated that way, but unfortunately it’s something children and adults alike need to be aware of nowadays, especially with how easily things go viral on social media and the internet.
Left Me Wanting More: Gravity. I wanted things to be a bit more serious. Yes, the whole scandal did have its very serious consequences but I felt like the lighter tone of the book really just set a glaze over everything. Sugary, sweet fun. I think it should have been less cute, more serious. .

Addiction Rating
Skip it

I know others enjoyed it but I was just so disappointed in this one. I can’t really recommend it. If you want to try a Sarah Ockler book, I will forever recommend THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS. I personally plan on reading others to try to cleanse my palate.


(Click the cover to see my review!)

       Blaze   The Break-Up Artist