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Endangered by Lamar Giles


by Lamar Giles

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Lauren Daniels is a junior in high school. No one notices Lauren and she works hard to make it that way. She is actually a secret hero for the bullied and teased kids in her high school, sort of a vigilante. She has acquired state of the art photography equipment she keeps concealed from her parents and anyone else really, in the trunk if her car. Using her self taught specialized skills as a photographer, she follows and photographs the bullies doing hurtful or embarrassing things. Then she uploads them to her anonymous website-The Grey- for all the school to see. Sometimes the exposed activity causes the school administration to take disciplinary action or worse when the police become involved. Lauren is biracial and not popular in school. She has one girlfriend who is also biracial. They share their secrets and understand each others’ high school angst. But Lauren has not shared her secret website The Grey with her best friend, which becomes a big issue later in the story.

One evening Lauren scores an awesome photograph of the most popular and stuck-up girl in school, fooling around with the gym teacher. Lauren or Panda as she Is nicknamed, is lurking in the brush, photographing the teacher having sex with his student in the car. What Panda doesn't know at the time is that she is not alone in her stealth. The day after posting the pictures she gets home all excited about the uproar to find in her email a picture of her Lauren photographing the gym teacher with the student. Lauren thought she was so careful but someone was standing right behind her and she didn’t see them! This is where the mystery begins and danger begins.

Lauren has gone out of her way to fade into the background at school and is shocked to learn that she is being followed. Who? She cannot figure out who is following her and taking her picture. It is vital that Lauren find out who is following her because now people are getting killed and she may be next. The game she plays has turned deadly!

I gave this novel 3 out of 5 stars because the story ti me lagged at the end and I was ready for it to just finish. All in all, it is a good read that I think the YA reader will enjoy. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
On her secret photo-blog, Gray Scales, Lauren -- or Gray to her followers -- thinks of herself as a vigilante who exposes those from her school that have done mean-spirited things to the undeserving. Students and teachers alike fall prey to Gray's exposes. After one such posting of a popular girl student and teacher in a compromising act, things turn deadly. Could the girl's auto-accident death that followed been a murder? Another consequence of Gray's online activity comes from one follower known as SecretAdmir3r. This secret-admirer follower knows Gray's real identity and threatens to expose it all if Lauren/Gray (aka Panda to friends because of mixed race heritage) won't play along in a high stakes game of photography one-upmanship. As for who is SecretAdmir3r, there are plenty of suspects. Lauren only has to pick one from her past victims of, some would say, cyber bullying. One of those is a former boyfriend named Taylor. But once Lauren, somewhat reluctantly, takes him into her confidence, Taylor, computer wiz that he is, offers to help her find the culprit. The how and why of this page-turning YA story presents fair warning for anyone tempted to engage in such activity. Yet what makes it so appealing is that its loaded with snappy dialogue and has a puzzling murder mystery to draw in its readers. ( )
  PaperDollLady | Apr 4, 2016 |
No letdown in this fine sophomore effort! The author switches his character's gender, from male in his first (the fantastic "Fake ID"), here telling the tale of Lauren, known to and ignored by her high school classmates as Panda (black dad, white mom). Panda puts her superior photography skills to work by extracting revenge from the mean girls and mean boys by posting evidence of their dirty deeds on Facebook. All goes well (if not creepily, but she's got her reasons) until she is challenged by a classmate who knows what Lauren's been doing.

Most impressive is Giles's ability to inhabit a teenage brain. Although categorized as YA, his mysteries are for anyone who enjoys character-driven tangles and twists. ( )
  froxgirl | Oct 18, 2015 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Endangered started off great with witty, diverse characters and a dangerous mystery but the second half of the book was a let-down.

Opening Sentence: I’ve haunted my school for the last three years. I’m not a real ghost; this isn’t one of those stories.

The Review:

This book had so much potential, I honestly thought it was a solid 4-star read, until I read the last few chapters.

The writing was witty, the characters were interesting and there was plenty of suspense, so what went wrong? For me, it was everyone’s reaction to Lauren’s double life. Yes, she went a bit far with her photography and trying to bring about justice and the fact that her art might have had a hand in someone’s death was unfortunate but I think everyone overreacted just a tad bit.

