Antisocial by Jillian Blake has been following me around on Amazon and Goodreads since it’s release in May. After reading One of Us Is Lying last month, I was looking for another YA suspense or thrillerish fix.
Antisocial opens on our main girl Anna as she walks the gauntlet of the cafeteria, literally and figuratively looking for her place in the posh private school outside D.C. Anna was recently dumped by her basketball star boyfriend, and since she ditched her “real” friends to hang out with him, she’s cast adrift without lunch table. While Anna tries to make amends with her hodge-podge friend group, she contrasts her position in the social hierarchy against the popular kid group known as Instas.
Things quickly escalate when the whole school’s internet history is released and everyone is attempting to link searches to students. As more and more private information is leaked and lies are exposed for all to see, Anna questions her friends and desperately tries to hide her own betrayals. Accusations are levied and consequences are faced, as Anna tries to uncover who is responsible. Her hacker bestie? A social climbing weasel profiting off of everyone’s misery?
Throughout the entire story, Anna works to overcome her crippling social anxiety disorder and reveals her journey for mental health that includes a therapist and a recent stint at a mental health facility. I’d read some comments about her struggle being more plot device than realistic representation of a person with SAD. I can’t speak to that argument, but I appreciated looking through her lens and the ramifications of living with an anxiety disorder. Books are supposed to broaden our view on the world, and in this case, I think it did. I know no two people share the exact same experience when it comes to anxiety, but I don’t think Blake’s intentions were malicious.
I devoured this book in just a couple of days. There were a few plot points that didn’t speak to me and some drama that was way overdone even for a high school student. I wouldn’t say its drawbacks took me so far from the story that I didn’t enjoy it. Any book that makes reading feel compulsive is a win for me. I’d certainly recommend it to any fans of One of Us Is Lying.