What in the ever loving crap was this?! If you ever want to talk to me about a dated and disappointing book, you talk to me about this one.
Short recap: Anna is not socially rebounding well after the breakup from her basketball all-star boyfriend. She is forced to sit with her former friends who reminder her every chance they get about how she ditched them to hang out with the popular kids. Things get worse for everyone when someone anonymously sends an email to everyone with a list of Goggle searched words/phrases. Nobody knows who sent the email but it makes everyone wonder, is anything they do online really secret? Will everyone’s secrets become public?
Sounds like a gripping thriller, right? WRONG. There is so little mystery in this story it is almost a joke. I spent a good majority of this one reading about the insecurities of all the characters. Yawn. When the list with search results was sent to everyone, that was the most suspenseful thing that happened and even that was short lived. It was as if nobody cared who sent it. It seemed that the adults didn’t care who sent it either so that felt like a worthless threat. I wanted there to be so much more suspense in this story! Was someone hacking into their school system? Emails? Texts?
Let’s talk about the MC, Anna. Her character reminded me of a tiny meek mouse. She apparently had a severe social disorder but she chose not to mention that to anyone. Not even after she was admitted to a hospital for treatment. Uh… wha? Why wouldn’t you want your friends to help you with this? Idiot. On top of that, it was as if her mental illness seemed to ease up and almost disappear when it was convenient. She was by no means “cured” by the end of this book but it certainly did not add to the overall story. It felt like a bad representation of what could be a serious issue/illness for some people. That made it very unbelievable and therefore added no value to the story. This was supposed to tie into the leaked Google search list but it was a hell of a stretch. So much so that Evil Knievel could not have made that kind of leap. Also, she was not the most popular or the prettiest but she still attracted the attention of the star basketball player. Good for her! Only no, not good for her. Her friends were not supportive, nor were they sympathetic when they broke up. They were vicious and had claws extended to attack at all times. They made Anna feel like absolute crap because she had a boyfriend for a couple of months. Sorry, but I wouldn’t consider those people “friends”. They were jerks and a lot of other words I cannot say here. The rest of the characters were stereotypical so I won’t bore you with details. There was a Queen Bee with her minions, the group of Plastics (think Mean Girls), and her true friends. This is high school we are talking about and teens can be nasty at that age.
Would you like to know what really caused me to give this a 1 star rating and strongly dislike this story? It is heavily and badly dated. The references throughout this story made me want to pluck my eyes out. The references were done in lieu of the author actually describing anything. There was no world building and therefore no place for the reader (ME!) to visualize. Example: Instead of the author using the right words and phrases to describe a boy’s hair, she simply said it was “Heimsworthian hair”. What in the ever loving does that mean? What if I didn’t know a Heimsworth? What if I had no clue who they were? HELP ME BY PAINTING ME A PICTURE. I need you to properly explain it to me so I can sink into this story you’ve created. Don’t just throw out descriptions that reference a very specific person/place/thing and hope for the best. That’s not how you write a good book. It did not just stop there, it went on throughout the entire story. When the girls were trying to describe their first time having sex, they said, “It was like a Nicholas Sparks movie but without Zac Efron”. I’m sorry. What? Are you serious right now? Stop talking in hip terms that are going to heavily date this book and not age well. The author continued this path throughout the entire story only she started making references to people/places/things that I didn’t know. That’s when she really lost me and I gave up on this.
No big surprise but I did not like this book. It actually read like a first draft of a story. Someone should have marked it up with edits, told the author to take out anything referring to current trends/fads/hotties/movies/social media and tried again. This was by no means a thriller. I’m not even sure what it was besides maddening for me to read. I would not recommend this to anyone.