This Is Not the Jess Show review Ú 103

Anna Carey » 3 read

This Is Not the Jess Show review Ú 103 Ø Black Mirror meets My So Called Life in this fast paced timely YA thriller about separating fact from fiction and how far we'll go to create our own version of realityLike any other teenager Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama but drama seems to keep finding her BetweSeems to keep finding her Between a new crush on her childhood best friend overprotective parents cramping her social life and her younger sister's worsening health the only constant is change and her hometown of Swickley which feels smaller by the daySwickley is gettin. 255 stars rounded up to 3 starsThank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest reviewI honestly don’t have many feelings or thoughts on this book It is short and fast paced but was not what I was expecting and I had way too many uestions that were never answered I don’t really understand how this is being marketed as a thriller because it wasn’t really thrilling or did it keep me on the edge of my seat I did have high hopes especially with the really fun and intriguing synopsis but was just let down overallI’m not saying this was a bad book I just think I went into it thinking it was going to be much different For one I thought it was going to be a much darker version of The Truman Show So many things happened in this book that weren’t ever explained in depth that made me frustrated I won’t spoil the plot twist of the story but even though I did enjoy it and it was definitely not expected it just wasn’t explained I needed of the why and way plot development I think because it was so fast paced with minimal details that it was hard to connect to the main character Jess and it felt unbelievableI think the plot of this book is very clever but the execution of the story just didn’t do it for me I especially didn’t like the ending I was honestly reading and went to flip to the next chapter and was super confused that it was over I didn’t feel like anything was wrapped up and it was all too weird

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G weirder by the day too Half the population has been struck down by a mysterious flu Conversations end awkwardly when Jess enters the room And then one day a tiny sleek black device with an apple logo on it falls out of her best friend's backpack and lands at Jess's fee. I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my reviewThe nitty gritty Full of fun 90s nostalgia This is Not the Jess Show has twists and surprises plenty of action and even some sweet emotional momentsThis is a hard book to talk about without spoiling some major plot points but I’m going to do my best I’m taking a cue from the blurb on the back of the book which doesn’t give the plot twist away although you may already be aware of it I thought This is Not the Jess Show was a bunch of fun even if I had a few uibbles here and there The story is clearly based on the 1998 movie The Truman Show Google it if you want to know the plot twist but don’t if you want to go into the story blind Other than that I’m not going to give away much of the plot It’s a great high concept idea and I think the author mostly succeeded with what she was going for I'm including a hidden spoiler below if you're interestedSeventeen year old Jess Flynn lives in the small town of Swickley and has a fairly normal life She hangs out with her best friends Kristen and Amber crushes on a boy in her band class named Tyler and obsesses over her TV crush Scott Wolf the lead on the popular show Party of Five It’s 1998 AOL dial up internet is all the rage Blockbuster Video is the teen hangout spot on the weekends and the iPhone hasn’t been invented yet Jess is mostly happy except for the fact that her younger sister Sara is seriously ill with a rare blood disease As excited as she is to get out of Swickley and go to college someday she knows she’ll never be able to leave her sisterJust when it looks like Tyler might have feelings for her too weird things start happening A strange shiny object falls out of Amber's backpack but she refuses to tell Jess what it is hint it’s an iPhone Half the school is out sick because of a flu epidemic And when Jess goes to Tyler’s house she notices that the bathroom is completely bare—no shampoo toothpaste towels nothing Jess starts to suspect that her comfortable predictable life might be a lie and she’s determined to solve the mysteryThis is one of those stories that switches gears about halfway through It starts out as a contemporary—although it’s set in the past it feels like your typical YA contemporary with some teen angst family drama and coming of age elements Slowly Carey infuses a mystery into her story as Jess becomes and convinced that something strange is going on in Swickley I really loved this first half as we get to know Jess and her family and friends and the growing attraction between Jess and Tyler Except for Sara’s terrible illness you get the sense that Jess has a pretty sweet—if completely normal—life I had heard The Truman Show comparison before I started reading so I had an idea of where the story was going Even so I really enjoyed the way Carey slowly revealed her intriguing mystery and I literally hung on every wordAt about the halfway point the story abruptly changes into a thriller of sorts as Jess and another boy find themselves on the run Carey does really good action scenes and I had a lot of fun with this last half as well although the action at times is a bit over the top with some outlandish elements that were a little goofy for my taste It’s also at this point that the author throws in yet another big surprise one I was not expecting Overall I enjoyed the first half of the book a little simply because the story seems to spin out of control at times during the second halfBy far my favorite part of This is Not the Jess Show is the wonderful nostalgic feel Carey brings to her story Anyone out there who misses the 90s and wishes you could go back to simpler times—before smartphones social media and the internet—you’ll adore all her descriptions of 90s movies and TV shows clothing lines Lisa Frank stickers anyone and my favorite AOL dial up internet service having to wait until the phone was free in order to go online seems so archaic now Carey drops a lot of brand names but it didn’t bother me I have to mention that the year this story takes place 1998 and Anna Carey’s last name seem like a weird coincidence 1998 was also the year The Truman Show came out and the movie’s star was Jim Carey Hmmm makes you wonderI did like that the author added some emotional layers to her story We have the very close but doomed relationship between Jess and her sister which is heartbreaking Jess is faced with a new reality later in the story and she’s forced to evaluate her life Can she imagine a life beyond Swickley Or is it easier to simply stay because everything is comfortable and predictable  Carey also addresses the social media craze and how so many people live their lives online and the idea of reality versus fantasy and how it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between the two But as much fun as this story was there were a couple of negatives for me First you will have to suspend your disbelief for most of the story and again it’s hard to explain why without giving away spoilers But some of the situations did not make sense to me and I ended up with uestions than answers I also felt that Jess’s reactions were not always believable If this had happened to me I would have been freaking out Jess has a few moments of shock and confusion but she bounces back really fast There is one event in particular that should have been earth shattering for her but it didn’t register that way and I was slightly let down Finally there are a couple of very convenient things that happen near the end of the story I'm sure in order for the author to move the action in a certain direction but I wasn't buying itBut those complaints aside this really is a fun story and I breezed through it in only a couple of sittings I think it’s best to go into This is Not the Jess Show with as little information as possible because the surprises are worth discovering for yourself Goodreads says this is only the beginning of a series and I’m very curious to see where Carey takes her story nextBig thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy

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This Is Not the Jess ShowBlack Mirror meets My So Called Life in this fast paced timely YA thriller about separating fact from fiction and how far we'll go to create our own version of realityLike any other teenager Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama but drama. Actual rating 355 starsJess Flynn is your average American 90's teenager Only she isn't It's not the 90's any and her entire hometown is actually a reality TV show set Her friends are actors her teachers are actors and even the boy she likes is an actor Everything she thought of as real life is actually all a carefully curated construction from the past Every single moment of her life has been viewed by millions of people who are all living in a world decades ahead of her own How will Jess cope when the truth is revealed and how will the world cope when their favourite TV show personality uits the role of her lifeThis premise was too intriguing to pass up on reading but I worried that it would soon feel stale when the reader was given so much knowledge about Jess' predicament from the synopsis and when she herself did not possess this for almost half of the book Carey did an excellent job of orientating the reader into Jess' nostalgic 90's world and it remained interesting to see her both navigate through the average teenage worries as well as to organically puzzle out the façades surrounding herI was unprepared for the adrenaline filled and action packed turn events took once Jess became privy to the truth The outer world was opened up to both Jess and the reader for the first time and it proved just as intricate and intriguing as her hometown set I really appreciated how both the 90's and our near future were constructed and how major differences between the two were all the apparent for their close proximity to the other Facets that are part of the reader's everyday life were also called into uestion through Jess' new exposure to themThis last facet was something I wished was featured heavily throughout Jess was filled with wonder and bewilderment but I yearned for a deeper and lingering focus on the heavier topics touched upon I wanted the nature of society the entertainment industry and those who were meant to protect Jess to be called out for their influence and their failures This could have become an insight to society's dark nature in a Black Mirror esue fashion but remained a lighter and surface level read insteadI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Thank you to the author Anna Carey and the publisher uirk Books for this opportunity