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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,361 ratings  ·  282 reviews
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
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Simon Pulse
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Eli B. if You mean middle schoolers, I would say not, but that is a personal opinion on when children should be exposed to deeper problems of the world, such…moreif You mean middle schoolers, I would say not, but that is a personal opinion on when children should be exposed to deeper problems of the world, such as suicide. Otherwise, I would say yes to mature children, or those who can deal with more depressing issues well on their own.(less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,361 ratings  ·  282 reviews

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Ryan Clark
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
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. Even whe ...more
Read it in one sitting and I actually really enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting much seeing all the mixed reviews it got, but I think it was better than just an ok. It also really fits with the #AntiBullyReads read-a-thon that took place during the week of November 16th - 22nd in support of Anti Bullying Week. I didn't manage to take part in it, but I thought better late than never right?!

This books takes place in a 24 hours span. The night before going on trial in a sensational felony case that ha
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars.

"There's a whole big gulf between innocent and not guilty."

Have you ever suffered from bullying? I'm talking about any type of it.
Well I have. And it haven't been nice, you know?
Throughout my whole life I've been bullied [at school] for many reasons: my skin color, my beliefs, my sexual orientation, the way I act, how I talk, the music I like to listen to, among other things. It never felt nice.
And it will never feel nice.

Nowadays, even tho I'm still studying, school is not the same. I h
Elle (ellexamines)
This was just... bad. I don't know how you take such an original premise and execute it in such an unmemorable, emotionless way.

Tease executes a similar premise in a far better way, making you sympathize with the main character. Again, the main character here is rude and a terrible person; it just doesn't work. Usually her bad actions would simply make her complicated, but she's neither; she's just completely flat. She's seriously one of the flattest characters I've ever had the displeasure of
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First off, let me say that Tom Leveen is a freaking GENIUS! I loved everything about Random... well, except the main character, Tori, but more on that later.

Random is about a girl, Tori, who is being blamed, along with six others, for the suicide of a fellow student because of, as Tori liked to call them, a few 'joking comments' they made on a social media site. Tori, now isolated from all her so-called friends who were involved in the incident, feels like she's innocent. She didn't kill him...
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Let me just say that I glimpsed this one on Goodreads a few weeks ago and mentioned it in a WoW post because I was intrigued by the plot. So yeah, I was definitely anticipating it and thankfully, it was what I'd expected it to be: intense.

Random is a good depiction of how a teen becomes a bully, even though she's not quite aware of the fact that she did turn out to be one. And trust me, Tori is not your average sweet and innocent protagonist. She's quite a trip. I can see a lot of readers not li
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on bullying I've ever read. It gives a very real portrait of how someone can get swept up in the meanness. Tori isn't evil, she's weak. And that weakness is something most of us can identify with: have we ever "gone along" just to try to fit in? Have we said nothing in the moments when we wish we had? Have we ever stepped over the line and joined in--and then felt ashamed afterward, whether or not something bad happened because of it?

The Facebook excerpts are the most chill
Myrza H Darmaditya
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is surprisingly short and easy read but I assure you it has really deep meaning and I learn something from it. The theme of this book is cyber-bullying, I’ve heard about it before and I know that it happens in real life but I don’t frickin’ know that it will be such a serious issue until I read this one. And I realized that people could be so cruel to each other without thinking the aftereffect. I liked that Random spread and raise the awareness about it and I guess Tom Leveen quite success ...more
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: March 30th 2016
Rating 4qqq

“'Because that's what being dead means,' Andy says. 'It's the zenit of 'never'. Never again, never this, never that. You don't come back from never. You can't enjoy never. You just sit there, not existing, not listening to your favorite songs or eating you favorite foods. Never.'”

(view spoiler)
Steph Sinclair
I read Random early because it was right after I’d finished Fault Line and I was hoping for a book to give me similar feels. I was drawn in by the original cover, which featured a cell phone cord in the shape of a noose. Since I’ve been on this contemporary kick, I thought this would be right up my alley. It wasn’t. So much potential wasted! The sad part is that I was hooked right until the final reveal. I’m shocked that the author dropped the ball so late in the book, though, it’s only 200 page ...more
Ezgi Tülü
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
I wasn't fond of the main character but the story and how it was told captured me and I couldn't put down the book. Good thing it was relatively short, or else I'd have to make a choice between doing my homework and reading this book.

It's about how people lose themselves when presented the opportunity to fit in, and how the ones left behind struggle, and how easy it is to do nothing to prevent a bad situation. And how cyberbullying is real. (And how it isn't taken seriously most of the time.)

Amy Nichols
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. I had to know what happened next and next and... The ending was a great payoff. Was Tori likable? Not really, but that was kind of the point, right? Great book. Highly recommended.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mini review originally posted here:

You guys know how much I ramble, and how long my reviews can be, so I decided to use a simple outline for my mini reviews. My thoughts will be broken down into 3 categories:


Let's begin.


If I had to sit here and discuss just the plot of this book to my readers, I most certainly could. This aspect was one, if not my most favorite thing about Random.
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
My students are going to devour this.

Cyber-bullying is so prevalent in my students' lives, and they fly through books about it faster than I can find them and buy them. Random is perfect for tweens and teens who are fans of Backlash, I Swear, Can't Look Away, etc.

And honestly, it's pretty un-put-down-able. Its a fairly quick read (many of the 217 pages are Facebook posts/comments), so none of the characters are particularly deep, but the story was interesting enough to keep me hooked until the
Farah Hanani
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, contemporary
3.5 stars

Leveen wrote some pretty serious issues in this book. Makes me think twice about posting stuff on social media too.

