#scandal by Sarah Ockler | Book Review

#scandal, scandal, Sarah Ockler
#scandal, scandal, Sarah Ockler#scandal by Sarah Ockler
US Release Date: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Standalone

Source: PulseIt
Ebook, 416 pages

Rating, Three Stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

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..

Summary from Goodreads

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Lucy Vacarro never planned to go to prom, but when Eliana, her best friend, asks her to take her place because she’s sick and she can’t go, Lucy can’t refuse. Rather than slaying zombies all night, she goes to Lavender Oaks’ prom at the arm of Ellie’s boyfriend Cole. But Lucy has been in love with Cole since the first time they met three years ago and when he invites her to the after-prom party, she knows it only means disaster. The next day, a picture of them kissing with a bunch of other embarrassing pictures of the other guests are posted on her Facebook wall with her stolen phone, framing her as the perpetrator. The whole school is after her, but Lucy has a plan: finding who did it, reveal the truth, have her life back and her best friend back.

#scandal was good. Not extraordinary, but good. I enjoyed some aspects of it like how the book dealt with bullying and the writing, but a lot of things were missing to make me care. I didn’t really care for the characters, for the romance or the mysteries.

First, the characters. They were plain. Lucy, Ellie, Cole, Griffin, Franklin. I felt bad for Lucy, but nothing more. The principal was not believable and she didn’t do anything to help Lucy and actually stop the bullying. I can’t believe not a teacher heard students call Lucy a slut and a narc in the corridors or saw the pamphlets. At least, some cool students stood up to her like the (e)Pic kids. I liked Ellie because even though she was betrayed by her friends, she felt bad for Lucy and tried to stop some students from harassing her. Some people would only think of revenge or that she deserved it, but not her in spite of everything that had happened. She’s a good person with a big heart. She was the most likeable character. Nothing to say about Griffin, she was funny at the beginning, but I kind of hate her now. Lavender Oaks students were just infuriating. Two weeks of so much drama for not so much really. I don’t know why they were so mad at Lucy, it was just funny pictures of drunk people posted on Facebook. If they didn’t want pictures to show up on the internet, they just had to not act stupid and drunk. It’s not like they didn’t do these things. Olivia made me glad I’m not in high school anymore!

Harry Potter, Graduation, Gif

Lucy and Cole’s relationship didn’t interest me at all. Maybe it can be explained by the fact that we don’t see them fall in love, we are just told that Lucy has been in love with him since the first time she met him so we don’t get a chance to fall in love with him ourselves? Or that there’s almost no romance during the book, but some bits here and there so how are we suppose to care about them when we don’t even see them loving each other? Cole is caring but was barely in the book, the end is cute, but nothing more.

I didn’t care for the mysteries either. There are two big mysteries : finding who stole Lucy’s phone and posted the pictures on her Facebook and who is Miss Demeanour, the Facebook page that made me think of Gossip Girl. I was a little bit surprise of who stole Lucy’s phone because I just couldn’t see a good motive for this character. The motive was childish. Almost destroy someone’s life and reputation just because of that? I can’t say more without having a full paragraph under spoiler, but yeah… I guess people bully for less than that, but it felt ridiculous to me in this book.

Gif, Discouraging, No

The bullying/cyberbullying part was really painful. Even more painful when nobody was really doing something about it. I’m not sure if I liked how it was handled, but I liked the topic. I loved Sarah Ockler‘s writing and the pop culture references of Veronica Mars, The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games.

Overall, a good read. I don’t know if I recommend it. I actually enjoy reading it, it was a fast and entertaining read even though everything I said, but that’s it. Like I said, nothing extraordinary.

Writing   1   2   3   4   5  |
World Building   1   2   3   4   5   |
Plot   1   2   3   4    5   |
Characters   0   1     3    4    5 |
Romance    1     3   4  5

First Line

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture tagged on Miss Demeanor’s Scandal of the Month page is worth about a million.”

Favorite Quotes

Beneath his touch, my heart flops like a beached fish, and I turn my face away from his gaze.”

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Author’s Info:
#scandal, scandal, Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and Twenty Boy Summer. Her books have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. She lives in Washington with her husband, Alex. From Simon & Schuster.

For more info on Veronica Roth, visit her sites:
Website | Blog | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

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Yolo by Sam Jones | Book Review

Yolo, Sam Jones
Yolo, Sam JonesYolo by Sam Jones
US Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Standalone

Source: PulseIt
Ebook, 320 pages

Rating, One star

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

One day. One party. One motto: you only live once. In the tradition of wtf and fml, a crazy story of three friends and a road trip gone wrong right.

Emily and her best friends, Ana and Brandon, know it should only take half a day to get to the mountains, where the Stein twins are hosting a massive Spring Break party at their parents’ mansion. The road trip should be a breeze; the driving itinerary even includes several stops along the way, the first being a bite to eat at a real, classic roadside diner.

And that’s where everything falls apart.

