Antisocial by Jillian Blake

Antisocial

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 al...

Title:Antisocial
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:110193896X
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:256 pages

Antisocial Reviews

  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    What in the ever loving crap was this!? I cannot and will not read a book where the author cheaps out and refuses to TELL YOU A STORY. What do I mean? Instead of describing the hair of a boy she compares it to a Hollywood actor's hair. Uh.. Help a sister out and explain it to me. Don't expect me to get every one of your references because I won't. This book is so dated it's disturbing. You name the CURRENT hottie, actor, movie, or social media thing then it's in this story. It triggered me and t

    What in the ever loving crap was this!? I cannot and will not read a book where the author cheaps out and refuses to TELL YOU A STORY. What do I mean? Instead of describing the hair of a boy she compares it to a Hollywood actor's hair. Uh.. Help a sister out and explain it to me. Don't expect me to get every one of your references because I won't. This book is so dated it's disturbing. You name the CURRENT hottie, actor, movie, or social media thing then it's in this story. It triggered me and that's never a good thing.

    Full review can be found here:

    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 try 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.

  • Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)

    See more of my reviews on

    ! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.

    See more of my reviews on

    ! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.

    In my book, it’s always time for a YA thriller. Putting together the pieces of a mystery, trying to solve it just before or at the same time as the main character, watching everything get worse and worse right up to the climactic scene,… Maybe I’m a bit cruel, but as often as I read YA contemporary novels, YA thrillers and mysteries are a bit above them in my heart. Antisocial is a pretty good one with plenty of representation across the board and its realistic stakes will chill just about every reader.

    I’ve always tried to be my best self online, but even I’m terrified at the idea of all my texts, emails, etc. being leaked online. Whether it would expose someone’s two-faced ways or provides enough evidence that they could be successfully convicted of a felony, everyone has something to fear if their name gets attached to their anonymous or private online shenanigans. Anna’s fear: the friends who are just barely starting to accept her back after she abandoned them for her boyfriend will learn how she insulted all of them when talking to him.

    Antisocial is a tiny little book at 256 pages and perfectly paced so you’ll feel compelled to read it all in one sitting. In particular, Anna is an incredible character Latin@ and anxiety disorder-ridden readers hungry for representation will love. She’s half-Columbian, has social anxiety disorder, and had a stint in a group home, but she’s still determined to find out who’s leaking students’ online histories, which were gathered via an app the school required students to download. Turned out the app was gathering all their data and storing it and then someone found a hackable hole! Oops.

    Even when her ex-boyfriend’s data gets leaked and she finds out how easily he dumped her when he wrecked her with the break-up, she still wants to help him. He has a form of OCD (pretty respectful and nonstereotypical, at that!) and they shared a kinship over their anxieties. No matter how much he hurt her, she’d rather do what’s right than revel in his humiliation. If I explained my history with an ex-friend, you’d quickly learn I wouldn’t be as good of a person in the same situation as Anna.

    Too bad it has a lot of stereotypes and cliches going on among both the characters and the events. One twist of an event in particular toward the end of the book failed to make me feel anything at all when it was intended to be gut-wrenching. Honestly, it made me laugh and quote Heathers, which made fun of something very similar. It doesn’t ruin anything for either book or film to tell you I was giggling to myself and quoting “I LOVE MY DEAD GAY SON” as the twist’s aftermath played out.

    My giggling was sandwiched between me groaning at how melodramatic and ridiculously corny the whole ending is. This is what Heathers was making fun of almost thirty years ago! Considering everything the data leaks caused at their school, trying to spin it as “everything will be sunshine and rainbows soon” makes me want to gag. You know who things won’t be okay for? The kid who made a podcast out of the leaks and delighted in it. He better change schools or he is screeeeeewed. No one’s gonna forgive him that easily for having fun with someone else’s humiliation.

    All in all, Antisocial is a gripping thriller for the modern teen. Its ending may not have left me feeling anything other than mildly amused, but the core conceit of the story is what will make it memorable for readers and get the most praise. I’m excited to read more from Jillian Blake in the future and would recommend this for anyone whose hunger for thrillers still needs to be satiated or is in a bit of a reading slump. This tiny little thrill ride should cure you pretty easily!

