Monday, February 27, 2017

America's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan

I picked the book because the title, and then the premise intrigued me. I'm not much of a reality show watcher but I love reading blog posts the day after outlining what happened on the shows. This type of book could become catnip for me.
The back cover is a little misleading. Jennifer (Jen) Reid doesn't lose her boyfriend, job, and apartment in one fell swoop, but they do happen in fairly quick succession. So when the reality show, The Fishbowl, that she applied for sort of as a joke calls and says that they want her, Jen is ready to go -- after breaking her foot while uninsured, she could use $250,000. She, and eleven other people, are picked to live in a house that is all glass while solving puzzles (both mental and physical) in order to try not to be voted off by their fellow contestants. There's all the drama that you might expect but surprisingly little manipulation from the directors. Even though Jen has an archnemesis in the house, Arianna, somehow Arianna keeps getting voted to stay on while Jen keeps being put up for elimination by the audience. And there is a possible romance, the cute law student Justin. But is he actually interested in her? Or is he playing the reality game? If not, why is he spending so much time with Arianna?
The ending was a bit fast for me. I wanted to spend more time with Justin and Jen, to see more of their relationship develop; I was able to connect with Jen but wish there had been more to connect with Justin and with their romance. I liked the world building and am looking forward to the next book, hoping to see more of a connection between the characters.

Four stars
This book comes out March 7

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