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.
Secrets don't make friends. Especially best friends. Especially when those secrets lead you to agreeing to fill in for you sick best friend on prom night. With her boyfriend who you've been in love with for years. Who may or may not feel the same about you. Which may cause a secret after party kiss under the stars. One that turns out to be not so secret when someone gets a picture of it, along with other very incriminating photos of the night that are then posted on your Facebook for the whole school-including your best friend-to see. Our main character, Lucy, learns all of this the hard way.
One thing that Sarah Ockler pulls off very well is her characters. Lucy, Cole, Ellie, really everyone were at times relatable, but not always likeable. They're real and flawed and you're able to see them grow throughout their experiences. A character in particular that I liked was Cole. I was a sucker for him from the beginning. Most of that was probably due to how Lucy talked about him. It was so sweet and realistic, and obvious how she felt about him and when he returned those feelings I was a pile of mush. I actually wouldn't have minded more of him. I wouldn't have minded at all. Lucy's sister was another one of my favorites. She was super fun to read about. All of the side characters were. I loved how they all had their own part in the plot.
Something that I think is important to talk about is how relevant this was. The whole "scandal" and how the school reacts to it is very telling of society today. This book talks a lot about the dangers of not using social media for good, and the even more serious issue of slut-shaming. What Lucy goes through over a few pictures is awful and it does happen in real life. That was a part of the book I wasn't expecting, but really enjoyed. On a lighter note, I also loved all the pop culture references.
#scandal had the perfect mix of serious topics and crazy shenanigans. There was Veronica Mars like mystery, Anna and the French Kiss like romance, and a Gossip Girl like high school scene. The best of the best if you ask me and all adding up to a book I never wanted to put down. Even though it didn't remind me of her other book at all, I could still tell it was the same author by how much I loved it. Sarah Ockler has made an instant-buy fan out of me and if you give her a chance, I'm sure it will be the same for you.
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