Friday, June 27, 2014

#scandal Blog Tour: Review of #scandal + Interview with Sarah Ockler + GIVEAWAY


I'm so excited to be a part of this blog tour! As I'm not in the country right now, this is coming to you as a scheduled post. You can check out the rest of the stops on the tour other awesome interviews, guest posts, and reviews. You can go HERE for that.
Goodreads rating: 3.62
eARC, 368 pages
Published June 17 2014 by Simon Pulse
Source: review copy from the publisher
Genre: YA contemporary

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 read somewhere not to read this as your first Sarah Ockler book. Luckily, it wasn't my first Sarah Ockler book, but I can't help agreeing with this sentiment. It was just okay. The reason I know this is because, normally, I tear through contemporaries like they're no one's business. Unlike fantasies and sci-fi's and dystopians which have more world building and a lot more things to pay attention to, most contemporaries are focused on one main issue and so they're easier for me to read. It took me way too long to finish this one compared to other contemporaries I've read. It's also not indicative of a Sarah Ockler book in my opinion. So if you've been looking to read Sarah Ockler for the first time, I would suggest not doing it with this book (HINT: in the "Books Like This One" section, I mention the Sara Ockler book that you should start with). I don't actually know what to say about this one because, honestly, there isn't much to say. We all know that social media is taking over our lives (yes, even adults, which is made apparent in this book), but that doesn't make it an interesting story. You could see Ockler trying to liven it up with witty banter and a thematic horse, but overall, the story itself just wasn't that interesting.

I guess the worst part is that, although the synopsis makes it seem like the romance is the main focus, it becomes apparent soon after the scandalous kiss that that's not going to be the case. The thing with her sister was interesting, with her being a sort B- list star from a 90210-like TV series. It was nice seeing their relationship grow and for them to realize that they're not so different. It was also awfully convenient that the sister took over household and parenting duties while their actual parents went on a vacation for the entire novel. Like, what? Yeah, just too convenient for me. What this novel really became about, though, was Lucy's friendship with Ellie, or lack thereof. And that was the problem. All the time Lucy was trying to bring Ellie back into her life, it backfired and we barely got to see Ellie (basically the main focus of the novel) at all! There were some random twists that really didn't add to the plot, and it ended pretty open-ended. Overall, I can't say I liked this book, but it could also be because I've come to expect so much from Sarah Ockler and she kind of let me down with this one. Like I said, if you're looking for a book to begin your Sarah Ockler journey, don't do it with this one. Not because it was bad, but because it wasn't up to the Ockler standard.

 

Readers who enjoy contemporaries with a heavy emphasis on social media issues.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler*
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of several books for teens: The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, and the upcoming #scandal. Her books have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. In addition to her website at sarahockler.com, fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS





Out of all your books, what's been your favorite character to write?
Each character holds a special place in my heart, all for different reasons, but my favorite so far has been the book I just turned in to my editor (it hits the shelves in summer 2015). The main character’s name is Elyse D’Abreau, and she’s recent high school graduate and former singer with permanent, irreversible vocal loss. For obvious reasons, writing her story was a huge and rewarding challenge.
Which of your books has been the most difficult to write?
This question I can truly answer with ALL OF THEM. J Each book has its own twists and roadblocks and emotional challenges that make it seem, at times, impossible to write. Some of those challenges come from the difficult subject matter – the death of a young person in Twenty Boy Summer, or the broken family relationships in Fixing Delilah, for example. Others come from external pressures – deadlines, anxiety about how readers will receive a new story, changes in the marketplace. But every book is difficult to write. Still, I keep going back for more, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Do you have any crazy writing quirks?
Not crazy, but quirky, sure. J I like to do tarot readings for my characters before I get started. Lately I’ve been drafting to music, but I can’t listen to it during revisions, because I find it distracting. My revision foods of choices are white cheddar popcorn, dark chocolate, and Numi Rooibos teasan, but during the drafting process I like wine! Incense inspires my creativity. I used to do extensive plot spreadsheets before I could even put a word on the page, but I’m getting away from that, trying to embrace the muse and fix the holes in revision. Speaking of muses, I keep a collection of pigs next to my computer for good writing vibes. J I don’t know... maybe it’s a little crazy... lol!
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just turned in the book I mentioned earlier, about the former singer. I’ll be working on revisions on that throughout the summer. I’m also working on a top-secret project with my husband! But I’m not sharing any details about that yet... stay tuned!
Favorite book and TV show so far this year?
I watch very little TV, but my favorite show this year is The Walking Dead. I also recently devoured Supernatural on Netflix, but I have to wait until the fall to catch the current season! My favorite book this year so far is Holier Than Thou b y Laura Buzo. I think it encapsulates the true potential of New Adult fiction.
Would you rather be able to read minds or be invisible?
The reading minds thing sounds like a good idea on paper, but really... I don’t need to be privy to anyone’s inner thoughts. My own are scary enough! So, I’d rather be invisible... but only if it’s the kind of thing I could turn on and off at will. I wouldn’t want to be permanently invisible! Then, I’d use my powers for good. Like sneaking chocolate for dinner and reading drafts of my favorite authors’ books before they’re finished.


2 Winners will Receive a Copy of #scandal by Sarah Ockler.




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According to FTC guidelines, I'm obligated to share with you that all of the books that I review on my blog are either purchased by me or given to me by an author/publisher. All of the opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and I do not receive any sort of monetary goods for writing either good or bad reviews.