Antisocial by Jillian Blake

Standalone. Delacorte Press (May 2017) NetGalley
6 hours and 30 minutes

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.


Antisocial is the epitome of what teenagers have to deal with in the age of technology and social media. I was never someone who cared for social media in high school or even now and it's not like I was in high school too long ago. It's now that I'm in my twenties that I see what a big impact social media has cost us. People have committed suicide and destroyed lives because of what has been said on their screen. It's something I've only begun to understand until now. How there are people out there who feel isolated and alone with no one to talk to. And when you make a mistake where there was a picture taken - your life could be over. Antisocial helps you see this and more.

Anna, is a complicated person to like. She's come groveling back to her friends after she abandoned them for her boyfriend who happened to be popular. They shared similarities that no one else acknowledged - an intense social anxiety. I just happened to be watching this long video/documentary yesterday where it had multiple people with different forms of mental illness including Social Anxiety Disorder. Now it's different from really not wanting to go to places or see people. It's feeling extremely scared and worried in social situations with feelings of people judging you while you are judging yourself even more than I feel possible. We know the feeling growing up but it's way more intense. So I saw Anna this way and felt for her. But then she just left her friends. Stopped talking to them for no reason. 

See? She's a complicated person to like.

During the story, there is a person or people that start hacking important players and start ruining their lives. I mean, they deserve it but it has a collateral effect on Anna's friend. More and more people's secrets are being exposed. Anna is in fear of what she's written about her friends. Ugly things that she didn't really mean. Her friends are a wide cast of diverse kids (like in real life *shocked face*) including a hacker, a tough girl, a quiet girl, a popular kid, and a sweet guy. Most of them have different backgrounds other than just white which I appreciated. Almost all of them, including Anna, have secrets that they don't want to come out.

I really enjoyed Antisocial for its mystery, diversity, plot, and characters. All of it felt very possible to me. It was a very real story. On the other hand, I also felt there was a lot of generational talk that I didn't particularly care for but when everything came together - I was happy to have read this. There could have been a little more to make this truly amazing since I felt towards the end things began to get weird and sideways. Unexpectedly, I did feel profoundly unhappy reading the last few chapters. Antisocial shows us how mean and cruel we can be. That we are people who carry secrets and lies but we also make mistakes. Despite everything, people aren't just their secrets and mistakes. There is so much more of us than what we or others portray us to be.

Comments

  1. I liked that the story felt plausible Adriana and touched on a relevant subject.

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  2. This sounds really good, and yeah timely. I've seen a few reviews for this one now and it has me really curious, I might get it. The mystery elements and the diverse friends definitely look like a plus. Great review!

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