A cautionary tale about what can go wrong in the world of over-sharing, Antisocial by Jillian Blake is a social media-fueled thriller for today’s teens.
Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for 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 gorgeous 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 always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.
But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.
Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives: Sometimes we share too much.
Reminiscent of the TV show adaptation of 13 Reasons Why, Antisocial tackles the harsh realities of what can happen when you put too much value in your social media status – and when your secrets are exposed.
Blake writes a tight story, keeping the tension high and her readers interest fully engaged to find out what will happen next, and determine who is behind the hackings. As the plot hurtles forward, it becomes clear that no one is safe from the hacker’s expositions — and that makes the mystery of who is to blame all the more puzzling and intriguing.
The book is a timely exploration of how much stock we put into creating our social media personas, and deftly tackles the subject – addressing the fact that what you see on social media is not the truth, but a carefully crafted persona. We all have secrets; we all say and do things we wouldn’t want posted publicly. And we all determine what and how we share aspects of our lives online. Antisocial is an example of what happens when our carefully crafted online personas clash with the dark, dirty things we say in secret.
Perhaps the only criticism I have of the book is that it is so timely, I can’t see how it will remain relevant down the road as technology changes and evolves. But in the meantime, it remains a pertinent warning story for today’s readers about the overuse and oversharing that can happen on social media. Antisocial in stores now.