Author: Sarah Ockler
Hardcover > 401 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: June 17th 2014
Genre: YA > Contemporary > Romance
#bustedLucy’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. These policies have 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 massed 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...
The Why: The first time I heard about #scandal, I was instantly drawn to the cover. My eyes were drawn to the way the title included a hashtag and how the dark background put more attention to the models portraying Lucy and Cole. After staring at the cover and somewhat suppressing my admiration for it, the synopsis of the story also drew me in with the mystery of who could have posted compromising photos online and made it viral. It wasn't that long ago that I read a contemporary romance with a little mystery in it, and I crossed my fingers I'd like #scandal a lot more.
The What: The way Sarah wrote Lucy's personality throughout the story was very unique and interesting. I absolutely adored how Lucy was somewhat tomboy-ish, but to a certain degree. That certain degree involved killing zombies during her spare time via video games. It was also new to experience absolute chaos from compromising photos revealing everyone’s crazy behavior during the after-prom party from hell (I'm sure that's how Lucy would describe it as). The friendship that builds up steadily to trust between Franklin and Lucy was admirable. I adored their conversations and honestly think they would have made a much better—maybe even healthier?—couple than Lucy and Cole. Lucy also went through a bout of character development that made her seem that much more realistic.
The Character(s): Ultimately, my favorite characters would have to be Lucy and Franklin—Lucy the girl who tries to make the right decisions, but always ends up losing some way or another and Franklin the best guy friend anyone could ever have. I didn't really know what to expect from Franklin at the very beginning, he just seemed so vague for some reason, but eventually Franklin opened up and proved to be the smartest guy at the school and a very loyal friend to Lucy. I don't remember exactly how Lucy describes his appearance, but I do remember curly hair and a very noticeable English accent that only made me admire him more. Lucy’s just uniquely awesome!
The Scene(s): The scene in #scandal that became really memorable was when Lucy's older sister, Jayla, forces her to a shopping spree that she absolutely cannot back out of. No matter how hard she tries. It doesn't stop there though. The fun begins when Jayla suggests to Lucy a very funny and slightly vulgar way to apologize to everyone affected by the scandal. After shopping for a while, they go somewhere to eat that has a mechanical bull that results in a very awkward situation for Lucy. The hot international student that has his eyes on Lucy ends up having to help her carry Jayla back to the car—very much passed out—and the one line that Jayla manages to blurt out to the guy made me laugh out loud from embarrassment for Lucy.
My heart is thunderous, a raging storm that drowns out the warnings and the shouldn’ts and the can’ts, and I meet his gaze, hold it, look for the stars in his eyes. I find them, glittery and infinite. (224)
#Scandal by Sarah Ockler was enjoyable to read to a certain point and very conflicting to review. The characters were well-written and well-described to the point where I could picture their different personalities clearly. My conflict with this book started around the time Lucy started being bullied by her peers. It was just sad to read such horrific actions formed from girls—sometimes guys—and the anger they had for being part of a very vicious scandal that became out of control overnight. A bunch of emotions rose in me that made me wish I could go into Lucy's world to defend her against the haters that kept bothering and taunting her. Thankfully, it wasn’t always about that and Sarah managed to include nicer moments shared with friends and family. Those were definitely the chapters I enjoyed reading most and the immense support Lucy received made me believe that there was a positive side to the story after all. I can’t guarantee that everyone will enjoy/agree with the story and the points I made about #scandal, but like most books, it should definitely be given a chance. Lesson learned from #scandal: If you wouldn’t show your parents pictures of what you do when they’re not around, don’t take those pictures at all.