Random by Tom LeveenRandom by Tom Leveen


byTom Leveen

Hardcover | September 24, 2015

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Who’s the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of Before I Fall and Thirteen Reasons Why.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It’s a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he’ll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can’t help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…
Title:RandomFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:September 24, 2015Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442499567

ISBN - 13:9781442499560


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A good book This book was the first mental illness novel I have ever read, and it got me out of a large reading slump. Regardless of how it represented, the subject matter was moving and I felt naturally connected with the story. Very good, everyone should have to read a book like this.
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Didn't enjoy I didn't enjoy this book, which is rare for me as I try and find the good within the flaws of every book I read. The main character was just plain mean and I couldn't connect with her or any of the other characters really. No one actually resolved anything or faced their issues. The story was overly complicated yet too simple for the premise I feel it was trying to portray. The writing style was good and the pacing was too, but overall, it wasn't my thing. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Random by Tom Leveen I'm not sure how I felt about this one. Mostly because I really hated the main character. Because she was a bully and didn't see it in herself. Because she made excuses for her behavior. Because I don't know that she ever really understands what it is that she did, even at the end. But that's the point. So maybe I liked it. It was such a different take: the bully's perspective. And I think I expected the author to make me sympathize or empathize with her, but...that's not what happened. So anyway, this was an interesting read for me, because I just really hated the main character and wanted to shake her.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Party by Tom Leveen I think the premise of this novel was very promising and the climax and falling action were both great, but the writing was, for the most part, not so good. The style through some of the chapters was just plain awful; I understand the author was trying to capture the way teens think, but literally putting in "or whatever," "or something," and other sayings similar every couple of sentences is not necessary. It was actually aggravating and distracting. Two of the characters were also utterly annoying and had no redeemable qualities or likeable characteristics. One of them was pretty prevalent in the story, also, so it's not so simple to ignore her. Most of the characters were two-dimensional and, while plenty were in a complete position to hold so much more depth, never achieved anything more than serving the purpose of pushing along the story. For most of them, they were practically interchangeable which did nothing to help the reader get attached or want to learn more. I found myself actually dreading reading the rest of this book when I wasn't even halfway done; even after the great climax, I still wasn't that interested to find out what happened to the characters. The ending seemed pretty unrealistic in the sense that it was too perfect; everyone got the best possible scenario, which never happens and hurt the novel's potential touch with reality. Overall, if this book had been edited much heavier and if the author had allowed for a greater exploration with his characters, the novel would have been a great addition to the YA genre.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Random A very flawed heroine, she often isn’t sympathetic which makes her hard to love but she is realistic. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I was expecting more I wouldn't say that this book is not good, but it is not the best book I have read. The fact the story is told from different perspectives is interesting but something difficult to understand. I didn't find a link through the book. The subject of the book itself is really interesting. A good book, but not the best. #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this I was very surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. Each characters stories connected very well and I enjoyed all the different pov's.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Violent Ends was an interesting and engaging read despite my expectations being skewed towards something else. Review Trigger warning: abuse, suicidal thoughts, suicide, eating disorders Violent Ends is a novel about a school shooting. Its told from 17 different perspectives written by different authors. I went into this novel expecting each chapter to focus on a different aspect of the shooting. Different characters' perspectives and experiences color the way one perceives and reacts to an event, so I expected something much different than what I got in Violent Ends. As mentioned previously, each chapter has a different writing style (since they're written by different authors) and format (transition from past to present, linear narrative, etc.). These differences create a unique reading experience as you read about the same event over and over. However, Some of the chapters didn't even deal with the shooting. It dealt with a character's interactions with the shooter before the shooting. As interesting as it was to see the shooter from multiple different perspectives, it wasn't what I was expecting so I didn't enjoy it was much as I could have. What I loved most about this book was its ability to communicate the helplessness everyone feels following an event as traumatic as a shooting. People are desperate for answers, emotionally confused, and lost. All of this is heightened as a teenager and this is represented clearly throughout the entire novel. Overall, Violent Ends was an interesting and engaging read despite my expectations being skewed towards something else. This is the first school shooting novel I've ever read and I think they're a necessity. Reading should broaden your horizons and make you feel something you're never felt before and Violent Ends accomplished that. My only complaint is that I wish it would have focused more on the actual shooting.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One night. One party. In Tom Leveen's debut novel, Party, the lives of eleven teenagers revolve around- you guessed it- one beautiful night in Santa Barbara at one party. Not your usual type of novel, instead of chapters, it's broken down into the points of views of the eleven characters. It's an interesting take and definitely proves to be effective, drawing your interest in right from the get-go. It's all about viewpoint in this novel and how one character feels or sees another. They're different types of people, with their own personalities and histories, but on this night, all of them will be connected in ways they never expected. Beckett, Morrigan, Tommy, Brent, Daniel, Azize, Ryan, Anthony, Josh, Max, and Ashley- for them, this one party is so much more that end of the school year bash. One doesn't want to feel so invisible, one wants to confront their ex, and another wants to finally talk to the girl he's been crushing on, to name a few. Since the setting takes place over such a short amount of time, there's only so much that can be fitted in... but I never felt bored in any way. The author does a great job showcasing the interactions between the characters. It was fascinating to see how each of them related to one another, finding the connection that either brought them together, or vice versa, tore them apart. In the end, it will be one night they'll never forget.
Date published: 2010-06-01