  • Kara

    First things first. Trigger warnings for suicide, doxing, and a short self-harm scene. None of it was promoted as positive or romanticized--it was just there.

    This book was fantastic. High school can be a really tough place for many people. I know it was tough for me, and I went to high school before the age of social media, where any rumor can be spread with the click of a button faster than a bully can trip a kid in the hallway, sending their books flying.

    In an internet age, when almost our ent

    First things first. Trigger warnings for suicide, doxing, and a short self-harm scene. None of it was promoted as positive or romanticized--it was just there.

    This book was fantastic. High school can be a really tough place for many people. I know it was tough for me, and I went to high school before the age of social media, where any rumor can be spread with the click of a button faster than a bully can trip a kid in the hallway, sending their books flying.

    In an internet age, when almost our entire life history can be found online, it's easy to fear being hacked. Heck, I bet every single person reading this review at least knows OF someone that has had their personal information hacked. I, myself, had my checking account information stolen due to malware on my husband's computer. Well, that's what happens in Antisocial. It starts out with just the popular kids being hacked, but then it starts to spread to the entire student body. All their text messages and photos are posted online for the entire school to see.

    It wasn't a perfect book, and some stuff bothered me, (the way Anna's character was written didn't feel genuine to me) but there has to be something said for compulsive readability and the fact that I read this in less than a day. I don't know how long it's been since I finished a book that fast.

    Also, bonus points for covering many difficult topics that are relevant to teenagers, and covering them in a tactful and educational way without coming off preachy or like the book has a moral message to impart.

    Edited to add: One of the things that bothered me was Anna's social anxiety. It's not that it wasn't handled well--it was, and I can say that with confidence because I am a sufferer of SAD. But there were times that I felt like the author was bringing up Anna's social anxiety in a way that felt forced and didn't fit with her character. It was mentioned SO often that it started to feel a bit unnatural. Social anxiety affects a lot of things in a person's life, but it is not the ONLY thing that Anna is, and it sort of came off that way to me.

  • Dannii Elle

    I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Jillian Blake, and the publisher, Delacorte Press, for this opportunity.

    The moment I received the email to inform me that I had been approved for this arc, I dropped everything and started reading it. The synopsis described this as "Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks" and I was immediately intrigued.

    Alexandria Prep is your typical, American high school where each student is defined by their online presence

    I received this in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Jillian Blake, and the publisher, Delacorte Press, for this opportunity.

    The moment I received the email to inform me that I had been approved for this arc, I dropped everything and started reading it. The synopsis described this as "Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks" and I was immediately intrigued.

    Alexandria Prep is your typical, American high school where each student is defined by their online presence. When the school's web system is infiltrated and the students are targeted at random to have their entire online lives leaked, chaos ensues.

    The high school setting and type cast characters were rather cliched. But cliched in a good way. It reminded me of Mean Girls in a literary format. But each of these tightly-formed cliques were detonated from the inside with the leakage of information, proving no one is really as they seem.

    Whilst this provided an intriguing narrative, I found the intensity dropped around the midway point before picking back up towards the end. It was a fast-paced and thrilling read, for the most part, but I just wanted a little something more from this.

    My main point of discord with this book was with protagonist, Anna. In particular, her anxiety disorder. I understand that no two cases of mental illness are the same, but I found hers to be a little unbelievable. Her social unease disappeared when it was convenient, rather than remaining a constant throughout the book. It wasn't that she was 'cured'; she seemed to exhibit the traits of two different characters as the book progressed. I don't think mental illness was purposefully misrepresented, it just seemed that it was added into the narrative without serving a purpose to the narrative and without perhaps enough research to make it believable.

    My own struggle with anxiety makes me perhaps overly sensitive to characters I hope to see myself in. This also wasn't a prominent enough issue to ruin my enjoyment of the book but it did make me struggle to relate and engage with Anna, when I wasn't sure who she really was.

