Author: Lamar Giles
POV: 1st person, present tense
Genre: YA mystery, thriller, compemortary
Source: Physical copy
Release: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Favourite Line: "We're all something we don't know we are."
Rating: 3 stars
Endangered is a thrilling page-turner perfect for fans of Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers.
The one secret she cares about keeping—her identity—is about to be exposed. Unless Lauren "Panda" Daniels—an anonymous photoblogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions—plays along with her blackmailer's little game of Dare or . . . Dare.
But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn't know what to do. And she may need to step out of the shadows to save herself . . . and everyone else on the Admirer's hit list.
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What I liked about this was the idea of a secret identity, one which everyone knows you by. In this book, Lauren (aka "Panda") is one of those completely invisible girls at school. But by night, she dons her other alias, "Gray," who runs a photoblogging website that exploits people's secrets. Everyone in school knows about Gray, knows how Gray is able to catch supposedly good people doing compromising things, like selling drugs and such. But it isn't until someone catches takes a picture of Panda doing her work as Gray that the story begins.
Blackmail at its finest, and may I be the first to say that blackmail, as overused as it might be, is very effective in this situation. Panda is being blackmailed to take dangerous photos, which results in her braving hurricane storms and climbing up extremely tall buildings. But when Panda starts to refuse taking more shots because it's getting more and more dangerous, and the chances of getting caught by the police are higher, people start ending up dead, or hurt.
The identity of the blackmailer, who goes under the name "Admirer," was one that kept me guessing the entire book. It was obvious that the first person Panda suspected wasn't the culprit, which left me guessing the identity. The blackmailer ended up to be someone I did not see coming.
The first half of the book dealt with Panda trying to meet the demands to her blackmailer's. Come the second half, the pace changes completely, and plot becomes more of a race to solve the mystery of the blackmailer's identity, as people are beginning to get hurt. I wasn't quite sure about the final ending, as Panda is being forced to relocate somewhere. It seems a little like running away, even though I know it's for the best. Still, she's forced to move away with someone who she desperately doesn't like, who want to try to change Panda. I suppose that story could be an entire book of it's own, with a girl having been relocated somewhere she doesn't want to be, with an adult who's trying to change who she is. But oh well.
One thing I particularly enjoyed is that this book falls under the We Need Diverse Books category. Panda is half black, half white, and there is a lot of German conversations between her mother and herself. It's a nice change, if you ask me, and we definitely need to see more main characters like her.
This book is about action and consequences, about how lies can lead to the loss of friends, family, and reputation. It's about learning to see the bigger picture, of looking at things with different perspectives, or lens. It's can be taken as a harsh reality check, but it is still a reality check none the less. Not exactly a happy ending, but rather, one with closure and learning. It's not what I was expecting, as it's a little different, but it still was a good read!
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