topLife In A Fishbowl by Len Vlahos
Published by Bloomsbury
Published 3 January 2017
I was given an ARC of this by the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. I wanted to read it because I liked the cover and the plot intrigued me.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumour and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.
Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.
Jackie Stone loved her father. She loved him a lot.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Life in a Fishbowl was a cracking read. The book is very realistic showing how much ATN infringed on the family’s life and how obsessed the general public were with the show. This was an engrossing study of contemporary society’s obsession with fame and scandal and prying into other people’s lives. The people from ATN were pretty awful, playing the sisters against each other, controlling everything and punishing Jackie for exposing how the show manipulated the truth using her iPhone. I really wanted to punch someone in the face. The book is the perfect mix of happy and sad moments that made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. The characters were great and well-written, painfully real at times. The ending tore me up but made me do a little victory hand-pump as well. Life in a Fishbowl also includes scenes from the perspective of Jared’s brain tumour as if it is a thinking creature that sees Jared as a host to control. This was very unusual but worked really well. I’d highly recommend this.