I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SOURCES SAY by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
About The Book:
Title: SOURCES SAY
Author: Lori Goldstein
Pub. Date: September 8, 2020
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org
Nerdophiles Rating: 3.5 Stars
Two exes. One election. All the drama.
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Morgan Matson comes a funny, hearfelt novel about fueding exes running for class president and the scandal that makes the previously boring school election the newest trending hashtag.
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.
Sources Say is an on-the-nose commentary on the state of political journalism and elections in the United States. Author Goldstein uses the high school at an idyllic, seasonal beach town economically divided between the have’s and the have-not’s as her backdrop to discuss fake news, sensationalism, and political posturing.
Angie, a high school YouTube influencer, throws herself into the school president race at her mother’s insistence. Angie will not be able to attend a prestigious influencer’s boot-camp if she doesn’t try to win the election. Unfortunately for her, her ex-boyfriend, Leo, fresh off their ugly, public breakup has thrown his hat in the ring for equally self-serving reasons.
Cat, Angie’s sister, is devoted to documenting the school election in the hopes of winning a prestigious award to boost her chances of getting into Northwestern’s journalism program.
The campaign’s profile is boosted to a national level when a series of lewd pictures of female students’ body parts are photoshopped together to create a “perfect woman” and plastered all over the school. A sensationalist fake news rag, The Shrieking Violet, starts circulating online, forcing Cat’s fact-checked, hard news to compete against spurious, attention-grabbing articles. Ultimately, Cat ruminates about the future of print journalism and its integrity, and whether she’s willing to compromise her values to keep her paper alive.
Meanwhile, Leo and Angie navigate their latent feelings for each other and newfound political animosity, while Cat and Angie spend time at each other’s throats before finally overcoming past damage to their relationship.
The story integrates popular media (namely Twitter) along with Cat and The Shrieking Violet‘s articles into the story. The review copy I received didn’t have all the final artwork or formatting for those media inserts, so I can’t speak to how effective they integrate into the story. In particular, the photoshopped image of the high school girls could be very powerful, because it justifies a lot of the debate during the election, but my copy did not have the image ready.
Overall, this book is great for budding journalists and politicos. It was a fresh take on an old election-rivalry story and the characters felt realistic. My only issue with the book was that I felt like the last few chapters of the book got very preachy. The characters seemed to be directly speaking prosaic truths to each other about the importance of fact checking and using platforms for public service which were implicit before and did not need to be made explicit. However, the lessons are particularly timely as we approach the November election.
Register to vote and check your registration status: https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration
Lori Goldstein earned her BA in journalism but
eventually found her true writing passion in the world of fictional people.
She’s never met a beach she didn’t love, a book she wouldn’t read, or a strange
food she wouldn’t try. She is the author of SOURCES SAY, which Kirkus calls “Entertaining, thought-provoking, and heartwarming”; SCREEN QUEENS, which Kirkus calls “a fun and uplifting story that celebrates female friendship and empowerment”; and the VOYA-starred young adult contemporary fantasy series BECOMING JINN.
Find her on Twitter @loriagoldstein and Instagram @lorigoldsteinbooks. Also follow on Facebook, Goodreads, and BookBub.
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1 lucky winner will win a signed book pack of Becoming Jinn, Circle of Jinn, Screen Queens, US. Only.
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