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…
Description taken from Goodreads.
In the spirit of this book, let me start off by saying that this book was not terrible. Not terrible does not mean spectacular.
In fact, that about sums up my entire review.
I mean–what… the… heck?
I went into this book, this short, little, stout thing of a book; and I expected… well. I don’t know what I thought. I had wanted something more. For exactly 132 pages, 2 paragraphs, 32 words and 12 characters, this book was shaping up to be something spectacular. Things started going downhill from there.
See, for 132 pages I believed–like Tori believed–that she was innocent, that the whole legal fiasco was a mistake, that the plot was well-thought out and throughly picked through, that everything would come together very nicely in the end, that Noah would actually DO SOMETHING ONCE HE GOT TO HER HOUSE and that the caller seeking help from Tori really was random.
Guess life, like books, isn’t always what we expect it to be.
Snape understands this very well.
That awkward moment when you realize you see yourself in Snape. *shutters*
You know, the thing of it is is that this book really was not what I expected it to be. The route that it was going down was seriously pitch. perfect. What changed, you ask?
All of it.
Let’s start with where I feel it all went wrong, but at the same time I’m not entirely sure it was wrong.
Tori. I don’t even know with this book, what exactly to say. I can’t say Tori’s the victim, but she’s not innocent either. This story is intriguing because it’s so different from your average story about bullying, because Tori isn’t the victim of bullying. She’s the bully. She isn’t the one left behind or the one who committed suicide. She’s the one who caused someone to commit suicide.
There are so many interesting things about the way that this book is executed. First off, I’ve never read a book like this before. It’s infuriating, but at the same time I feel like this story needs to be told, in the sense that I don’t think that people understand the plight of bullies enough. I’ll be perfectly honest–I think this book was important for me to read, because I have very strong opinions on bullying of all kinds.
Ultimately, I would recommend this book. I do feel that it needed to be written, but not in this way. There’s just so many things that I felt could’ve been taken advantage of. The first 132 pages of this book held endless potential, but I didn’t think that the ending truly fitted what could’ve happened. The big “kaboom” wasn’t all that big, and actually ended up destroying the story for me. Of course, that didn’t undermine the amazing beginning that RANDOM had.
I will have to say that RANDOM changes very quickly, very abruptly, in the few pages after 132. Up until the end, it’s smoothing out all the questions that came up over the course of the story–and it still doesn’t answer a LOT of things. Overall, I would say that RANDOM deserves 2 stars. I did really enjoy the story overall, but I think a lot of things came up that would’ve been more powerful left undone, whereas the things left undone should’ve been answered. I need more time to think about it, but RANDOM really left me unsure of what to think after the story was over.
Some would argue that the whole point of RANDOM was to accomplish certain plot goals, and I have to agree that that really did not happen. Hence, the two stars. All in all, like I said before–I believe that this story is important, and that it should reach many people, especially those against bullying or those who have been bullied. Tori can’t justify her actions, but I think it really depends on what the reader has to say.
pg count for the hardback: 224