Finlay (Your One and Only) keeps the action bucketing along in her sophomore novel, thanks to an intriguing setup, a sparky romance, and rapid-fire narration from multiple points of view. Cameron “Cam” Jaimes, River Adan, and Trip Johnson, all 17, are living rough on a remote island as they compete for $1 million in the inaugural season of Cut Off, an immersive, Survivor-like show and “social experiment” powered by sophisticated virtual reality technology that transmits sensory experiences through an app. Snippets of their pre-show evaluation interviews provide a glimpse into the teens’ thorny personal histories and motivations for participating. When a series of near-catastrophes throw the three together, they reluctantly form a team, along with Liza Rojas, another contestant. The plot zags into the first of several twists when the group discovers that they no longer have a way to signal readiness to leave the island: the GPS beacons they were originally issued seem unable to reach the show’s producers. The novel’s characters—particularly Cam and River—are sturdy and distinctive enough to keep readers persuaded as the story line builds from sly commentary on reality television to trippy exploration of reality’s very nature. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adam Schear, Defiore & Co. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/25/2020 Release date: 08/11/2020 Genre: Children's
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