  • Jen Ryland

    At first I wasn't sure about this one. The idea of the students at a tony private high school being terrorized by a teenage hacktivist who has infiltrated their phones and is spilling all their darkest secrets isn't exactly the most original idea out there. (For example

    and

    )

    The book's protagonist, Anna, suffers from social anxiety. I thought it was interesting that the story was told through that lens -- from the point of view of someone to whom social interaction

    At first I wasn't sure about this one. The idea of the students at a tony private high school being terrorized by a teenage hacktivist who has infiltrated their phones and is spilling all their darkest secrets isn't exactly the most original idea out there. (For example

    and

    )

    The book's protagonist, Anna, suffers from social anxiety. I thought it was interesting that the story was told through that lens -- from the point of view of someone to whom social interaction in general and social media in particular feels fraught with peril. The depiction of social anxiety felt uneven to me. Yes, Anna was seeing a therapist and taking medication, but at times her anxiety felt more like a convenient plot device meant to up the stakes.

    One thing I didn't love was that the way Anna describes all the groups in her school feels ripped from

    circa 1995: jocks, cheerleaders, drama kids, student council, techies, etc. There's also an inherent pitfall in using texting slang -- or any kind of slang -- which is that even before the book is published, the words feel out of date. The other was that at times the book felt preachy, like a PSA to teenagers from a well-meaning adult.

    In any case, as the story opens, Anna has crossed social lines by dating a basketball player. The two have already broken up, but she's not completely over him. Then she secretly hooks up with a close friend of hers, an event that gave the book a slightly triangle-y feel. Yes, she and the new guy have a lot in common, but she also worries that he's a rebound fling.

    When the book finally got going, it got better. As mentioned above, someone starts hacking the students' phones and spilling their darkest secrets. This causes Anna social anxiety to ratchet up at a time when her romantic life is complicated. She has two best friends and the hacking also puts a hug strain on their relationship.

    In the end, I didn't find this nearly as interesting as a similar book published a few weeks earlier,

    but I enjoyed it in the end.

  • Jasmine Riel (singprettyreadbooks)

    I thought the mystery aspect of the book was interesting and the ending was pretty cool...but I don't understand how they are connected. I felt like this went from suspense/thriller to cheesy teen after school special.

    The main character is diverse - she is Latina and struggles with anxiety. But like another reviewer said, it seemed like her anxiety was only apparent when it was convenient, as if it were merely a tool for building tension. Her mental illness didn't seem consistent throughout the

    I thought the mystery aspect of the book was interesting and the ending was pretty cool...but I don't understand how they are connected. I felt like this went from suspense/thriller to cheesy teen after school special.

    The main character is diverse - she is Latina and struggles with anxiety. But like another reviewer said, it seemed like her anxiety was only apparent when it was convenient, as if it were merely a tool for building tension. Her mental illness didn't seem consistent throughout the book.

  • Short  Reviews

    So what have I learned from this book? That pretty much every character is a liar.

    I think only their parents and the principal were honest at this point, and Minna. That's it. And that woukd have been okay to read as a story, if there had been proper character development. Instead, we get the typical pathetic YA lead, Anna, as the main girl.

    Would not reread nor reccommend to anyone. Anna was selfish and vapid as fuck. Her friends were either meek and boring (Minna) or overly bitchy to the point

    So what have I learned from this book? That pretty much every character is a liar.

    I think only their parents and the principal were honest at this point, and Minna. That's it. And that woukd have been okay to read as a story, if there had been proper character development. Instead, we get the typical pathetic YA lead, Anna, as the main girl.

    Would not reread nor reccommend to anyone. Anna was selfish and vapid as fuck. Her friends were either meek and boring (Minna) or overly bitchy to the point where you throw the book (Rad).

  • Zyra

    I really didn't connect with any of the characters. I just felt everyone was very selfish throughout the book. But it was fun to read everyone's dirty secrets get out. & it was nicely wrapped up in the end, given every mean & selfish things that had happened .

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