DNF: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

Title:  #scandal
Author:  Sarah Ockler
Series:  None
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date:  June 17, 2014
Pages:  411
Format/Source:  ARC/From Publisher
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/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…(Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

It Sounded So Good…

The plot of #scandal really sounded good, with a kind of Gossip Girl vibe to it. And I was super excited to read it, but unfortunately I couldn’t get past the first quarter of the book.

Unfortunately some of the Gossip Girl moments sounded too much like Gossip Girl.  And there were little phrases in the book that seemed completely out of context.  There was one instance where it said “That makes ten,” and there had been no counting of anything before that, and that phrase did not make sense with anything else in the book.  There were a few of these out-of-place phrases, and of course, those might be corrected in the final copy, since I was reading the ARC.  But they definitely took me out of the story.

And I just didn’t understand a lot of the plot.  If you and your boyfriend just broke up, would you ask your best friend to fill in for you at prom?  I don’t think I would.  And if your best friend who is filling in for you has NO desire to go to prom, why would you ask her to fill in?  It makes no sense.

And after all these scandalous photos are uploaded to the Facebook page of Lucy, the main character, she somehow thinks that all these people magically know that she wasn’t the one who posted them.  She thinks that this one group of kids is protesting for her, when they’re actually protesting that those photos were uploaded, and they blame her.  Duh!  In high school, “Innocent until proven guilty” is NOT a thing.  Sure, some of your best friends might not believe that you posted those things, but EVERYONE else is going to think you did it, because it is on YOUR Facebook page.

And I really could not believe the principal of the school.  Lucy also believes that the principal is on her side, that the principal thinks Lucy is the one being cyberbullied, but OF COURSE the principal thinks Lucy is the one doing the cyberbullying.  Because until you tell someone that you didn’t do it, they’re going to think you did.  But the principal was just a weird, annoying character. The whole time she was supposed to be disciplining Lucy about cyberbullying, she was focused more on her own Facebook page.

I did enjoy guessing who Miss Demeanor (the Gossip Girl character) was, but unfortunately that was the only real enjoyment I got out of this book.  So I ended up stopping at page 103, which was about 25% of the book.

I do know that there are lots of people out there who love Sarah Ockler’s books, so if this sounds like a cool book to you, give it a try.  I will probably pick up one of Sarah Ockler’s books in the future, because I have heard some great things about her other books.

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Simon & Schuster
Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


  1. Aly

    June 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Ugh! So I've heard mixed reviews and I don't know what to think. I really wanted to read #Scandal but I feel like it falls short. I already have this weird disconnect when I read Sarah's books so I have a feeling that I might actually hate it. I think I'll give it a shot eventually, but not anytime soon. I loved your review, btw.

  2. Jillyn

    June 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Sorry to hear this was a DNF for you. That would frustrate me too.

  3. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    June 15, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Hmm, I think I'll just stick with Gossip Girl… although I've read them all except the psycho killer one. I know, I know, I can't believe I haven't read the psycho killer one either! ;)

    Good on you for having the strength to dnf- it's important to not punish yourself with a boo you don't like!

  4. Brittany S.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:30 am

    I was sooooooooo tempted to DNF this but I finished… And was not impressed at all. I don't think you were missing much. I was so disappointed. It was just lacking so much development and had too much of the silly Gossip Girl aspect!

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