#scandal by Sarah Ockler

#scandal#scandal by Sarah Ockler
Published by: Simon Pulse on June 17, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★

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...

I thought this was going to be an awesome book for me. A gamer girl, social media, hackers, scandals, a little Nancy Drew, and a romance! OHMYGOD those are all Ashley things and you might as well put a ribbon on this book and send it to me because it sounds PERFECT!

Well in reality, #scandal wasn’t perfect. I’d say it really fell flat for me and I’m TOTALLY bummed out. 🙁

Here are all the reasons why #scandal didn’t work for me:

The romance

There were two massive problems with this romance:

  • Lucy is obsessed with Cole before the story starts. This means there’s no “crush” phase or “I think I might like you” phase. It just opens up and it’s BAM! “I’ve loved him my whole life.” These kinds of romances are always 10x harder for me to relate to because I, as a reader, didn’t get that “crush” phase and I need it badly! I need a chance to warm up to the guy and fall for him myself, but I never get it.
  • Cole is actually barely in the book! It was bad enough that Lucy was gaga for him before the story started, but then Cole just slipped in and out whenever he felt like it. It seemed like he was absent for at least half the story. I even forgot about him for a while, then I was like, “Oh yeah, that guy exists.”

Add those two points together, and you have a very sloppy romance that’s super hard (or impossible) to like or connect to. I didn’t like Cole. I didn’t KNOW Cole. I never freaking got the chance to see Cole. But somehow I’m supposed to put up with and relate to Lucy’s obsession with him… yeah that didn’t happen.

Oh, also, Lucy is obsessed with him, but she also spends half the book ignoring him.

Cole tried calling and texting me a few times this weekend, but I ignored them.

It made her seem kind of bitchy. Like, “Oh I don’t have time to reply to his 5 texts over the weekend. I’ll just ignore them.” Who does that?

The mystery

So there are two big mysteries in #scandal: who is the Facebook sensation “Miss Demeanor”; and who stole Lucy’s phone and posted the prom party pictures on her Facebook?

I thought both of them were obvious. Okay, so I didn’t know either one from the get-go, but I did guess who Miss Demeanor was VERY early, and I figured out who stole Lucy’s phone about halfway through ( View Spoiler » ).

Also, this is a total technicality, but the whole thing was about “finding the hacker!” Stealing someone’s phone, which is logged into Facebook, and uploading photos through there is NOT hacking. It’s just stealing.

The friendship

It’s entirely possible that I just SUCK at “girl code” or something, but I thought Lucy’s friendship with Ellie was weird. Here’s the low down:

Ellie begs Lucy to go to prom with ELLIE’S boyfriend (weeeiiird) because Ellie is sick. First of all, if I were Ellie, I’d never ask my friend to go to prom with my boyfriend in my place O_O That’s just freaking weird. And if I were Cole and my girlfriend was sick, I’d be at her bedside, not partying at prom.

Then, Lucy and Cole kiss at prom.

But later we find out that Ellie and Cole had broken up BEFORE prom (this isn’t a spoiler, we learn it very early on). So now we have a few weird things:

  • Ellie and Cole broke up and Ellie didn’t think to tell her best friend.
  • Lucy and Cole kissed, but that doesn’t mean that Lucy backstabbed Ellie or that Cole cheated, because Ellie and Cole were broken up.

And yet… Lucy still feels EXTREMELY guilty for having kissed Cole, and Ellie is still EXTREMELY pissed at Lucy for having done it… BUT ELLIE AND COLE WEREN’T EVEN DATING!! She sent her best friend to prom with her NOW SINGLE boyfriend and expected nothing to happen? Okay, I’m sure there’s some girl code that says, “You don’t kiss your best friend’s ex-boyfriend after they just broke up.” But given that they were in fact broken up, I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Or maybe I’d just make a shit best friend.

Overall: big disappointment

I’m super bummed. I really wanted #scandal to be amazing, but it fell flat for me everywhere. Lucy constantly swayed between ‘okay’ and ‘annoying’, the romance was really underdeveloped, the scandal got old after a while, and I just kind of lost patience.

I’m sorry, book. I wanted to love you. Maybe it’s not you—maybe it’s me.

The Verdict


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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. Yeah I hate that. If she already loves the guy from the beginning, I have no opportunity to slowly love him myself. Bleh.

    1. Ditto.

      I kind of hate when that happens, but if it’s a blogger you know you have similar taste too then I say cut loose and move on 🙂

  1. “Or maybe I’d just make a shit best friend” – I LOL’d loudly to that… In work… Oops. Where your reviews always this funny? Have I always been like “YES!” when reading your reviews?? What’s happening or where have I been?! I thought this looked interesting…. I might give it a miss. I have Walking Disaster and a little guy I like to call Mad Dog Maddox waiting on me….swoon.

    R x

    Rachel recently posted: Review: Beautiful Disaster
    1. *were.

      Someone’s on a roll today. Forgive me, a Hawaiian themed party at the weekend appears to have destroyed my ability to write a coherent sentence…

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