Young Adult, Realitic Fiction, Contemporary
October 4th 2018 (first released October 2nd 2018)
When Jordan Bishop set himself on fire at Haver High school as a result of internet bullying, it triggered a nationwide crackdown. New laws empower teachers to become cyber snoops in case of abuse on social media.
For teen hacker, Eli Bennett, the laws put fundamental freedoms at risk. And he's not alone in thinking this. Approached by two mysterious hackers, Eli is recruited into a group that wants justice for Jordan the way Jordan would've wanted it.
But what starts as a bit of fun to rile the cyber snoops soon spirals out of control. Revenge on Jordan's bullies could be classed as bullying itself...
At best, Eli's school career is in jeopardy, at worst, once more lives are at risk.
Trigger warnings: Suicide and bullying.
As always, the writing style of Lange is flawless. I adore the way she is able to bring together the story neatly and efficiently. It’s able to keep my interest and make me want to know what happens next. I also love how she is able to create such in-depth and relatable characters. In today’s world, so many teenagers and children are hooked to technology and The Chaos Of Now shows the more gritty reality of that. How, without barriers, things can spiral out of control.
“I was learning to accept a little less chaos in my life.”
The story follows a year after the suicide of Jordan Bishop due to high school bullies. Because of this, more laws were put in at schools when it came to browsing the internet and social media. However, for Eli Bennett, a teen hacker who enjoys looking into things when he shouldn’t be, is at risk. These new rules put his hobbies on the line and he’s not a fan. It removes his freedom of speech. Eli is also not alone with this train of thought and is eventually approached by two like-minded individuals, Seth and Mouse.
But they want Eli to join them in hacking and
“My world was simple and small, and the air gap that protected me from the rest of the world was still in place.”
Eli is a lovely character and I really enjoyed getting to learn about him. He is super passionate. I love how even in a very dark contemporary (suicide and bullying being very focused), Eli brings some humor into it. Although there are times when he struggles, especially when it comes to his step mum and his dad. He doesn’t like how his dad is with a younger woman and he feels like he’s being put on the side. There are also times when I feel like Eli is not the nicest to his best friend, Zach, because he wants to keep secrets from him. But Eli struggles with these problems and issues he faces and I enjoy the way his character progresses and ends with The Chaos of Now.
Seth and Mouse were also really interesting characters, and throughout The Chaos Of Now, my heartfelt for Mouse the most. I kept wondering what would happen to him. Can I just wrap him in a blanket, please? I also enjoyed reading about Eli’s best friend. Although left on the sidelines a bit when Eli joins Seth and Mouses group, Zach really wants to be there for Eli. He really shows what a proper friendship should be.
This book is very heavy on plot and not very “action” based. The way that Lange writes puts emphasis on the heavier parts of the plot and bringing awareness to them. I feel strongly that the characters really drove home the concept of bullying and how, if not stopped, can destroy the lives of others. It’s just an all-around good book and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of her previous books!