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The Chaos of Now

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Is it real if it happens online?

Life at Eli’s high school hasn’t been the same since his classmate Jordan committed suicide after being tirelessly bullied. Schools now have access to students’ online activities and students have less privacy than ever. Eli just wants to graduate—so he can get out of town, get away from his father’s embarrassingly young fiancée, and get him
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Bloomsbury YA
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  320 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, arc, bt-e-book, fiction
The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange is a thought-provoking book that discusses tough topics like bullying, suicide, and cyber monitoring. When Jordan, a geeky computer wizard, commits suicide by lighting a match, it irrevocably changes the lives of those he went to school with. Eli Bennett gets caught in the middle of a vigilante scheme to pay tribute to Jordan, but unfortunately, it does not go as planned . . . 

This was such an interesting book! It's going to be a tough book to review, because
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally a YA book that not only draws attention to the power of social media but how the characters are attached to technology, whether it be their phones of their computers, which is fantastic. I’m sorry but if you are writing a YA book based around teenagers in this time line, you need to have them glued to their phones or at least have their interaction with technology more often. I am over YA books that are based in high school or around young adults that don’t spend any time on their phones ...more
Nav (she/her) 🌧
TW - death, cyber bullying, racist comments

I came across The Chaos of Now whilst browsing the library website. YA contemporary is one of my favourite and most read genres so I'm always looking to discover more books in this genre. I was also incredibly intrigued by the synopsis as the topics this books looks at are so relevant in this day and age.

One year ago Eli Bennet watched a fellow student (Jordan Bishop) set himself on fire at school as a result of cyber bullying. Now in a nationwide c
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021, young-adult
The Chaos of Now is a thought provoking read which covers many difficult subjects. It was an engaging quick read, but the middle was dull and lacked the necessary character and plot development needed to move the story along. Also, the ending left me wanting more and it did feel a little rushed.

Overall, it was alright and made me think but lacked in some areas.
Ghostly  Writer
I'm not entirely sure with how I feel about this... May edit this later, if I change my mind about the rating. In different ways, the latter part of the novel brought up a lot of things for me. Difficult.

Actual rating: 2.5 stars.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Last year, a boy who had been teased and bullied committed suicide at school by lighting himself on fire in front of everyone in the cafeteria. This book begins one year later, on the anniversary of his death at a school assembly meant to honor him. But Eli notices quickly that the students coming up and saying nice things about him, didn't even know him, and certainly weren't his friends. Right after, a couple of his actual friends reach out to Eli. The three boys were going to enter a coding c ...more
Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trigger Warning: suicide, bullying, self harm, amongst other similar topics. Wow. So this was an absolute page turner. I couldn't put it down. The writing was well done. I enjoyed how real the characters were. The emotions and inner debate was very relatable. The plot was simple but had twists you didn't see coming. The dialog flowed really smoothly. Overall, I just really enjoyed and flew through this. The ending is still with me and has left me with lots to think about. ...more
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
Like a lot of kids at Haver High, Eli will never forget the day Jordan Bishop walked into the cafeteria, soaked in gasoline, and lit himself on fire. Cyberbullying was widely cited as the cause of Jordan's suicide, and lots of internet restrictions, particularly ones focused on teens, popped up after his death.

A year after Jordan's death, Eli is just focused on his goal of being the best coder he can be, with the hope of maybe striking it rich with some kind of app after he gets out of high scho
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, heavy-content
Check out more reviews like this on: NicoleHendersonReads

Before reading this book, I hadn’t heard a ton of things about this author (other than the fact she wrote a book called Butter which was pretty popular in YA a while back). But the plot of this particular book was what intrigued me the most, specifically the coding element. I have never read a book with coding in it before so it was great to read something about it and in some ways learn about the technical side of technology. So when I g
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2.5 to 3 stars from me.

This was a quick read but I struggled to connect to any part of the story.

Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This YA dives into many topics (e.g. identity, grief, suicide, bullying). Lange does a good job of covering tech/hacking topics, but the male narrator feels a little forced. I think my students who are interested in coding might be interested in the storyline, but they also may feel as though the characters are stereotypes. I’m interested to see their reaction to it as a choice option.
Read InAGarden
Gave up a fourth of the way through the book. Just didn't thoroughly capture my interest. ...more
This YA novel starts off with a strong premise, but it loses momentum three-fourths of the way through. There are plenty of twists and turns that will keep teens reading to see how things turn out, but I wish the ending had been a bit more solid. As another reviewer mentioned, while it might be comforting to some to simply say that the act of suicide is selfish, that seems to be a simplification of a complicated decision. Parts of the plot made me think of recent headlines and events at various ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
The school librarian actually recommended this book for me to read. Just from reading the first page I was hooked. Like what would cause a kid to do something like that in the school cafeteria. As the story progresses things start to come to light and who was truly Jordan's friends. I could relate to how Eli felt as far as how when someone passes everyone wants to act like they are so sad and it is so hard to believe that people can be so cruel, when sadly they are a part of the problem. I reall ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
💻 @kidlitexchange #partner 💻
Thank you to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of The Chaos of Now by @erinjadelange Wow! 4 solid ⭐️ from me!

Eli is a very good high school coder who skates by in school. He’s not popular and mostly unnoticed. He’s got his best friend and that’s all he needs. Haver HS was turned upside down last year when Jordan committed suicide in the cafeteria by burning himself. Since then federal legislation has put a block on any negative social media. (That in it
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
in general, this book was well developed and enjoyable, with an actual unique and realistic take on social media and the dangers of cyberbullying. this was what i wanted easy prey to be!! characters acknowledging their toxic masculinity and working to change their mindsets!!! the main character owning up for his mistakes in a healthy way and trying to move on and be a productive member of society!!! yes please!!!!

this is a book about a teenage hacker named Eli who is a self proclaimed genius an
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TW: Suicide and bullying.

I was super excited to start reading The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange. Being a super big fan of her books and her writing style, I had high expectations for this book. Needless to say, I was not disappointed!
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 rel
Unseen Library
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of The Chaos of Now from Allen & Unwin to review.

Rating of 4.5.

From one of the most intriguing authors of modern young adult fiction comes this powerful story about bullying in the modern cyber world and the potential impacts our choices can have on those around us.

One year ago, a student at Haver High, Jordan Bishop, walked into the school cafeteria and committed suicide by setting himself on fire, a reaction to the relentless online bullying he was experiencing. Since that ev
Laura Petrie
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book— all opinions are my own.--- “But it turns out, guilt doesn’t slide off so easy. It sticks to you like a film you can’t rinse away.” In his daily life, Eli does the bare minimum to skate by. The only thing he is really passionate about is coding. So when he is summoned by two students he barely knows that are also coding nerds, his interest is peaked. Seth and Mouse ask him to be their third teammate in an elite coding compet ...more
Clare Bird
I want to thank Netgalley for a free advanced copy of The Chaos of Now in return for an honest review!

Things I enjoyed about this book:

I love the fact that Erin Jade Lange tackles such a prevalent topic bullying. Anti-bullying is my jam so I was super excited to pre-read this book! I also enjoyed that coding was the a main concept in this book, it’s not the norm to have some as “nerdy” as coding in a novel.

The Things I Didn’t Enjoy:

The Chaos of Now had so many parts that felt far-fetched. It w
Katy Noyes
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cyberbullying is at the heart of this pertinent school story.

In the aftermath of a suicide in the lunch hall a year ago, a nationwide reaction focusing on cyberlaws to protect students restricts online freedoms for everyone. The online bullying that resulted in Jordan Bishop's death has caused much underground hacker activity. Eli is approached by fellow hackers to help take revenge upon those who caused Jordan's death and begins to enjoy the power of scoring points against the bullies.

