Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#scandal by Sarah Ockler

#scandal* * * * *

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. Andespecially 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...


Lucy would rather be doing anything other than being at prom with her best friend’s boyfriend.  But since Ellie is sick, Lucy has agreed to play the part and be Cole’s date for the night.  So instead of staying home to kill a virtual zombie horde with her online gaming friends, Lucy ends up going to a dance that she never wanted to attend with a boy that she’s been in love with since they first met.

With the exception of a poor horse being bedazzled into a unicorn, prom goes off without a hitch…until Cole convinces Lucy to attend an after party being hosted at his family’s cabin.  Ellie never told Lucy about the party which Lucy takes to mean Ellie didn’t want her to go.  But Cole is insistent and Lucy decides she’ll show up for a bit and then hitch a ride home with someone.  But things get slightly wild and the night proceeds with alcohol, naked future Ivy Leaguers wearing fairy wings and, oh yeah, Cole kissing Lucy.  Lucy doesn’t make it home until the next morning.   And when she does, she finds her phone has been stolen and someone has used it to post pictures of all of the previous nights debauchery  - including Cole and Lucy’s kiss -  to Miss Demeanor’s Facebook page.

Miss Demeanor is the school’s secret and stealthy gossip page.  Everyone is reading her page. Which means EVERYONE has seen the photos that were supposedly posted by Lucy.  What immediately follows is a retaliation of epic proportions.  Almost everyone in her class is angry and is not holding back in showing and telling Lucy what they think of her.  And on top of it all is her destroyed friendship with Ellie.  Lucy has to find a way to make things right with her best friend.  To prove to her that she didn’t post that pictures and to somehow beg forgiveness for a kiss that she doesn’t really regret.

In her efforts to clear her name, Lucy gains a host of new friends – The school Valedictorian, Franklin Margolis, the entire (e)VIL club (the school’s conspiracy theory group) and her older and usually unavailable sister.  But most surprisingly of all, Lucy finds an ally in Miss Demeanor herself.   She may not be able to salvage what’s left of her senior year but with all her new support, maybe, just maybe she can win Ellie back.

Lucy is a tough girl with a bit of a chip on her shoulder.  She’s full of snark and always ready with a sarcastic or biting response.  But even this tough girl can be worn down by the bullying from her classmates.  Fortunately, Lucy holds onto her sense of humor.  A sense of humor that is an absolute delight to read.

One of the things I loved most about this book was Miss Demeanor’s posts. They are written in the style of Gossip Girl (can anyone read that without following it up with “XOXO” because I can’t) but with a little more heart and slightly less mean.  No one is safe from Miss Demeanor.  Not even Prince Freckles, the school’s horse-turned-unicorn.

This was great book.  It’s exactly what you think it is.  A lesson in how the ways we use media can both purposely and inadvertently hurt people.  But the story is wrapped up in so much honesty and humor that is an enjoyable read.  It’s only March but I am pretty confident that #scandal will be making it to my Top Ten of 2014 at the end of the year.


#scandal releases 6/17/2014.  Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for allowing us to review this title.

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