G. Bianco, 2019
With election season in full swing, Lori Goldstein’s newest young adult novel is a great book to read if you can't get enough of real-life politics. In Sources Say, which was released on September 8th, two exes go head-to-head in the most dramatic school election ever.
At Acedia High School outside of Boston, student council has always been nothing more than a popularity contest. Nobody pays attention. Nobody cares. But all that changes when the Frankengirls show up. During the very first week of school, someone plasters the halls with Photoshopped images of three "perfect tens"--images of scantily clad girls made from real photos of girls at school. The student body is livid. And the two presidential candidates, Angeline Quinn and Leo Torres, jump on the opportunity to propose their solutions and secure votes. After their messy break up, Leo and Angie are fighting tooth and nail to win this thing and their constituents are mesmerized as they duke it out. As if things couldn't be more dramatic, the school's two newspapers get involved. The Red & Blue is run by Angie's sister Cat and she prides herself on only reporting the facts. But her morals are tested when The Shrieking Violet--written by an anonymous source and based less on facts and more on fiction--blatantly endorses Leo. Rumors fly, secrets are leaked, and the previously mundane student election becomes anything but boring.
This book took a bit for me to get into. While the mixed media element (which includes news articles and tweets) is fascinating, it isn’t until about halfway through that the campaigns and mysteries start to develop and engage the reader. This novel gets into the dirty side of breakups, popularity, and what certain people would do to get what they want. And readers ultimately come to realize that everyone has ulterior motives in this story.
That being said, this is a strikingly relevant book for today’s day and age. With fake news, polarizing politics, and the rise of social media, this novel gets to the crux of what people want out of government officials: a yearning for their voices to be heard.
If you enjoy politics, journalism, or how the media affects the general public, then I highly recommend giving this book a read. Otherwise, it's just a classic YA book about people trying to find themselves in high school.
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!