The Selective Collective reads #SCANDAL by SARAH OCKLER
The Selective Collective features #SCANDAL by SARAH OCKLER provided to us by SimonTeen for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!
For my part in this Selective Collective post, I got to ask some questions to the ladies of the Selective Collective and we had a lot to say regarding some of the major themes in #SCANDAL! This book sure raised a lot of questions about a lot of things, and we really had a great time digging into some serious topics!
Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:
Publishing Info: June 17th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Simon Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions
ROUND TABLE: Chatting with The Selective Collective about #SCANDAL!
One of the things that really shaped #scandal was how each character reacted to the rumors and gossip both about themselves and involving others. If you were in Lucy’s shoes, how would you have handled the situation?
[Daphne // Gone Pecan] In a way, I understand and appreciate the way that Lucy handled the situation, but I was frustrated that she never defended herself. However, I do think that her defending herself may have made the situation worse. I would have had to defend myself, however futile it would be. I would also probably have written a long email or letter to Ellie explaining myself so that she would have my side of the story. There would probably be a lot of flipping off involved, too, to her (my) classmates. At the stage they were in the school year, right before graduation, I would not have felt the need to lay low and take the abuse. I will probably not have to see these people again after graduation, so I would not feel the need to play nice.
[Candice // The Grown-Up YA] I’ve never really been the subject of major gossip mongering like this, so I can’t say that I would 100% react this way… but it just seems to me that if I had been a teenager who was basically labeled the school slut because of this situation, I’d probably go to my mom. Yeah, maybe that’s lame, but I think after a while the pressure and insults would be entirely too much for me to handle and I’d eventually break down and go to my mom. Now, as an adult in the situation? I’d probably still go to my mom, ha! But I don’t think the situation can be experienced the same way. As a teenager, it’s a lot harder to escape your situation. You HAVE to go to school Sure, you can change schools, but unless you can go to a private school or convince your school board to let you go to another school, you’re pretty much stuck. As an adult though… you can escape. You aren’t legally required to stay at your job, your church, your neighborhood, your social groups… I think that if I was facing as an adult what Lucy faced, I’d probably just leave. People will believe what they want, no matter what the truth is.
Do you think the strong presence of social media today shares the blame for the rapid spread of not only news but gossip? Should we blame social media or do you think it’s all about how people choose to use it?
[Brittany // The Book Addict’s Guide] Social media is always about how you use it but I do think people need to be careful how much they share. We’re just more in tune to technology nowadays — people always on their phones, always on the internet — and I think it’s only human nature to be drawn to the shocking and the surprising so gossip easily spreads like wild fire. I wouldn’t say social media’s to blame but I think it does help things easily get carried away and it easily fuels rumors or gossip — gossip that isn’t always true as we see in #SCANDAL too. It’s great for sharing with many people at once, keeping in touch with people without always having to directly be in contact with them, and getting general news from the public as well… But with anything, it has its downfalls!
[Candice // The Grown-Up YA] Absofreakinglutely. I don’t think you can put blame on social media because it’s basically like blaming a pen for writing a letter. The pen is not enchanted to write words; you have to pick it up and use it. Same with social media. Social media doesn’t start rumors. People do. I feel like over the recent past we’ve started saying how people are meaner, crueler, more gossiping… I don’t think that’s true at all. I think there are just increasing outlets (ie social media) for hateful and cruel thoughts to be spread. Until we change how we utilize social media, the spread of gossip will only increase.
Have you ever distanced yourself from social media because of drama?
[Sandie // Teen Lit Rocks] Definitely! I was involved pretty heavily in an online group that would often devolve into heated debates and angry “battles” about everything from midwifery to breastfeeding to sleep training to disposable diapers. Many of us were first-time moms who were militant and defensive about every aspect of motherhood, and it seemed every day brought a new round of ugly or passive-aggressive missives. Some of us, 12 years later, are still close or at the very least Facebook friends, but many relationships fractured or ended completely. I stopped posting as much in the mid 2000s after my second child was born, and I no longer had the tolerance or the need for the drama.
In times of crises, people’s true colors can really start to show. What do you think Lucy learned about herself? Her family? Her friends?