I didn’t think her intentions were as malicious as they were made out to be. Until Keachin’s death Gray’s site was the talk of the town and it wasn’t as if Lauren killed her! Prying into someone’s personal life and sharing their secrets wasn’t right, of course, but Lauren realised her mistake. She apologised profusely, took down the site and came forward when she realised the ‘admirer’ was dangerous – why wasn’t that enough? She was taking pictures of bullies and the sort, for crying out loud, she wasn’t a government spy!

The only person that had a justified reason to be furious was Mei, considering she ended up almost dying on numerous occasions because of Lauren’s secrecy. Her irritation at not being in the loop was understandable, but Mei also had her secrets in terms of being friends with Taylor, which could be seen as hypocritical.

‘I love Ocie like a sister, but here lies the problem in having a single, solitary best friend. If she’s not down for the cause, there’s no one else to draft. I have to convince her.’

I thought that Lauren’s parents’ reaction was a bit over the top, with the constant surveillance, freezing her out, confiscating every piece of technology she had and shipping her off to the aunt. Their reaction was odd, I would have thought that her father would try to discipline her rather than send her off for someone else to deal with. If I didn’t know any better I would think that Lauren was an undercover assassin rather than a photographer.

I think that’s enough of a rant for now, so let’s move on to the positive aspects of this story. The storyline and mystery surrounding the ‘admirer’ and Keachin’s death made Endangered a very quick read for me; I was anxious to know who the ‘admirer’ was and what they would do next so it definitely kept me on my toes. I was hoping the ‘admirer’ would be someone more… I don’t know… important to Lauren but I don’t want to reveal too much so will leave it at that.

Lauren, aka Panda, was a brilliant MC, I loved her blunt and hilarious banter with Taylor and Mei. Her passion for photography was borderline obsessive but at the same time inspiring. Her work was her life and yes, that was unrealistic for a teenage girl, but this is YA people! I loved her sense of adventure and competitive nature and the fact that the author highlighted her imperfections, even though I do think he was a leeetle harsh on her.

I enjoyed the diverse cultures of the main characters and incorporating German into the dialogue. The constant talk of cameras, capturing the perfect shot and the photography ‘game’ has inspired me to buy my own professional camera (although I’m not sure if I want to splurge so much money on something I don’t have a clue about; stick to books Zed).

In conclusion, I could have loved this book if the ending wasn’t such a disappointment but alas, it was not meant to be…

Notable Scene:

Here’s the part that Keachin doesn’t know about herself; she’s a Raging Bitch Monster.

I’m sure she suspects it, but not in the way, say, a meth-head might suspect that smoking chemicals brewed in a dirty bucket isn’t the best move, thus triggering thoughts of a lifestyle change. Keachin, as best I can tell, does not have such moments of clarity. To her and her pack, bitchiness seems to be something more altruistic. An act of kindness because, otherwise, peons might not know their place.

Additional Notable Scene:

I say, “I was until you showed up. Are you, like, stalking me?”

He looks taken aback. When he speaks again, the sorrow has worn away. “Stalking you? You’re… you’re unbelievable.”

Enough. “What’s with you, lately? We haven’t spoken this much in years. Am I radiating openness? Do you feel the warmth of springtime sun when I’m near? If so, please understand that sensation is actually my fiery disdain.”

The muscles in his jaw clench, like he’s biting back rogue words. A deep breath later, he says, “The way things have been going, I thought you could use a friend.”

“Do you have a head injury that might explain the nonsense that’s coming out of your mouth?”

FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Endangered. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Apr 4, 2015 |
This was a story about a young lady who got caught up in life, but in the end turned her life around. I enjoyed the writing style of this author, he gave details, but still left room for the reader to use their imagination. I did find the characters to be real-to-life. This author and John Green give hope to teenage readers. I will seek-out this author again in the future. ( )
  BrendaKlaassen | Mar 23, 2015 |
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"When Lauren (Panda), a teen photoblogger, gets involved in a deadly game, she has to protect the classmates she despises"--

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