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“Expelled,” by James Patterson and Emily Raymond (Jimmy Patterson , 2017), combines mystery with a little bit of The Breakfast Club, where a group of high school students try and uncover who hacked a student’s Twitter account, which caused them to get expelled from their school.
The main character, Theo, is an average high school student, who anonymously posts comments and pictures on his Twitter account, until someone hacks his account, posting a photo of a wild situation that causes several students to get expelled from the school, thanks to the school’s “zero policy” rule. The star athlete Parker, Theo, his friend Jude, and a girl named Sasha all get expelled at the same time. Theo decides to unravel the mystery of who posted the photo on his account, along with why someone wanted to do this to him, which has ruined his future.
Several times during the book, the reference of the 1985 movie “The Breakfast Club” is mentioned where, like Theo’s situation, involves a bunch of stereotypes meeting together after a school punishment. Since most of the target audience for this book probably do not know the 1985 film, the similarities may not hit the targeted audience.
While trying to figure out who posted the photo on Theo’s page, he deals with his feelings for Sasha, a girl who was the unattainable girl in his opinion, but now becomes friends with her after she gets expelled for an alleged incident, separate from Theo’s situation (NO SPOILERS HERE). Theo decides to film his interviews while trying to play the sleuth, with the help of a boy in the school who is known as a computer hacker. Although Theo is not sure what he will do with the filmed footage in trying to prove his innocence, he goes through meeting several students, and even going back to the school via trespassing to get his answers, including confronting the assistant principal. Not only does Theo try to find out the secret hacker, along with his feelings for Sasha, but he also has to deal with the death of his father, while his mother works two jobs to keep the house bills paid.
“Expelled” is a nice read, with very short chapters (which is something this reviewer loves in books), where most are only 3-4 pages long. The 296 page book (My copy is an ARC copy, where several poems are omitted in the book) keeps the reader engaged enough to keep the page turning to find out who the secret hacker is, and why did the person do it to Theo. The ending has a small twist concerning Sasha and some of the other characters, which the targeted audience for the book might find shocking, but older readers may figure it out, along with revealing the person who hacked into Theo’s Twitter page.
Although some of the Jimmy Patterson books can be read for all age groups, “Expelled” would be suggested to older teens, due to some of the language and some adult themes. The suggested age would probably be around the 15 and up range. The book is overall a decent read, but older readers may like the other selections the publisher has released. The book is great for the targeted age group, and shows the Patterson Young Adult genre has something for everyone. The book is part Breakfast Club and part Hardy Boys , all while using language and situations that is modern in today’s society.
This review book was given courtesy of Jimmy Patterson Books/Little Brown & Company, and Hatchette Book Group.
“Expelled” by James Patterson and Emily Raymond ( Jimmy Patterson Books/Little Brown and Company, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-316-44039-4 hardcover, 978-0-316-44040-0 Ebook, 978-1-4789-8802-1 audiobook) can be found at http://www.jimmypatterson.org .