Friday, March 6, 2015

BBReview: "Random" By Tom Leveen

Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Publishing Date: August 12, 2014
Page Count: 224
Source: Borrowed from Library
Format: hardcover

Description from
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…
I have to say that I was very excited to read Random. I wanted to read something from a different point of view, and hearing the bully's side is very different. I will start out saying that I did enjoy this book. I'm happy I picked it up and gave it a shot. I really did enjoy the storyline and I finished it in two days. However there were a few hiccups that I found in the story.

One thing I found out is that Tori really wasn't the main bully. Tori used to be Kevin's friend, but once she got in with the "cool crowd" she put him on the back burner. Kevin was kind of nerdy and so her new friends started to make fun of him. Instead of Tori stopping it, she let watched it happen and laughed with them. Tori did say some mean things about Kevin, but it wasn't as hurtful as the other kids since its different when a friend "jokes" around with you. I'm not saying that Tori was 100% innocent, but she also wasn't the one who caused the most harm.

The next thing that bothered me was that Tori wasn't that remorseful. She kept saying this wasn't her fault, she shouldn't be blamed, she didn't tie the scarf around his neck, but she never cried due to being sorry. She cried for being blamed, she cried for people being mean to her, but she never cried or felt like she could have done something to change the outcome. I just wanted her to be a little more human. I understand she was frustrated with her situation, and again she wasn't the main bully, but there should have been a scene when she first found out about his death and cried, or said sorry. There was mention that she wrote an apology letter, but it didn't sound like it was that heartfelt or impactful.

And the last thing is the ending. It was so blah. I won't tell you what happened, but I just felt let down. The story kept building and building, but then just falls in the end. I wish it would have been more life changing. It all felt too neat, clean, and forgiving. I wanted to feel raw emotions. There is a scene towards the end that did feel raw and that is at the gas station, but then after that its all so bland.

Again, I'm really happy I read this and I did like it. I just feel like I might have enjoyed this story more if we either heard from the point of view of one of the other, more impactful, bully's, if Tori would have been more remorseful, or even if the ending was just more heart wrenching.

I enjoyed reading Random. It was very different and refreshing to hear from someone elses point of view, especially the bully's, but there were some flaws. I found Tori to not be the most impactful or remorseful bully. Tori didn't play the biggest part in causing Kevin's suicide, but she should still be at least remorseful about it. I also found the ending to be kind of bland and too neat. I wanted to cry or be super at peace with what happens, but I wasn't. I was ok with the ending, but it just could have been more. Overall I'm still very happy that I gave it a shot and I recommend others at least giving it a shot. I just wanted more.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ 3/5

**The books cover, description, and info was all found on Goodreads. A link back has been provided. All other work and ideas are of my own creation. This book was borrowed from my local library.**