Read from the Book

Random ONE They’ve been pounding on the front door for more than an hour, which is exactly how long it took for Dad to make his famous garlic mashed potatoes. He’d slammed the masher down time after time, BAM! BAM! BAM! with his lips drawn tight as Mom took measured steps between the stove and sink while making Italian meat loaf. It feels like a last meal. “I just want to ask a few questions, Victoria!” this one reporter keeps shouting through our closed door. Her name is Allison Summers. I’ve never met her face-to-face, still don’t know what she looks like, but I know what she thinks of me, and what she made the rest of the world think of me. So she can stay out there and melt in the rain like the witch she is, for all I care. None of us inside speaks. We just do our routine jobs, but without saying a word. Normally Mom would be singing R.E.M. singles, or Dad would be reciting a stand-up routine from some dead comedian, or my brother, Jack, and I would be debating about whether or not Olympic athletes were “superhuman.” Tonight: a vast silence, like standing in an empty gymnasium. Jack, in particular, makes it a point to not even look at me. I’m not used to this treatment from my older brother yet, even though he’s been doing it for weeks. Mom and Dad are letting him do it too. That doesn’t make me feel any better. “Jack, where’s the green napkins?” I ask as he pulls down plates. He doesn’t even point. I can see his jaw muscles working as he clenches his teeth, making his deep, pitted acne scars look like pulsing lunar craters. Jack had cystic acne all through high school, and people always called him all kinds of terrible names, even up till he graduated last year. Krakatoa, Pus Factory. Even Zit Face. I never called him anything. He doesn’t seem to remember that. “Please, Miss Hershberger, this might be your only chance to set the story straight,” Allison-the-reporter calls, pound-pound-pounding on the door some more. “Check the other cabinet for the napkins, Tori,” Mom says. She tries to make it casual, as if there aren’t a bunch of reporters on our lawn in a light spring rain, but her voice is tight and strained. So I check the other cabinet, and there are the green napkins, just where I knew they’d be. I’d asked only to see if maybe Jack would forget he wasn’t talking to me and say something. With Dad’s potatoes done finally, we sit down around our small dining room table just off the kitchen. It’s more of a nook than a room. We eat here six nights a week. Even now. Mom tries to smile at me as she gestures to the meat loaf, urging me to serve myself first. “Victoria?” Allison Summers calls. “I’m on deadline. I’m filing a story tonight whether you talk to me or not, so you might want to think about telling people your side of things.” Another voice, male, shouts, “Have you decided on a plea?” Dad’s chair flips backward when he stands up. My stomach contracts and pulls me taut against my chair, and Mom drops a fork. Jack doesn’t move, just sits there staring at his empty plate. Dad races to the front door. I hear him fling it open. “Get off my property!” Dad shouts. “Now! Every single last one of you, out!” “Mr. Hershberger, I just want—” “Out! I’ll call the police on all of you, get out!” “Mr. Hersh—” “Go!” Dad roars, throwing a giant mother-F-bomb out with it. “You’re nothing but a bunch of bloodsucking vultures! Get off my property and leave my family alone!” I’ve never heard Dad swear before. Or yell. He’s a grumbler, not a screamer. “Thought we were supposed to ignore them,” Jack whispers, not lifting his eyes. “Easy for Mr. Halpern to say,” Mom says, her voice wrenching a bit tighter. “He’s probably having a quiet dinner.” I hear muttering at the front door, and a moment later it slams shut. Instead of coming back to the table, though, Dad stalks past us and goes down the hall and into he and Mom’s bedroom. Another slammed door twists my stomach again. At least the knocking has stopped. After a few more minutes I hear a couple of car engines start up and drive away from the front of our house. I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding. Jack takes his napkin from his lap and tosses it on the empty plate. “Are you even sorry?” he says. I look up at him, blinking. These are the first words Jack’s spoken to me in weeks. So of course I screw it right up. “What kind of question is that?” “A simple kind,” Jack snaps. “Just answer it. Are you?” “Jack,” Mom says, “maybe now isn’t—” I’m too angry to let her even finish. I shout back at him, “Of course I am, Jack! God!” Mom says, “Kids, please . . .” Jack leans over the table, resting his forearms on the top. “Sorry you did it, or sorry you’re in trouble?” “What’s the difference?” Jack snorts and pushes his chair back. He stands up, takes one step, stops. “God, Vic,” he says. “I don’t even recognize you anymore.” I try to come up with something to shoot back and come up empty. Plus, I kind of know what he means. I haven’t felt much like myself. “Jack,” Mom says again. “I’ve got homework,” he says. “Might as well do some while I’m still enrolled.” “It’ll work out, Jack,” Mom insists. “Don’t overreact.” Jack shrugs sarcastically. “Maybe overreacting is exactly what we should be doing,” he says. He shoves his chair back under the table and goes down the hall to his room. He doesn’t slam his door, but it doesn’t latch quietly behind him either. I look at Mom. She’s rubbing her temples with two fingers each. “Mom?” Outside, a car passes by, going fast, it sounds like. Someone in the car performs a drive-by cussing, screaming out an open window before disappearing down the block. “Biiiiiiitch!” Mom’s forehead, already creased, tightens. “What, Tori.” “Um . . . nothing,” I say, and get up. “I’m not very hungry.” Mom doesn’t say anything. So I go to my room and close the door. Maybe I should just plead guilty tomorrow. Maybe that’ll make everyone happy.

Editorial Reviews

This quick, suspenseful novel will hook readers through the final page.