Tag Archives: #scandal

#scandal – Sarah Ockler

#scandal – Sarah OcklerTitle: #scandal by Sarah Ockler
Publishing Info: June 17, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Edelweiss, Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 11, 2014
Related Posts: The Selective Collective features The Book of Broken Hearts, The Book of Broken Hearts, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

    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…

Review1

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

“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!

#s

Characters1

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.

AddictionFactor1

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.

Recommendations1

(Click the cover to see my review!)

       Blaze   The Break-Up Artist

The Selective Collective features #scandal: Round Table

selective collective

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:

#scandal sarah ocklerPublishing 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

Book Synopsis: 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…
From Goodreads

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