by Tom Leveen
Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: August 12th 2014
Goodreads | Amazon
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.Random is an emotionally charged roller coaster. The night before Tori is due in court, she gets a phone call from a boy claiming she was his last call before committing suicide. He wanted her to give him a reason not to. Little did he know that Tori's already had enough to deal with and facing some serious charges tomorrow. His phone call not only causes Tori to go into an emotional downhill spiral, but release her emotions about her own situation as well.
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…
The characters in this story, especially the random caller and Tori really don't soften the blows when unraveling their stories. They are up front, blunt and often rude in their revelations to each other. They are both in the middle of serious emotional overloads and the tension is very high throughout the whole story.
The chapters are separated with short columns of Tori's facebook pages with the comments she is having to go to court over. Her story unravels slowly throughout the book as the majority of it focuses on the random caller and the powerful question of why..or why not. We learn a lot about Tori's life and how it came to her being in her situation. But the question always remains, is she the right one that can help the boy?
I had to read this book slowly, it was not something that I could just fly through. I think that bullying is a subject that we all have dealt with in our lives. Witnessing it, being the target or the bully. Even at the smallest of levels the subjects approached in the story are identifiable to all and you can understand where the characters are coming from. I know the story hit home for me, and I believe that it will for many others.