Thursday, June 12, 2014

#scandal ~ Sarah Ockler Tour Review, Guest Post, Teaser & Giveaway [@sarahockler @simonteen @TUABFC #FFBC]

Simon Pulse
June 17th 2014
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon
(more links/sites below after 'Teaser')

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...

Lucy is not the girl you might expect to be the center of a scandal (or #scandal). She wears thigh high boots to prom, loves zombie killing games, knows The Walking Dead (truefax) . . . oh, and she's secretly in love with her best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah Ockler's #scandal is done in a very smart way. Lucy, a girl who not only harbors feelings for her best friend's boyfriend but then kisses him, is someone who could be very unlikable. Instead, from the very start, she is a relateable, likable girl. We're introduced to her while she's at prom (as Ellie's stand-in), feeling very awkward and trying to disguise her feelings for Cole. 

She knows Cole being Ellie's boyfriend makes anything with him a definite no-go. When something happens anyway, it would be enough for anyone to deal with - not only how she feels about what happened but explaining things to her friend. Soon enough, though a situation that would be hard enough privately soon involves the whole school.

The worse everyone treats Lucy, the more she endures, the realer it actually feels. From a very believable 'what' that happens to the almost mob mentality of everyone turning on her, it's something that could happen in a high school. Ockler does a great job of removing certain adults from the goings-on and keeping those involved from affecting too much change. They feel clueless but in a way that, as bad as it is, works.

It's in the small things that we really feel for Lucy. The author picks great moments to succinctly, but wisely show Lucy's pain and isolation. They aren't big, dramatic scenes but work much better than if they had been. Though Lucy has focus and a plan - of sorts - the demonstrations of how the situation is affecting her are great and really add to #scandal.

Not everyone has abandoned Lucy and those that do support her make up some of the most fun characters I've read. They are a really nice counter to the online reputation attack and Lavender Oaks very own Gossip Girl. They might not all have worked in a book about anything else, but they're great here.

A little part of the novel that i really loved was the dogs (and the horse, too). They were adorable in their friendship and actions. It was really nice to see a character have a dog and for that to actually play a part in the book. (As opposed to books where someone has a dog, it's not mentioned for 200 pages, it barks once, is never mentioned again.)

#scandal has characters you will love and relate to, some sweet - if a bit angsty - romance and a well thought out and executed plot. It maintains a lighter air while deftly dealing with a serious topic and leaving readers with something to think about.

Rating: 9/10

Guest Post, Teaser, buy links, About the Author + Giveaway below . . .

Is there a scandal from your high school days that you remember? Was there social media involved?

Every morning I wake up and thank my lucky stars that the most advanced social media technology of my high school career was the shared mix tape. I’m not kidding. Imagining what my school days would’ve been like if social media had existed gave me plenty of ideas for #scandal. It also gave me plenty of nightmares, particularly when I thought about my own (mostly stupid) (melodramatic) (kids don’t try this at home) little scandal. Sigh.

Basically, I moved to a new high school the summer before freshman year, and immediately developed this mortifyingly intense crush on one of the football players. I thought he liked me back—he was being super cute and flirty at Freshman orientation—but I couldn’t be certain. So I just… waited. At homecoming, he finally asked me to dance, and it was awesome! We were all hugged up together, and Eric Clapton sang Wonderful Tonight, and this boy was all cute and delicious-smelling, and he even grazed my boob, a gesture I’d assumed elevated us to soul mate status.

Sadly, a bad haircut the following week landed me in dumpsville before he’d even asked me out. But he’d grazed my boob! Twice, actually! We were meant to be! I knew it, deep down inside, where all the bad ideas grew. So I did what any lovesick idiot who liked to write would do. I wrote him a letter declaring my undying love. A real letter, on paper, with pink hearts and whatnot. And then I gave it to him.



He read it, of course. And shared it with a close group of friends, of course. The rest of the football boys. And a few others. Whoever had time to pass it around the halls that day. And everyone teased me. And at the end of the day, he felt kind of bad and gave me the “I really like you but we’re just friends” speech, and “I’m really flattered,” and for the rest of eternity—well, the next few days, until someone else’s scandal eclipsed mine—I had to endure the shame and the teasing and the broken heart and the no-boyfriend thing and the bad haircut, all together. Plus, he was in love with my friend, who didn’t love him back, so he ultimately asked out my other friend. Not me.


But the thing is, that was the end of it. It was a big deal then, and for a few days after, but then soon it was all but forgotten. The football boys moved on. Today, my crush probably doesn’t even remember the letter, or our dance, or the haircut, or even my name for that matter (though I’ll always remember his, because, like I said, SIGH and UGH and GAH and BLERGH, a girl doesn’t forget a publicly broken heart like that).

Imagine, on the other hand, if that whole thing had played out on social media. OMG I was such a melodramatic psycho (obviously), I would’ve had a full on we-are-meant-to-be playlist rockin’ out on Spotify, and I probably would’ve done a YouTube video declaration instead of a letter, and my Facebook relationship status would’ve said It’s Complicated, and my bad haircut pics would’ve been immortalized, and someone would’ve remixed my YouTube video confessional tell-all into something even more horrifying, and certainly someone would’ve Instagrammed that boob graze, and people would’ve been texting me the play-by-play as the boy watched my video and shared it with his friends, and just… holy smokes.

The moral of the story is this: thank goodness I was well out of high school before social media hit the scene. And also, a boob graze does not a forever-kind-of-love make. But it can, if circumstances are right, inspire a career of writing young adult literature with boys who are better, smarter, more sensitive, and who always love you back, no matter what your bad hair looks like! ;-)

Thanks so much for hosting me!


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. Especially when the story all those words tell is an absolute lie.

Well, mostly a lie.

The part about falling asleep in his arms is sort of true. I don’t remember the details about the horse, or how it got into the living room exactly, but judging from the smell that morning, that part’s true too. And yes, the Harvard-bound debate team captain definitely cannonballed into the pond wearing only tuxedo socks and silver fairy wings. Everyone got shots of that.

But there’s no way the other stuff happened. 

Not like the pictures are saying it did.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of novels for teens, including The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, #scandal, hits the shelves in June 2014. 

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Colorado, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Win a prize pack with 4 Signed hardbacks of Sarah Ockler's books: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, and The Book of Broken Hearts (US Only)

Giveaway is open to US/CAN Only | Must be 13 or older to enter 
Check all the rules in the rafflecopter

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