Throw in a couple of criminals, an accidental thief, and a miniature drug lord, and suddenly the half-day trip is gonna take a little longer. Add a Chihuahua, some crazy grandparents, and a hot pool-hall boy named Chris…and maybe the journey to the party will end up being better than the party itself…

Summary from Goodreads

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It’s Spring Break and Jacob and Madison Stein are hosting a gigantic party at their house in the mountains, a half day drive. Emily O’Brien is looking forward to this party because the twins sure know how to throw one and she can’t wait to have fun and loosen up after all the stress from school. But her best friends Ana and Brandon broke up not long ago and they’re not talking to each other anymore. Emily thought that their bickering would be the hardest part of their road trip, but when they make a stop to a classic roadside diner along the way and get caught in the middle of a robbery, their journey takes a crazy turn.

Crazy is definitely a good choice of word because this book is totally crazy. In a very bad way. It’s one crazy and unrealistic scene after another. One bad decision after another. One wtf reaction after another like:

When she realized that she was standing on the seat, a few other things also became clear to her:
1. She was holding a handgun.
2. She and her friends could very well die if she didn’t do something right now.
3. If they were all dead, there would be no way to get to the party.”

I know that while in high school, parties could be a big deal like many things when you’re a teenager, but wtf… You’re in a robbery and you could very well die and all you can think of is your stupid party?

It takes more than one idiot to mess up a road trip this badly.”

Ana said that quote at one point and she couldn’t be more right. The three main characters were so stupid, it was ridiculous. I think this explains why I didn’t like this book. The plot could have been good, but the dumb characters ruined it for me. The beginning was in fact really promising. You have Emily, always on schedule and a little bit up-tight, Ana, the beautiful Latina party girl and Brandon, the funny one. But at some point, they just started acting so stupid. Not one decision was the slightest bit smart. Nothing made sense and Emily, the only one with some brain, was so easily influence by her friends. I don’t understand how someone with a minimum of judgement could think that everything will be ok if you help criminals or things like that. And the characters couldn’t even stick to their roles… Suddenly in the middle of the book, we see Emily starting to act all YOLO and Brandon becoming the responsible one. It was so weird.

I know this book was probably supposed to be silly and not something serious, but it didn’t work at all for me and I almost gave up 3 times, the only thing that made me finish it was to see how it would end. I don’t recommend this book. The end was disappointing, the characters were annoying and the overuse of the acronym YOLO was irritating. The only interesting character was Chris and he was only introduced at the end.

Writing   1    2    3   4   5  |
World Building   1    2   3  4   5   |
Plot    1    2   3   4    5   |
Characters    0    1    2    3    4   5 |
Romance     1    2    3   4  5

First Line

Emily O’Brien slipped behind the steering wheel of the late-model SUV her father had given her last year for her sixteenth birthday and turned the key in the ignition.”

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin | Mini Book Review

A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones, George R.R. MartinA Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

US Release Date: August 6th 1996
Publisher: Bantam

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1
Source: Purchased
Paperback, 835 pages
Rating, Three Stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

Summary from Goodreads

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What I liked

  • Multiple point of views. Each chapter is told from one of the eight different characters narrating the story: Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, his wife Lady Catelyn, his son Bran and his bastard son Jon Snow, member of the Night’s Watch, his daughters Sansa and Arya, the dwarf Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen, exiled to the land beyond the narrow sea and last of the line of the dragon kings. Some point of views were more interesting than others, but I didn’t find myself wanting to skip a chapter because of the character either. My favourite would be Daenerys Targaryen. Tyrion Lannister is not far, he was really funny.
  • The plot. Set in the fictional world of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, when Eddard Stark is asked to serve as the Hand of the King for King Robert Baratheon, he’s thrown right in the middle of the war between the realm’s noble families for the Iron Throne while across the narrow sea, the last members of the previous ruling dynasty will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. At the same time in the North, winter is coming. There are so many intrigues, complex political intrigues! I want to know what’s going to happen next!
  • The world-building.

What I didn’t liked

  • There are so many characters in this book that it can become really really complicated even with the appendix listing all the houses and the characters. I highly recommend watching the TV show before reading the book, it makes everything so much easier. At least, it did for me.
  • At times, when nothing was really happening, the story could be really slow. Being 800+ pages, it was a long read and kind of discouraging, especially in slower parts where I couldn’t see the end of it.

I have to be honest, it took me forever to read A Game of Thrones. According to Goodreads, I started this book June 19 2014…  but maybe it can be explained by the fact that I don’t read a lot of epic fantasy and I don’t often read books with more than 800 pages. Overall, I found it to be a good story and because I ADORE the TV show I will definitely read the next ones to see what happens next. Warnings: lots of sex/nude and swearing!

Writing   1    2    3    4    5  |
World Building   1    2    3   4  5   |
Plot    1    2    3    4    5   |
Characters    1    2    3    4    5 |
Romance   1    2    3    4    5   |

First Line

We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.”

A Song of Ice and Fire Series
A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) [no review]
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) [no review]
A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) [no review]
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) [no review]
The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire #6) [no review]
A Dream of Spring (A Song of Ice and Fire #7) [no review]
Untitled (A Song of Ice and Fire #8) [no review]

A Feast for Crows, A Dance of Dragons, George R.R. Martin

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Author’s Info:
George R.R. MartinGeorge R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. As a writer-producer, Martin has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From the publisher.

For more info on George R.R. Martin, visit his sites:
Website | Blog | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

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