Four high school teenagers. One tweet gets them expelled.
Who did it?
Expelled follows Theo, a teenager who gets expelled from high school for a photo he didn’t post on his Twitter account, on his quest to find the guilty hacker. The photo of two other high school students in compromising positions also gets his best friend, Jude, and the football quarterback, Parker, banished from schoolgrounds. They are joined by Sasha, who is expelled for a different reason. The four of them come up with an idea to find the true poster, and expose the true story of how the picture made its way to cyberspace.
I had a hard time rating this book. Did it deserve a 3, or a 4? 3.5 sounds like the sweet spot, but even that number has me hemming and hawwing.
First things first – I started and finished the book in one day. Props to Patterson and Raymond! But on the flip side, I predicted 90% of the plot. If I could pick only one word to describe this book, it would be cliché.
- Manic pixie dream girl? Check.
- Narrator is awkward teenager hopelessly in love with said manic pixie dream girl? Check.
- Characters are exactly how you expect them to be? Check.
- Lots of pop culture references? Check.
- Could you call the “plot twists” from miles away? Check.
If you love John Green, you’ll worship this book. If you like John Green, you’ll be mildly annoyed at the plot similarities. If you hate John Green, run far, far away.
I fall in the mildly annoyed category; while this book had potential and kept me reading throughout the night, the character development was flat and anti-climatic. I would have loved to see Parker or Jude go through an evolution to a more self-aware state, but my hopes didn’t come to fruition. I will give Theo and Sasha a pass since they both truly encountered struggles, but I think it was difficult to really connect with the characters because Theo’s narrative point of view is non-confrontational.
My advice? If you’re traveling, bring this book along for a good way to get lost in a story without having to think too much or get too emotionally invested!