[eARC Review] Random by Tom Leveen

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Title: Random
Author: Tom Leveen
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Suicide
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Release Date: August 12th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodeads

Who's the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of Before I Fall and Thirteen Reasons Why.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It's a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he'll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can't help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…

To start off I have to say that I have never been a fan of books dealing with bullies. I think they are necessary and need to be read, but for me it is just tough. Especially when the book focuses on the bully and their point of view and not the bullied. So going into Random, which is a book about a bully who is being prosecuted for what she did to a boy before he committed suicide, I knew it was going to be a hard read. What I didn't expect was to enjoy it as much as i did.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much was Tori, our narrator. I connected with her even though I hated what she did. This was something I never thought could happen in a book like this, but honestly I felt for her, and I think part of that had to do with what was happening to her. i think the fact that Tori was faced with someone else thinking about committing suicide made her rethink what she did and what caused her target to ultimate take his life.

I also liked that Tori actually had character growth, was it enough for me forgive her for what she did, no, it wasn't, but there was enough growth for me see that she was realizing what she was wrong that she would change her behavior in the future. I loved how Tori had to face her demons in ways that no one should ever do, but I felt for her character it was needed. She needed to be thrust into that kind of situation in order for her to understand what the bullied are going through and how it feels to be accountable for someone else life, even if you don't want to be.

The only issue I had was with the end. I wanted more resolution than what I got, but I also felt like there is more to Tori's story and her character would not do I 360 in personality in 300 pages, it takes more than that to change a character completely so it partly felt right. What I did live about the end was the reveal. Now I will not say anything about it because it is supposed to be a surprise, but for me that made the book so much better. It made sense, and I loved the way it effected Tori and how she saw the whole situation. This book was a huge surprise for me, but I loved it.

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