Monday, May 22, 2017

ARC Review: Antisocial by Jillian Blake

Title: Antisocial
Written by: Jillian Blake 
Published: May 16, 2017 by Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Alexandria Prep is hacked in this whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud. 

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.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I was totally intrigued by the idea of this books. Mean Girls meets Wikileaks sounds amazing. And it also sounded like an intriguing mystery/ And while it was engaging and interesting, it didn't quite live up to my hopes.

One of the things that I did like about this book was the characters. This is a book full of unlikable characters who felt like realistic teenagers. I think the Mean Girls comparison here was about the characters. Firstly because there was a huge emphasis on the different cliches in the school as well as the idea of popularity. But there was also this whole frenemies thing in the book with the characters not being honest with each other about their thoughts and feelings. But that is kind of one of the things that made them feel realistic.

Much of the book focused on the characters and their interaction and development. There were two interesting narratives here when it came to the characterizations. The first was around your public versus private image. As the hack occurred and people found out the truth of their classmates these two things came into question and made for the drama. I really love books that explore this theme and this one did it pretty well. It didn't have quite the depth that I hope for but I it definitely was interesting.

I think it was also supposed to be a subtle story of friendship. I really like books that have themes of friendship so I was excited about that here. It's a book with quirky kind of nerdy types who make up a group of friends. When the hack came through, their friendships and relationships were tested. Again I think it did an okay job of creating drama and establishing interest while making the friendships stronger for the truth. But for some reason it didn't quite have the heart that books about friendships usually have. Maybe because it spent so long tearing things down it was hard to bring them back together, or maybe it just was just a different kind of friendship story.

I think the biggest thing that held me back from really loving this book however was the mystery, or lack thereof. By the sounds of the synopsis you would think that this is more of a mystery and thriller but it definitely isn't. The mystery, like a lot of this book, was kind of subtle. There wasn't much of an attempt to solve the mystery or even really much of a reveal. I wasn't even all that surprised when they told you who was responsible. But maybe that was because they just moved on from there and there was still a ton of loose ends. The disappointing thing is that there was a lot promise. This could have been a really interesting book with a crazy twist, but it wasn't. The hack was just a means to an end and frankly that disappointed me.

I also feel like I didn't quite love the pacing here. This was a pretty short read and it didn't take me very long to get through but it still felt a little slow. I mean I read an e-ARC and I only looked at how many pages it was when I finished it and to be honest I was kind of surprised it was under 300 pages. It didn't read like a fast and short read. It's not that it was slow, it just chugged along with only basic plot development. Then when it reached it's climax it just sort of moved on. There was some interest and drama but it just hit those points and kept going. When the book was over it didn't have the impact I was hoping for.

Antisocial was an okay read with a lot of promise that it didn't quite follow through on. Yes, it jad unlikable but interesting characters and some intriguing themes, but it was just a little basic and slow despite not being very long.

I give Antisocial by Jillian Blake 7.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. This is an okay read but nothing special. I was hoping for a thrilling mystery full of drama and surprises and I didn't get that. This is a subtle story of friendship and the images we portray online versus who we really are but even that was subtle.

Have you read Antisocial? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, I don't think I'm giving this one a try, the mystery not being a big part of the book and the friendship relationships don't sound like the kind I prefer to read about...