It's a cl
Jonathan Gentry
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For Erin’s fourth piece, she’s returning to her roots. However, this time around she adds a refreshing cyber concept to the bully trope.

In The Chaos of Now, we follow Eli, a coding genius who wants nothing more than to leave his current life in Haver High for a job in the cyber world. I’m a cyber geek just like him, and I can tell you that his portrayal was spot-on realistic and very believable. I especially love the little “space, backspace, space, backspace” quirk he has. This is something tha
Mandi Schneck
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange is a YA contemporary that follows Eli, a high school student obsessed with computers and coding. The book starts one year after one of Eli's classmates, Jordan Bishop, committed suicide by lighting himself on fire in the middle of the cafeteria, with bullying as the cause. There is definitely a trigger warning on this book for bullying and suicide.

Eli himself is a victim of bulling, having most recently
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eli and his classmates will never forget the traumatic suicide by a fellow student in the school cafeteria. Everyone knew that Jordan Bishop didn't quite fit in and was bullied online, and some even thought he'd be better off dead.

Eli is good at computer coding, so good, in fact, that he's hacked into a few computers that he shouldn't have. One was especially dangerous and resulted in an act of violence, but luckily, no one was hurt. Eli himself recently became a victim of a bully which was wit
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. The story and the relation to coding, cyber-snooping and anything and everything hacking and coding. I'm a beginner to this hacking and coding world and every day it intrigues me, so to find a fictional book that not only has a great message but also entertaining and knows what it's talking about, it's everything that I could ever want in a book. I loved the ending as it felt realistic. It didn't have a happy ever after in my opinion, and honestly, if there was ...more
Tara Weiss
Do you ever think about how much you don't know? Like, for example, the internet . . . I mean, I had to take a compulsory coding class in library school, but yeah . . . surface level right there. Not even scratched surface level, digging in towards encryption and security with a nail file.
On one level this book is about teen suicide, bullying, avenge/revenge, first amendment rights, and what happens when a school seeks to take away student rights. But there is this other part where the consider
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A tale of bullying, revenge, the dangers of the internet and escalation

This is one of the books where you aren’t supposed to like the characters so much as empathize and understated them. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of cyber bullying and how extreme they can be.

It moves swiftly as the stakes and consequences escalate. At the same time, the characters really do some stupid stuff so you want to scream at them not to do it.

So it’s an interesting story with a strong warning, but not one
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fic
I’ve tried this one a couple of times before and struggled with it because I found it hard to like the main character Eli. I’m so glad I have it another go. Eli is not the most sympathetic of characters. He constantly treats his stepmom and best friend like crap. His stepmom doesn’t really deserve it, but I get that he was pissed off about his dad dating a much younger woman. His best friend definitely didn’t deserve it. But I thought Eli was an honest portrayal of how some teenagers can be. I l ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This young adult novel is not for the faint at heart. It is chock full of heavy topics including suicide, bullying, cyberbullying, friendship, and more. When Eli's high school classmate. Jordan, commits suicide, school officials crack down on students' online activities. Upset that students' privacy has been restricted and that he has been bullied, Eli decides to use his hacking abilities to join two other students in creating a website aimed at seeking justice for Jordan and others who are bein ...more
Beth Bryden-miller
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, edelweiss, fall-2018
My students are asking for books without clear heroes/villains. This fits the bill. When a student, Bishop, is cyberbullied, he commits suicide in a very public way at his high school. Two of his friends contact our protagonist to help create a website to both honor his memory and impress the judges at a cyber competition. We are plunged into a debate over what bullying is, what free speech really means and issues of personal responsibilities. Characters are decently well rounded or at least avo ...more
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ERIN JADE LANGE is the author of The Chaos of Now; Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah; Dead Ends; and Butter, an ABC New Voices selection. As a former journalist, she is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers. Erin lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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