Alexandria Prep is hacked in this exhilarating whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud—Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks.
Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.
But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.
Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives:
Sometimes we share too much.
First I have to give a big thumbs up to Jillian Blake for how well she handled the issue of anxiety in her main character. I felt she accurately portrayed this mental health condition particularly as it relates to teens and their particular psychological development.
It was nice to read a book that had such a diverse group of characters with different sexual orientations, cultures, skin colors, etc instead of the normal group of white girls who are all blonde or brunette. There was some of the stereotypes often found in the YA genre but I’m not sure that can be entirely escaped when writing books like these particularly when it’s billed as a mix of Pretty Little Liars meets Wikileaks so expect lots of drama.
Overall the plot line was well written and felt credible as she did a wonderful job creating realistic feeling scenes, true-to-life characters and her dialogue actually read like human conversation.
I liked the intensity she created in her story so it kept my interest. Having such a positive message pouring forth from her words and concluding it on a high note made it worth my time. Due to the increased lack of privacy which has been normalized over this generation, the mirror held up by this book towards social media and the amplified love of gossip that is permeating American culture made for a whole other layer on top of the expected teen drama.
The truly heartbreaking thing about this book is you could very well see this happening in reality due to the issue of cyber bullying becoming so ingrained and nearly as much a part of kids and teens lives as puberty.
Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s for allowing me to review this book.
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com
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