Published: May 16th 2017 by Delacorte Press
Alexandria Prep is about to be exposed.
Senior spring was supposed to mean 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 perfect 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.
I’ve had this book on my To Read list since I first read the blurb. I was instantly drawn to the concept of this book especially because it is so reflective of today’s society and ‘Generation Z’.
Right from the beginning of the book, we are introduced to a relatively chatty MC who lays out the scene of who’s who at Alexandria Prep. We are introduced to the various Cliques of the school and we, as readers, already know that there are some tensions between certain characters, but we don’t know why. introducing us to the various groups of the school is relevant to later on in the book when the hacks start. The secrets that are exposed become more shocking because we already have an idea of what their public faces look like before we are introduced to private faces.
What I enjoyed about this book was the fact that the MC has anxiety disorder (SAD). It’s rare that we have characters such as these in contemporaries like this, so it was a unique twist on the story. What I also enjoyed about it was the way in which is was portrayed, in the sense that her anxiety was better on some days than others – which is how people with anxiety have described it before. Blake also showed the stark contrast between someone who is getting help and has willingly accepted help for her anxiety, to another character who has anxiety, but has no help for it and feels like they have no one to turn to (will not tell you who because of spoilers).
Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the technological side of it – the hacks, the app that started it all and the fact that people really do share too much on the internet without ever thinking about the idea that it could be hacked. It was interesting to see how an accident (the schools ‘prep for the future’ app being wrongly written) lead to it recording everything the students were doing and they effect it had when it was hacked and released in the way it was. Gen Z, who grew up with this technology, are definitely tap happy and this book definitely reflects the consequences if ever they got hacked and the results posted for everyone to see.
I do feel like the pacing could have been a little better. The first half felt a little slow and certain aspects of the book could have been brought forward to make things more interesting, rather than having them happen later in the book. Hacks could definitely have happened sooner and the chaos that ensued could have been panned out a little more. The pacing led to the end of the book feeling a little rushed and under developed or explained. We only ever find out who one of the hackers are (again, no spoilers, but I had already figured it out) without finding out who the others were that was responsible for the rest.
I also feel like the book ended abruptly. The way the book ended, I was expecting something else when I turned the page, but I got acknowledgements instead. I didn’t really enjoy the ending and felt it could have been written better and I also feel like more justice could have been served. I was left feeling a little confused by the end of the book, but at the same time, it could be open to interpretation from the reader as to what the characters do next.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book despite the pacing and the ending. It was a relatively quick read and reflected the technological and societal issues of Gen Z. I gave this book 4/5 stars.