Random was a good read but I feel like it's lacking in the emotion department a little bit. I like how he didn't make Tori this stereotypical mean girl while being in a mean girls group.

Despite the heavy issues, it isn't deep or makes you emotionally unstable like All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars. So overall, a good read.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classroom-shelf
I had never heard of Tom Leevan before that day in June when I was hanging out in the library with some friends. My friend Maddie and I were recommending books to each other and she told me to read Random. I immediately got up to go get it because it sounded interesting.

Honestly I didn’t actually know anything about the book going into it other than two of my friends loved it and something to do with suicide. The book was short so I was motivated to take a few hours out of my day to enjoy an eas
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Whoa... Random is on hell of a book. Very fast paced and extremely shocking.

Tori is a bitch. I don't like cussing in reviews but there is no better word for her. Maybe self-centered bitch is better, though. Someone she cared about and was friends with needed her and she just shrugged it off and he ended up killing himself. Yes, throughout the book, all she is worried about is what is going to happen to HER. Her life, her future, her relationships. She is messed up beyond anything and I hope she
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this book...I randomly (haha lame pun) picked it up at the library, brought it home, and read it in two days. It looks short from the outside, but on the inside there sure is a lot.
Random dealt with a lot of tough topics. I think that sometimes we don't want to think about them... Let the bullies bully as long as you aren't involved...right? Ermmm no.... But standing up for someone is hard. And that's kind of what this book is about. In a way. Wow this is
Taylor (Taylicious Reads)
Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars
As a teenager who's built some of her best relationships with people online, it's horrifying to read a book such as this one.
Well this book doesn't perfectly deal with cyberbullying, it certainly has good discussion topics and a gripping plot.
Definitely a solid 3.5 stars because the plot was there but the characters fell a little flat.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
The story was really well-thought and this book was clearly a page turner!
Lelia Taylor
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Not guilty doesn't mean you're innocent.

That tagline says a lot about the story in Random, the concept that you can be guilty in a sense even if not technically speaking. In this case, Tori can't admit to anyone, much less herself, that her own behavior contributed to the conditions that led a classmate to commit suicide. Tomorrow morning, she'll be appearing before a judge to enter a plea to the charges against her; her parents are trying very hard to keep the family on an even keel but Tori's
Lauraelisabeth (fashion-by-the-book)
I received a copy of this book in exchanged for a honest review. In no way did the author or publishing company influence my review. For more reviews, see my blog

Random is the story of one night of the life of Tori Hershberger, who used to be a normal, semi-popular, sixteen year old… until a Facebook comment goes too far, and a classmate is found dead of suicide. The night before the hearing that will decide if Tori and her friends are murderers or innocent, she ge
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars.
Okay so I don't really know where to start to be honest.

Let's start with the positive point: the plot was good. It was quite "new" and unique and could have gone a really good way.

But here's the thing, the main character was one of the most unlikeable characters I've ever read. She was a huge bully and didn't even realize it. In fact, someone killed himself because of her and she played the victim. Also the blup starts with "who is the real victim here" as if that's even a question.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Don’t let your mouth write checks your heart can’t cash,”
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
this one was fast paced and held my attention from the very beginning.
it also had a huge "holy shit" moment that i was very appreciative of. I had no idea what was going to happen next.
the only thing that sucked about this book is the ending was a little flat. like i wouldve liked to have known what happened with the trial and whatnot. AND i don't think that Tori was sorry. Maybe that's just because I would have been in Kevin's shoes but she KNEW what she was doing and kept doing it. And then
Jessica Brooks
There's a lot of pros and cons to be said about this book--a quick read, with a lot of twists and turns. Ultimately, though, I believe that, regardless of how a reader responds to it, it WILL have one result across the board: it'll get the reader thinking. And, hopefully, talking. Which is the *right* result, and, I'm assuming, the INTENDED result. So for that, I applaud the author.
3.5 stars

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I think what I loved the most about Random—and why the book worked so well—was the fast, no-nonse pace of the novel. Random takes place over the course of one night and by the end of the book, more questions are left unanswered than in the beginning in an entirely gripping way. While Random may be a fast read, it is in no way a light one. The issues
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Original review can be found at

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book tackled the issue of cyber bullying which is a serious and relevant issue amongst young and not so young people today. There have been many tragic stories in the news about young people taking their lives after relentless bullying (mostly cyber) from peers. I was extremely anxious to see how t
Kelly Sierra
Random by Tom Leveen is a strangely compelling idea, with not such a great execution. Set in the span of a night, Tori receives a random phone call. She doesn’t know the caller, it was all by chance, but the caller is desperate and he connected with Tori. Tori doesn’t have time for this, she needs to clear her head and get ready to go on trial for murder, and her Facebook page is beyond incriminating. The problem is, the first person who reached out to her killed himself (why she’s on trial), an ...more
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Tom Leveen is the author of nine novels with imprints of Random House, Simon & Schuster, Abrams, and more. He has written with Todd McFarlane on SPAWN, the comic book series, and released five independent books.

Recently an early literacy specialist with Phoenix Public Library, Tom has nine years of previous library work experience. He also has 22 years of theatre experience as an actor and direct

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“Don’t let your mouth write checks your heart can’t cash,” 4 likes
“Because that's what being dead means," Andy says. "It's the zenit of 'never'. Never again, never this, never that. You don't come back from never. You can't enjoy never. You just sit there, not existing, not listening to your favorite songs or eating you favorite foods. Never.” 1 likes
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