by Tom Leveen
Genre: YA, contemporary
Published August 12th 2014 by Simon Pulse
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…
*This review is based on advanced reading copy. There might be some changes in the finished copy. Apart from that, my ARC had a different cover. The publisher must have changed it before publishing the finished copy.
Victoria/Tori was in a bad situation. Her future might get ruined due to the reckless things she did or said. Then one night, she received a call from a number she did not recognized. But when she realized she couldn't just hang up on the caller for it might bring more destruction to her, she stayed on the line and tried to save him.
Random isn't your typical YA contemporary novel. In this book, the main character isn't being bullied or the nice one; she's the bully. Being the bully, Tori isn't a likable character. You'd get irritated on her once you read this book. She cannot even see the wrong things she'd done and would even blame the people who is being bullied. She's relentless and I almost gave up on her on the first few chapters but I tried to keep an open mind. Why did the author chose a bully's point of view? I guess to let us inside the head of a bully--what they think of it or why they do it. It's just sad that all Tori said could be true and the fact that there are people who think that way. The author may also wanted to let all his readers relate on this book--whether you're the victim or the bully. It was nice that the topic was tackled and emphasized in this book and made it to realize not only to the main character, but also to the readers.
I thought rating the other books I've previously reviewed was hard. But I think this is the hardest. I could give 5 stars for the message this book is giving to its readers. But when it comes to the story itself, I wasn't contented on the events, characterization, and ending. I'd give it 2 or 3 stars. Like I said, the main character isn't likable, the bullying and what happened after was bad, and I'm looking for more reassurance in the ending.
Told in 24-hour (or less) story, Random is a realistic tale about bullying and its consequences. Sad and thought-provoking, readers in all ages will relate on this book.
*Thank you so much Rino and Simon & Schuster for the review copy!