[Brittany // The Book Addict’s Guide] I was actually kind of upset with how Lucy handled the situation! I mean, I’m not the kind of person who usually stands up for myself or tackles confrontation and issues head on — let’s be honest. But I expected Lucy to really take action and not just be okay with taking the blame for things. I really wanted her to make sure that people knew she wasn’t really responsible for everything that happened. I also felt like her sister could have helped way more. I was thinking she would grow out of her TV star/spoiled brat phase with Lucy’s crisis and really act like a big sister should and stand up for her little sister… She DID but it wasn’t really the way I was expecting and I guess I just expected her to be more protective. I really was upset with her friends too. If I was Lucy, I’d be dumping some friends supersuperfast. Few people seemed to have her back BUT we also saw some whose true colors really shined when Lucy really needed someone to lean on.
Were you surprised by how Lucy’s friends and peers handled the scandal situation? Do you think the amount of bullying is on the rise?
[Daphne // Gone Pecan] I didn’t understand how the best friend reacted. If I were in her shoes, I would have wanted to have Lucy’s side of the story. Sure, the photos were damning evidence, but I wouldn’t have been able to cut her off. I would have had to have a discussion with Lucy, especially considering what I know about Ellie & Cole’s relationship. It breaks my heart that the girls were so hard on Lucy and contributed to the gossip & bullying of her. The whole mob mentality of bullying is most worrying. People going along with out any real notion of the truth just to join in on the fun of collective bullying. I don’t know if bullying is on the rise or that it’s just more visible because of social media and the unfortunate rise of bullying-induced suicide. I do remember bullying being pretty common when I was going to school, but social media does play a part. It’s very frightening. My 7 yo is very well versed in bullying because it has become an important cause that the school system has taken up, but I honestly don’t know if it is helping the situation.
Is there anything you think children, parents, or public can do to try to prevent events like this from occurring? (Educating your kids on bullying? Restricting/monitoring social media/phone/internet usage? Staying more active in a child’s life? Stepping in when things go too far?)
[Sandie // Teen Lit Rocks] I think parents need to take an active role in managing the way their children/teens engage in social media. Parents should be “silent friends” on all of their kids’ social media accounts — monitoring but not necessarily outing or posting or embarrassing their children. Parents should also make sure to explain their family “rules” about sharing photos and personal information online. Parents need to have these uncomfortable but necessary conversations with their kids. Personally, I’m keeping my kids off of social media for as long as I can. I’ve known or read about too many avoidable situations, all because parents weren’t really aware of what their teens (or even tweens!) were doing online or on various social media site or apps.
[Candice // The Grown-Up YA] I’m not a parent, so I can’t say “Well if parents would do this…” in response to this question. However, I think we as a society place too much emphasis on social media/modern technology and less emphasis on healthy relationship building; relationships are more than Twitter and texting and Facebook, especially during our formative years. Even children at extremely young ages have Facebook pages – my younger cousin had one in 3rd grade! Very young kids are made aware of things (Hollywood scandals, scathing online discussions, etc.) that are way too adult for them. I don’t believe it’s a lack of parenting, as so many people are quick to say, but that our generation – the generation that is raising kids right now – has been brought up in a similar society where online bullying, social media, Internet, etc. is the norm. I don’t believe it was QUITE as bad 10-15 years ago (mostly because there weren’t as many platforms and AOL charged by the minute), but it still existed. I think it’s only in recent years that we’re seeing the full effects. I think we, as adults, should do all we can to educate younger generations on how to treat others and how to have healthy relationships with others. We shouldn’t be afraid to step in and be the bad guy if it has a positive outcome – the principal in this book comes to mind (who I felt was terrible, btw). We should be active in kids’ lives, whether through parenting, as older relatives, coaches, teachers, mentors, whatever. Times are changing, yes, but there’s no reason we as a society have to let everything go to pot. Reading #scandal as an adult was hard for me because my first thought was “Where are the parents?! Where are the teachers?! What is with this principal?!” I give young people quite a lot of credit because I know they are capable of so many amazing things, but I think we sometimes forget that they’re still children who NEED to be monitored and supervised. Yes, give them freedom, but there needs to be boundaries.
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 #SCANDAL so please go visit their take on the book as well!
|Tee @ YA Crush||Review: #scandal|
|Candice @ The Grown-Up YA||Author profile + giveaway!|
|Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks||#scandal & Unrequited Love|
|Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan||From Page to Screen|